Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Russell Fork: It Bites!!!

This is Zog. His name rhymes with frog and he's a bad-ass-mo-fo who don't give a rat's ass about yo momma, or why she was late picking you up from detention after school in the 8th grade. I rode with Zog up to the first weekend of Russell Fork season. We were able to enjoy five laps on one of the finest stretches of river in the Southeast. Check out his blog...ZogTraining for another perspective on the weekend.

This, here feller's name is Bryon Douglas. Bryon demonstrates one helluva boof stroke for us on El Horrendo. Thanks Bryon.

Caleb Paquette is another JC hardcore that everyone should know about. This dude eats glass shards for breakfast...really, that's not a joke. I think this boof after Climax is the jam, and so does Caleb, he just wishes the landing was about 20 feet lower than it is.

Bryon, Nettle, and Adam enjoy the scenery while cruising shuttle. Big Thanks to Caleb's wife, Ashley, for helping out with driving. Twas HUGE!

Did I mention it's kinda pretty? One day, a long time from now, the Russell Fork River will cut through this ridge. When that happens, the rapids Tower, Fist and maybe some of Maze will be lost to the newly formed ox-bow lake. That will be a very sad day. On the other hand, a new rapid might be formed where the train tunnel is now. Someone will run it, and probably name it freight-train.

This is Nettles. People say Americans have a bigger "personal bubble" than other cultures. I think if we were all dogs, we probably wouldn't have that issue.

Nathan Silsbee arrived on the scene with a different type of craft. Pictured here is a Switch, Frontside, Splat-Ledgewheel.

We put on around noon each day, and caught water both days. There could be worse places to have to stop and be forced to enjoy your surroundings.

...Like next to this sawed-off mountain. Mountain Top Removal is bad, so quick, go kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia!!!

I returned a couple weeks later along with Adam Bixby and Jon Angermier to again harvest the goods of the Fork. This time, it bit.

Longboats were the craft of choice for much of the weekend. Some real speed demons came out for the Chargefest. Nombres include Chris Graggletop, Bryon Kirkulous, Geoff Calhoun, Clay Wright, and many more. Good lines and not so good lines were had by all. After three laps Geoff and I went up and squeezed one more run it. During said run, I pitoned in El Horrendo and broke my Excel. (Sorry Pablo!)

On Sunday we ran the mighty Fork twice more, this time in playboats. On the last run of the day I landed tweaked out, off El Horrendo, and hit a rock with my shoulder upon landing. The impact, I came to find out later that week, tore my AC ligament in my left shoulder. This injury has taken me off of the water for a bit, (I didn't get to race the Lord of the Fork this past weekend) and puts my Green Race eligibility in serious doubt. I'm truly bummed, but still had a great weekend of six runs on one of my favorite rivers with a bunch of my favorite friends.

Kayaking has always been a way for me to let loose and forget about everything else happening in the world. I wish I could go kayaking right now; Not being able to, gives me a chance to reflect on, and appreciate, the times when we can. I will be back on the water soon, and I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Getting Scared on the Green

I've decided to do a little post here about the Green River. This Gnars update is a bit different though, because lately, circumstances have made the Green River Narrows a bit scarier than normal...

Two Billy Goats waiting in the Notch Eddy. At the extremely low levels the river has been these days, the pad on the Gorilla has been quite a nerve-racking spot. Here we have Billy Jones and Billy Murphy inspecting the crashing wave that has formed at the lip of an already terrifying drop.

A strategy many have started to use is the drive right-to-left plan. Here Murph adds the extra thurst in his boof stroke to counter-act the left-to-right crashing force of the launch-pad. Ain't no thang but a chicken wang to "Big Water Billy" (a name he recently picked up on a stout mission up to the Mecatina River in Quebec, Canada.)

Here I am, doing the same. The playboat adds an extra factor of ass-hole-puckered-up-ness to it all. At this freeze-frame in time, you must equal your weight back out to the left to land flat in the trough. This picture makes it look like I'm about to crash hard on the Christopher Columbus Shelf, but I landed right where I wanted to be, in the middle of the trough. Thanks to Jon Angermier for snapping the pic.

Do the hokey-pocky, spin yourself around, that's what it's all about!!! I've been LOVING the Riot Nitro for downriver play. Check out Adam Herzog's Blog for some Russell Fork pics and more freewheels!

Just when you think you've seen every line on the Green, the boys find more ways to piss your pants. Here we have Billy Jones seal-launching in above Groove Tube, after running the river-right drop of Nutcracker. What is really sik about this sequence they've been doing, is it's a hot-hot move. Meaning, hot off the seal-launch into the Tube, then with-out stopping in between, hot off Sunshine.

Adam Bixby drags the knuckles Hot Hot. Nicely done, brotha!

Jon Angermier, a Charlotte transplant to Brevard, dropping into the pit of Hammer Factor like a mother bird, hacking up some yack from the back of her throat to feed to her young.

Some folks have been getting scared by hiking up and jumping back into the maw of the Factor. Redneck yell required before launch.

Speaking of launching, Yonton "the Vonton" Mehler of Astral Buoyancy was spotted launching one gargantuan boof off this tall drop of water.

I turned 20 on Septemeber 15th. I met Clayton, Pat and Jon at the river to celebrate in the finest of ways. We met early so I could get back to Crown Town in-time for work, but we kept running out of water. So we decided to pull over and wait for the river to fill up at Go Left. After chilling out for a bit on this rock, Chris Gragtmans showed up as well, paddling off Boofer in the Green Boat. We proceeded downstream and I caught the Birthday Eddy for the second time ever, (last time was last year on my birthday.) It is one of the most terrifying things you can do in a kayak. Thanks to the boys for celebrating with me! (No pics of the eddy, it's one of those moves you don't want to wait around too long before dropping in!)

The next weekend I let this dude, Keel from Oregon, borrow my boat. It was the first time since last Green Race I paddled a long boat down the Green, (the last scary-as-shit thing I'm going to cover on this post.) Last year I was convinced at the last minute to paddle a Pirouette S down and do the Ironman. This year I figured I might as well get used to it, so I took my buddy Pablo's Wavesport Excel. It's a very pointy boat; Pointy, on the Green, means scary. Thanks Pablo, for letting me abuse the boat.

Lately, I've been skeered on the Green. Tis' the season.