Yough first annual first timer’s trip… by Channon Koty

Well there was this fairy… I mean ferry…

In all seriousness this was a GFW!! I am sore and bruised and I love it!! At first I think I was just a little nervous, then I nailed Cucumber and the rest of the day Saturday rocked!! Bracing has become my best friend! I thought that last week I was just getting the motions down to help me learn to roll, instead I learned an invaluable tool to stay upright on the Yough! I lost count of the number of times I would have been upside down if I hadn’t learned that. Thank you Shirley & Evy!

So, as for my favorite part of the trip, it had to be Cucumber. I love that rapid!! I can’t wait to try Entrance again, and Killer Falls backwards of course. I really appreciate how everyone supported me. I never felt like I was in danger, even when I probably was. I am still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or not… Pat saved my butt more than once, I think. I am not picky about whose boat a grab when I am upside down and many times I am too excited about the prospect of breathing to even notice who saved me, but, I am pretty sure that I would have swam if it weren’t for Pat. Not that swimming is a bad thing, do not get the impression that I am against it…. much. The darn boat is just so heavy when filled with water! Now I don’t even have the luxury of a drain plug. Anyway, three, or was it four, bow rescues, and one million and one braces, later, I made it to the end of the lower Yough on Saturday. Happy, Hungry and sore I started thinking of how in the heck was I supposed to walk up that freakin’ hill? The weather was almost perfect and so was the water. This trend was to continue until the drive home Sunday.

I really enjoyed watching Dave start the campfires, it looked like a lot of work and I just sat back and was glad I wasn’t doing it. Hey I guess when you have a technique that works, go with it! We will have to thank the ranger for saving us from ourselves. We wouldn’t want to have fun and be up past 9pm or drinking that evil alcohol. We don’t have to worry when they are around that we will ever be the loud obnoxious group that keeps everyone else awake. They will let the families that pull in at 10:30 with fifty tents, four vans of kids, and a lack of tent construction skills do that. Thank you rangers!

Breakfast was awesome both mornings; I think the general consensus was that, we eat better breakfasts on paddling weekends than any other time. We will have to let Mike discover the art of bagel grilling more often. God bless the Smokehouse (which actually has another name now) beef is the best food after spending an entire day working your butt off! Plus it doesn’t hurt that it is BYOB.

Sunday was just as fun, if quite a bit shorter. I was very disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy the full extent of Entrance before having my Fiesta crawl onto a rock. God I love those rocks! But once again Cucumber was phenomenal! (Apparently it wasn’t all in my head the day before) I made up for my disappointment by successfully navigating the rapid that Brenton predicted would defeat me…again. Everyone took a different route through the rapids the second day and gave me options. This made me feel like I was part of the group, not just the puppy that might get lost if she doesn’t stick close by. The take out sucked, but only for the entire walk to the car, then it got better again. Rain, rain, rain... Something I didn’t really notice when I was in the boat became a major inconvenience on the way home. It poured and poured making us start planning what we rivers/creeks could run later in the week!

Aches, bumps, and bruises…. Oh my!

Time to go again!

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