Double Duo Date, Slave River

We've been talking about it for years.... a top to bottom no portage Slave River Rapids run (Fort Fitzgerald to Fort Smith, ~20 km). In the past, we've been turned off by the longish stretches of flat water that we'd have to paddle in our cramped playboats. Enter option Duo with camping and double date (minus the wine that I forgot to pack). It was a perfect two days of paddling, ~5 hours on the water + priceless hours hanging out on the rocks with our very close friends and Fort Smith locals, John Blyth and Gen Cote. We didn't take many photos, but I feel like the ones that we did get really captured the flavor of the outing.

The team(s) at Fort Fitz

John and Gen catch some air off of Rollercoaster

Gen and Nat

Leif and Nat at Twinkies

John and Gen on Twinkies
John being John.

John's a little bummed that Natalie burnt the veggies

Wow.  Just Wow.  I'm just a little scared.

Inspired by Come Down to the River, circa 1990

So beautiful and peaceful.  Nothing like a minimalist camping trip to put life into perspective.

Next time, fireworks from Wyoming baby!

We really should start selling this stuff.  Any takers?

The swimming channel, Pelican Rapids

Our double date turned into a triple date when, in the morning, we met up with Jason and Helen Panter, who hiked in and camped on the opposite side of the river from us.

Triple date girls walking the plank
We made it!  Leif only tried to get Gen stuck in a hole once!

In case you're interested in the lines we took here was our route (use this Slave River rapids map for reference):
Cassette Rapids-The Slide, Outrageous, Alarm Clock(John and Gen)/Rockem Sockem (Leif and Nat), Rollercoaster
Pelican Rapids-Three fates, Twinkies, Pratfall, Stage Dive
Mountain Portage Rapids-Turnpike, right side of Maelstrom, Crazy Train, Avalanche, Land of the Giants
Rapids of the Drowned-The Finger (just river right of Where's Will?), Arms Race, Big Wave

 Some exciting kayaking moments that didn't make it onto the article:
John and Natalie getting completely airborne off of a wave in Avalanche.
Leif and Gen (we switched wives for the second day) getting a stern pirouetted in Land of the Giants.
John and Natalie getting tubed in Land of the Giants.
Leif and Gen's unintentional surf/ stuck in the sticky hole in the Arms Race.
Topping off the day with dinner for six (chinese) at the Pelican restaurant
Honestly, we looked better off before the food arrived.

 For all you kayaking couples out there, I really highly recommend an overnight double date. The last one we went on was down Deer Creek (IV Cali run) in 2010 with our other very close friends, Alex and Alex, who are getting married this summer.   I briefly mention it in my past post: Bringing it Home.

 For everyone who always wanted to come to the Slave but weren't sure about logistics, Leif and I just bought a house that we are turning into a kayak hostel during the summers. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in coming up!  It really is one of my favorite places in the world and in my opinion way better than Uganda (been there) or the Ottowa (haven't been there so I have no grounds off which to make this statement but I have a feeling that it is true).

Just a little place

With a big ass yard for tents

And a sweet space to hang out and cook


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