Monday, June 10, 2013


Leaping over the Utah trip, again, I jump back on the blog with a multi-sport trek that at one point requires we rappel a waterfall and it's only 58 degrees outside. 

Last Friday I was at work with a plan to meet Pete at 6pm and show him the ropes of packrafting so I 

had already loaded a bike, raft and a climbing harness. I wasn't sure at the time why but I thought maybe I'll think of a way to use the harness before 6pm. 

I get a text message from Josh telling me he's out at 10am and planning on a freakshow of fun. As it happens I have a low task list at work and a van load of gear so I text that I can be out at noon and it's go time.

We meet up around noon and shove some groceries down our necks to fuel the fire and we are off riding to the put in.

First we need to stop for a tube. Those things are always going flat....

Into the creek and it's all fun and games for the next 90 minutes.

This is the first time I've had the Krampus (new bike with 3 inch tires) on the packraft. It doesn't fit real well but I manage to secure it well enough for flat water. I'd need to tie it better for big Class 1 Class 2 but we'll get into that before the day is done. 

As you can see from the photo below we are not too far from a civilized walking trail but then it's a Friday afternoon and we are playing hooky from work to go creeking.

Most of the time you wouldn't know we are in the city.


Yep, that's what we're laughing about. 

I don't have much of a story for the rest of the photos. Lots of things happen between us and those on Terra firma that makes for short yet energetic laughter but nothing that distills to 400 words or less so lets stay with the apparent tranquility of an urban creek.

About 90 minutes from the launch we jump out and jump on the bikes.

This is the repel. It's close to 50 feet and running quite well with cold water and it's only 58 degrees out. There is no way to avoid getting soaked.

Josh is first to drop in and is taking on the full spray of water.

We lower the bikes on a modified Tyrolean to keep them from getting banged up on the rock. You can see my green bike about mid way down. 

I ended up damming the flow of water while we lowered the bike so by the time I get to drop in the water is backed up and poring so I get soaked. Silly me, I stop to get this picture.

Soon after I change into a dry shirt ( I always carry dry gear when its cold) to ward off hypothermia and continue on to the river for more rafting.

Josh pulls the ropes and packs up the gear while I change. The water wasn't raining as hard for him so he got wet but not soaked like I.

This is the run that drains the flow we just rappelled.

We launch into the strong river current for a passage to the other side, paddle a narrow and then across  to a landing on a long thin beach of sand.

Remember the tube we needed to get at the start? Well, it's time to use it. To this point we've been airing up as needed. Josh rides south at this point and I loop back to get Pete and start a new trip.

Hello Pete! We are now in Saint Paul about 30 minutes after I left Josh and I'm still wet from the waterfall but it's time to get going again. That chow we got at Sea Salt is still stoking the fire but I feel it's a lot of ember now. It's close to 7pm and only 2 more hours of light but we have headlamps if needed.

The launch.

Pete is hauling the 9zero7 (fat bike) and I'm still hauling the Krampus. We rode a few miles up river to the put in and need them again to get back to the autos.

If you go back a few months you'll find this swing bridge as the launch site I used in winter to first run this stretch of river.

This outfall is spooky. The wind was blowing in making the illusion that the water was flowing in so by the time we got close to the column you see it felt like we were getting sucked into a monster. The sound of falling water added to the monsters roar so we got the hell out of there.

Down river we encounter a barge. He blows a horn a few seconds after we see him. I believe he sends a deck hand to the front to look for others and ward off an accident but we are well clear. The captain comes out to wave and say hello and thanks us for 'parking' while he passed. He was pushing 9 barge upriver through some hard bends and bridges so I was surprised that he was still friendly.

I have a new tool call a 'transview' so I can push my camera out a few feet to capture a more complete picture of where I am and who I'm with.

Pete and I paddle like mad to go upstream after playing in the high surge of the barge. Remember the Class 1/Class 2? Well the tugs large screws push up standing waves that are monsters to me and Pete. I jump right in and paddle with force to control the boat while yelling at Pete that its 'AWESOME!' Some of it is too large for me to play in with a bike on the bow but I do what I can and can't wait for the next chance to dance with the tugs wake.

We paddle to the same take out as I used last winter. 

A short ride to the cars and we are off to the pub for a pint.

Water-Water. A creek, a waterfall , a rivers, rain, and more river. After all the rain this spring it's hard to get excited to get out. Many times I've had a plan and figured it would just be better if it wasn't 50 degrees and raining so I find other things to do and 'save' the good stuff for when it's nice. That didn't happen but the day was still very cool and it gets me back to posting.

Update: Josh posted his story at Full On

The Otter in me forgot how fun water can be if it's not always in the form of rain and on that note, good bye.

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