July 28, 2007

2007 Kibler Valley River Run Video (10MB)

For the first time I was a non-racing participant in the Kibler Valley River Run and it made for an enjoyable, relaxed day.  I wasn't racing to fit as much in and instead spent time surfing and socializing.  I still plan on racing again one day if I can pick up an used old school down-river style kayak, but until then, I'll just eddy hop my way down the river in my play boat.  This year I saw folks that I know, but didn't know paddled, met a couple of people that know me from this website, paddled with folks from the club that I only knew by name before, saw tons of people that I've paddled with in the past and visited with old friends from the Claudville community.   I also got to spend time with my family who once again spent the day at our brother-in-law Martin's river house. 

Jackson finally got to setup the lemonade stand that he's always wanted and had a wildly successful day.  I honestly thought he would only have a few customers, but he stayed busy all day long serving lemonade to boaters and spectators alike.  His stand was on the roadside, but he placed a sign next to the river advertising that he would "deliver to your boat".   Amy made a volcano cake and banana pudding for dessert, plus brought trays of veggie wraps and chicken tenders, so we had plenty to eat. 

After registering and setting up at Martin's house, I headed to the hydro-station with fellow SRVCC members Sammy, Mike, David, Will, Joanne, Kristy, Trish and Cat.  Sammy also had a friend of his, Dave, from Ashville joining us for the day.  Jeff shot video footage and took photos at three different spots in the first half mile. After a little surfing at the station and a practice roll, we filed out.  A branch hung low in front of the river-right line at the powerhouse rapid, so a few folks that skirted it, but that didn't go far left ran into a bumpy line that knocked two paddlers over.  At Public Enemy II Sammy ran the fun chute for the first time and did it right on Joanne's tail.  Dave followed not far behind.  Cat ran the chute in front of me and I took the line over the center rock.  After seeing how cool the others looked on the video, I might go back to running the fun chute. 

We all watched as 8 people in a kiddie pool floated through the rapid and started toward basketball falls.  Our group was temporarily split up as a few were able to get in front of the pool and the others had to wait for it to make it's way downstream.   I think a few in the front group, including Will and David, boofed the rock.  Behind the pool, Dave followed me into the river-right eddy just above the boof rock.  We watched as Mike and Joanne came through, then saw Sammy line up for his first crack at the boof.   The water was a little low and something caught Sammy's boat, flipping him over.  I had recently commented that I had never seen the bottom of either Sammy or Cat's boats.  I guess I jinxed them because I got to see both by the third rapid on the river.  And I got to see a lot of Sammy's.  He was stuck on his off-side and somehow managed to stay in his boat with his head above water all the way from twenty feet above the boof rock to below basketball where he pulled back up with the help of Will.    I then peeled out for my boof, followed closely by Dave who nailed it perfectly. 

From there it was stop and play with one break before hitting 7 Stitches.  Sammy had bought rounds of lemonade in advance for the group, so Jackson scurried from boat to boat delivering refreshments.  Thanks again to Sammy, Mike, Joel and all the numerous other paddlers that made Jackson's day. 

Most of the group headed back to the top for a final full run, but Trish, Jeff, Trent and I paddled on to the take-out.  Woody also joined us for part of that leg.  Along the way I saw lots of other club members, like Bev, John S and James.  My only accidental flip happened while side surfing on the bottom half of the run.  I tried to copy what I saw Woody do, but quickly found myself upside down.  The river wasn't very deep where I went over and I was basically laying on a rock.  I waited until I slipped off it, but immediately moved to another shelf.  I rolled up, anticipating that my paddle stroke would hit the bottom before it made the full sweep. Another time, while making a planned roll, the paddle sliced through the water rather than catching it with the paddle face.  I tried again with the same results.  I got back into position, but this time felt along the shaft until I reached the blade and repositioned it.  The next roll worked.  I'm really happy at the end of the day when I can look back at the times when things didn't go as planned but I stayed in the boat.

At the finish line,  Jeff and I caught the Ruritan shuttle back to Martin's house and called it a day.  The family and I went back to the river and played some more, but left around 6 or 6:30.  That's about as late as I want to be in Kibler Valley on race day.  I do think the increased police presence and road check helped this year.  The only accident I heard about was someone getting hurt on a scooter.  I edited the footage Jeff and I shot to make this video.                       

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