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September 28, 2005

Despite inflated gas prices, hurricane destruction,
tough economic times AW’s Gauley River Festival’s call was answered by
thousands of kayakers, canoers, and rafters from across the country. And
why not? Is there any better whitewater running in the entire country?
There is certainly no party like this one! Jackson Kayak had a huge presence,
since most all of our plant staff made the 7 hour journey to West Virginia
despite just returning from hurricane relief efforts. We paddled the New
at -2 on Thursday, the upper on Friday, the Lower on Saturday, and the
Upper again on Monday. We saw so many Jackson kayaks along the way and
happy Jackson Kayak owners it was really gratifying to be a part of our
Jackson flotilla each trip. It was also great to see not only our top-dogs
going big at every single spot (Stephen’s loops and Jay’s sequences could
not be matched), but also Tony and Scott getting their first taste of
West Virginia whitewater while Jase, Goat, Don, and Tom surfed it up with
the rest of us. Seeing the shop crew at play is nothing new, but it was
quite the treat to have them in WV. Now that the weekend is over, the
parking lot is empty and the river is nearly dry. I’ll be spending some
‘wind down’ time in a much quieter Fayetteville to see old friends and
plan my next adventure. Russel Fork, Cheaoh, Green training or or Coosa
practice time: so many great options!!

Thanks to American Whitewater for not only throwing
such a great party, but also stacking the Southeastern Fall with som many
great options!!!

See you somewhere . . .or perhaps till Tallulah;