The plans are coming together as they often do: a random email, a phone call, now plans and a subject to research and be excited about. This plan though, is a little different than most hastily made weekend adventures. This is promising to be a month long epic paddling adventure.
We have been shooting emails back and forth for the last month or so about possible paddling trips this fall. All kinds of ideas have been thrown around, most sounding promising until a little research is done, then as more is found about water conditions, climate, and in some places political or social unrest, the options narrow. Many conditions in a paddling destination need to line up just right in order to have a successful trip. The most important is undoubtedly the water situation.
Easy as it sounds to make sure the water conditions will be right where you want them, it's not as simple as checking an online gauge of the river you want to hit. Unfortunately, it happens to be quite a bit more complicated than that, but there are
a few things that prove indispensable when checking water in foreign lands. A local contact is the number one asset, unless of course there are online gauges and you know how much water you want.
So here we are, a month and a half away from our departure, trying like hell to find out as much as we can about the geology, geography, and of course, hydrology of the area. Lucky that we have a few of the number one assets, local contacts. The internet is a wonderful thing, as is meeting people while traveling and remembering where you put their email address six months later. While in Chile last year, I met a few paddlers who described their country as a great paddling destination. I thought little of it, but now as I plan to go there, I am very glad I stayed in contact with them. Darin M. also has contacts, so we are in good shape.
A short bit of research inspired by a blurry photo and a vague description has led us to find more blurry photos accompanying more vague descriptions.
Here is a little fruit of the research Darin and I have been doing:
I have more photos of this river but can't upload them for some reason.
Some big falls maybe worth looking at...
Hopefully we'll see these with more water.
Might be good with more water too...
I'll keep this updated as the adventure nears and I get more info.
This is just the beginning of my trip too!
And a little more fun stuff...
With the summer water conditions and no really desirable paddling options, Chris Gabrielli and I wanted to do some swimming. We were joined by his sister Julie and a few other east coasters on a short jaunt down to a great swimming hole on the Little White.
We were met by a few optimistic paddlers who were, not surprisingly, having kind of a rough low water day.
Here's Chris executing a perfect gainer.
There I am chillin on some slippery logs. It's up for debate whether its cooler to get that view from your boat or from your feet.
So I need to practice my gainer a little...