Showing posts from 2011

Big Thompson and Pacific Northwest Videos

I've been slaving away nonstop, only taking breaks to eat and go to the bathroom, and I am happy to report that the video edit from the Big Thompson this fall is finally done. The Big Thompson is one of my favorite training runs. It is far more difficult than it is dangerous, and it's not very safe. The rapids are very continuous, but the creek is small enough that if you swim you can get out without too much trouble. You can bash your way down it without being exactly on line, but you can definitely tell when you're running the smooth line and when you're out of control. It's only about an hour from my house, too, which is the same distance away as the Poudre. On top of all that, since it's dam release, the best flows usually happen in the late fall, when everything else in the state is totally dry. Most of the moves are fast linked small moves, but there are a couple big power boofs mixed in there. Since we usually go up there and run several laps,

Black Canyon... in December

"So, Ben, are you sure? I don't think they're predicting the temperatures to be much above freezing." "Yeah, well, it's supposed to be snowing, so it won't be that bad." "Oh, right, good point." With that exchange, I decided to commit to one of the most intense endeavors ever attempted by humankind: a one day descent of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison... in December. I had been calling all the paddlers I knew in Colorado, trying to find someone to paddle with. Every time someone backed out because it was too cold, I would admit that I wasn't really that serious. Then, late friday afternoon, Ben Luck of Durango finally returned my call, and described how he was about to do a solo descent of the Black Canyon. I couldn't let Ben hog all the glory for himself, so I invited myself along. I started packing immediately after hanging up, and arrived in Montrose at about 1:30 AM. Ben was highly in favor of an early start, so

Thanksgiving break 2011: Old Man Anderson and the kids

With Natalie out of the country doing geologic mapping for a few months, I found myself without my favorite boating partner for thanksgiving break. I really didn't feel like driving out to the northwest and paddling alone, so I started thumbing through my rolodex. Most of my B list paddling buddies have jobs, so I moved down the list to the C team. At the top of that list was Chase Nobles. I called him up a month or so ahead of time and got the trip all lined up. Pretty close to the departure date, Chase recruited a third paddler for our expedition, young Eddy Honea. I was happy to have a third person to share the gas costs and driving load. The three of us had an excellent trip, but I realized that, like most people, I'm getting old. Those kids were stoked ALL the time. Since I was so excited about the trip, I wanted to leave at the earliest possible moment, and that was right after I finished teaching a lab at 8:00 thursday night. However, I had a busy week, and was

Poudre Narrows Video

Looks like fall is finally here. It snowed almost a foot in Fort Collins last week, and the Big Thompson has started running. This probably means that it's time to catch up on some blog posts. Here's a short video I put together from one of the last couple days of normal water on the Poudre Narrows (or "Gnarrows" as it is sometimes called.) The Narrows is now sort of my home run. It's pretty easy, so the video isn't the most intense creekboating, but we still managed to have a lot of fun. I tried to capture the typical relaxed fun attitude with the video. Enjoy. Thanks to Evan Stafford for making a brown, Spencer Mauk for driving, and Natalie for changing her mind and paddling after all.

Wedding Part II: The Wedding-- FINALLY!

I know that many of you were wondering if we actually got married or if it was all a hoax because the wedding photos have been conspicuously absent from the internet since May 28th.  Well here is the proof! For those of you who came, thanks for making our wedding the best wedding ever. For those of you who couldn't make it, these photos are going to make you wish you did. ENJOY!  If you would like any of these photos, simply click on it and it will take you to our online Picasa account were you can download to your heart's desire. Most photos are by Darin McQuoid, but there are some additional photos from Shelby Evans, Joel Metzger, and Renee Kramer, among many others. Here is a short synopsis of the wedding without slodging through the hundreds of photos below. You can also read Wedding Part I: Leif's Bachelor Party and Wedding Part III: Honeymoon.  Here are a couple of my favorites from the ceremony. Leif's first glimpse of his bride. From weddingceremony

Gnarrows Race 2011

The Gnarrows Race is a grassroots event on the Poudre River. If anyone asks, it's not really an event at all, just a bunch of paddlers that happen to be paddling together on the same stretch of river. No money changes hands, and there's not much publicity about the race. For years now, I have lived in Fort Collins, and heard all the trash talking that happens online about the race, but never had the chance to compete, although Natalie competed in 2009. This year, the race happened a little later than usual, and we were just barely able to make it back from the Slave in time. Looking back at Natalie's post from 2009 , there are a lot of similarities between the two years. In 2009, Natalie's mom happened to be visiting, and took a bunch of photos of the race. This year, it was my mom. In 2009, Natalie broke her Werner bentshaft just before the race, and had to borrow a paddle. This year, exactly the same thing happened. In 2009, we have a photo of Kyle trying