Intermediate White Water Course 2004
Mike Betts

What a weekend! This year's intermediate course saw yet another batch of novice white water seekers deservingly carving additional notches in their belts, upping the ante, and facing new personal challenges with commitment, good judgment, determination, and wonderfully applied new learned skills. Hmmmm, hard to top that! What's left to say? So see ya next year!
OK, OK, I suppose I could fill in the blanks for the curious.
It would be absolutely unfair of me to continue without first acknowledging the incredible amount of support I had this weekend from fellow club members. Dave and I for the past three years have with modification followed the same basic guidelines used by Mike Boyd and Carol Figdore when they taught said course. What can I tell you....we learned from the best! I had a ratio of three instructors to every student! As in my past courses, I encourage my students to look upon all the other teaching/support members as fellow instructors. With that in mind, I try to fully use the experience of all my support, tapping those resources often. An amazing amount of experience, patience, safety practices, and skills were offered to our students. Any boater taking any course offered by the CCC is in good hands, and I am indeed proud to be associated with our organization. I simply could not have asked for more, and I cannot begin to thank you all enough.
I must add here special thanks to Blaine Feeser, who many know as a 20+ year white water open boat veteran recently "gone kayak". I had one open boater sign up for the course two days before the class met. I myself have been doing some solo WW canoeing as of late, and while I can look after myself rather well ( the basic principals being alike for both types of boat ), am not at this point qualified to instruct anything over beginner WW canoeing. As a very generous favor, Blaine agreed to paddle his canoe on Saturday taking our lone open boat student one on one, while of course being part of the whole group.
We met Saturday morning at John Rudy Park for our student orientation which consists of introductions, course outline and goals, and Dave Gibson's safety lecture. From there we decide where to boat for the day. The last two years saw us with very high water on the Big river and the creeks dry. We were truly blessed to have the might I say " vastly improved " lower Codorus Creek still pleasantly rain swelled from the previous day. A great first time down level of 1 1/2 ft on the bridge.... 750 cfs on the USGS gauge. A little pushy for sure, but lots of choices for lines. We drilled and drilled, ferrying, peeling out, working with every eddy and boulder the creek offered. We continued with this on the first mile or so where it's mainly class I+and II. When progressing into the "meat" of the river, I assigned each student to a specific instructor to follow his/her line through a rapid. I was always able to have three or four support boaters waiting in strategic eddies, pools, where ever needed for possible rescue and lots of "KEEP PADDLING"! instruction. This level had three rapids I would call class III this day, Lead Shot, Upper D, and lower D, with Upper D being big and pushy, but also nice and deep. Very few swims throughout the day, and one student high and dry at the top of Upper D being helped off the rock by a rapid wading Jeff Beard, decided to run the rest of it by following Kim Montagne....came hooping and hollering past school house rock with the unmistakable look of accomplishment from ear to ear. We then came across a nice center V line with two flat rocks on opposing sides of the river, each several yards off the banks. Two instructors on each rock, each with throw rope, students wading out and taking swimming positions, each catching a rope and being instructed how to properly be rescued, you get the picture, safety first!
After driving to the Nescopek and deciding it was simply too low to boat, Sunday saw us on the Upper Lehigh with a small release, 500 cfs. A class II+ at best, but a great place for up and coming level I intermediates to practice new skills. I must say, this class was just as determined as they were on Saturday, and did equally well. The occasional swim here and there, to be expected ( I can't count how many times I was pulled out of the drink in my early boating career ). All in all, an outstandingly successful weekend was had adding still more names to our "Great people to Paddle with" list!
I add with much respect something that happened almost every time I've paddle this season. We all experience a certain, special indescribable if you will "feeling" that seems unique to paddlers. A combination of the feel, sounds, and heightened senses brought on by the beauty of the river on a given day, the sharing. One never has to speak a single word of it, and yet can rest assured all those with you are "one" in that way. It's during the quieter times, perhaps on the last leg of a paddle, when reflection of the day is common to most, a fondly remembered name is spoken. This trip was no exception as Jeff and I were chatting on the Codorus paddle out. Somehow as often does, this name arose in conversation about admired boating skills with Jeff saying to the effect "his skills put most kayakers to shame". The name is Len, and although many of us were but fellow boaters, I will not forget the smiling, always willing to help, offering to teach me the ways when I started open boating, friendly face sharing campfire stories with so many of us. One of our best.
STUDENTS:
Guy Bievenour K-1
Dale Brenizer K-1
Brent Smith OC-1
Ken Waters K-1
Don Gardener K-1
Hal Boulden K-1

INSTRUCTION/SUPPORT:
Mike Betts K-1 to students…."lean downstream" passed down from Mike Boyd
Dave Gibson K-1 "I'm getting' out more this year"
Jeff Beard K-1 "Let's hole joust!"
Chris Iverson K-1 "the prez"
Brenton Petrillo K-1 "Side surfing is awesome!"
Bob Bievenour K-1 "X prez….still handing out pardons"
Holly Bievenour K-1 "X First Lady….also into healthcare!"
Pat Montagne K-1 "Big Water Kahoona"
Kim Montagne K-1 "same as above….but prettier!"
Dean Spangler K-1 "Next year we'll accept visa!"
Matt Samms K-1 "resident rodeo champ and ant expert"
Dave Whitmer K-1 "wishes to be an ant expert"
Shirley Koty K-1 "Is there such a thing as a photo bunny?"
Blaine Feeser K-1 and OC-1 "hmmm..which boat, which paddle"
Evie Stauffer K-1 "play boating super mom..ya gotta love her!"
Ken Gustavsen K-1 "That's not from the river….a horse kicked me!"
Mark Wisowaty K-1 "Dang! That was easier than last year!"
Dave Mueller K-1 "Lookin' fer a play boat soon!

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