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October 3, 2005

Clay and Stephen both emailed me from the Gauley saying
that they were headed to the Russell Fork and Dane told me that he wanted
to do some creeking. Made sense to me, so we loaded ourselves in the RV,
along with Mario, and Kristine, of course, and we got there this morning.

I knew very little about this river. We arrived this
morning to the takeout and Clay wasn’t there yet. Gerald was there
and he is in the 500 club (meaning he has run it more than 500 times,
according to his friends), so I decided to have Dane follow him down.
He was taking conservative lines, which is a good thing on this run. There
are several spots on this river that are purely heinous with most of the
water going under huge rocks. I see no good reason to put either Dane
or myself in front of those rocks for no reason. We still got to run the
rapids; just without rolling the dice.

Mario paddled the Hero, Dane was in his Fun 1.5, I
was in the Rocker. Tomorrow I am going to paddle the Super Hero, Dane
will be in the Hero, and Mario in the Fun. Clay and Stephen were both
in their Rockers.

The river has a nice warm up, not flat, just easy water,
with lots of great eddies. It would make a terrific slalom course. The
river turns downhill for about 2 miles with my favorite rapids being Maze
and El Horendo. Dane and I took Gerald’s line in El Horendo, which
was a sweet little down the middle boof over the bottom hole. Most people
go right of the main hole but this line is the best if you want to carry
your speed through the drop and plane up at the bottom. Dane’s line
was awesome.

At the takeout there is a fun wave to surf and since
the RV was there, we all switched out boats and played it. Mario is teaching
me a new move! It is a wave or hole move that starts like a kickstart,
but then goes into a quick Pan Am (not aerial). I still land and pull
myself off the wave when doing it, but it is really fun. I’ll perfect
this one as fast as I can, since the only other person that can do it
is Mario. I don’t know why he didn’t show me at the Gauley.
I will ask him the name tomorrow.

We stopped at the Festival to hang out for awhile and
I got to talk with one of the best dealer/owners Bernie of Whitewater
Warehouse. He has a first class operation and you will see them on the
river, at the festivals, and everywhere.

Bed time!

🙂 EJ