Fortunately, we had a great crew and enough days paddling to keep spirits and motivation high.
Paddling with some truly great names in the sport was an awesome experience and something I would like to repeat. Seeing their skills coupled with great humility was something I respect and appreciate very much and is something I work towards. And based on the scabs on my knuckles, I have lots of catching up to do.
When planning a trip like this, there are so many factors that go into making the best decisions to get the most out of the time and money spent. To say that hindsight is 20/20 would reiterate a point often made when things don't go as planned, but it is a fully appropriate cliche. It's easy to say now that this might not have been the warmest and wettest fall destination, but based on local beta and rain charts, we picked a great time to visit. And according to most of the people(non-paddlers) we talked to, we were here at the perfect time.
"Oh yeah, August was horrible eh. Rain nearly every day and only a few days of sun," they told us. "It's just clearing up and should be great weather for the rest of October!" Not knowing that rain was what we were after, they gave us their blessings of safety and wished us well, genuinely hoping we enjoy our trip.
Sitting here on the night before we leave and after a great and unexpected day of paddling, I can say that I did genuinely enjoy this trip. It wasn't the epic big-drop fest I had envisioned, but it was a great experience and laid the groundwork for more paddlers to come and explore the nearly endless system of ponds and brooks covering the island.
Where else do you get to see a moose this close anyway?
Above, out of focus moose was encountered while scouting this steep section of river.
...which was minutes away from one of our favorite campsites of the whole trip.
When the whole crew of EJ, Dane, Nick, Joel, Ben, Jesse, Darin, and I were together, we got the best paddling of my time spent here. A couple low water days followed by a random driving find called Doctors Brook, then an overnighter were plenty to keep us happy.
A few of the new arrivals below a drop on Black Brook.
Low water on Black Brook.
We decided that something with a bit more water would be a lot more fun, so we started looking for a falls on the Humber we had heard about. After some logistical problems we found it and were very happy with the results.
Scouting Humber Falls.
Myself running the falls. The first line ended with a swift flip onto the rocks just below the base of the falls and some bloodied knuckles.
Fortunately, the redemption run turned out great with a nice boof that sent me skipping out past the boil.
Ben lining up and ready to boof at the bottom.
We weren't, however, impressed with the difficult access to low water creeks elsewhere on the island. We did come for the difficult access part, but the lack of water made things a little harder to motivate.
Some times the point-and-shoot decides to get all creative on its own. Scouting a good one on the Cloud River.
Ben scouting the big one in the Cloud River gorge.
Ferry to Labrador.
We spent the last couple days back in St. John's preparing to leave and surprisingly paddling both days we have been here. A local paddler, Chris Buchanon, was excited to bring us out and show us some fun water.
Chris on a run about 20 minutes out of town.
Did I ever mention car trouble?