Select Page

I have never been to Lyons, Colorado before this trip. It is a little north of Boulder and a cool little town. Oscar Blues serves a great pizza, home brewed beer, and live music. The South Saint Fran Creek is a sweet run that was the sight of the extreme race through the Class 5 Narrows with a great class 4 Lead-in for a 3 and ½ minute race. The whitewater park in town was the freestyle sight and was also quite cool. The water came up the day before the event making it deep and retentive.

The entire competition was held on Saturday. At 7:15am a Funky Short Bus, that was covered in from top to bottom with riders’ favorite jokes, political sayings, and some not-so original penmanship. It made the ride to the creek with gear, paddles, and an overflowing bus more fun. It was the 60’s and 70’s bus for sure.

The race started at 9am with Scott Young, a Colorado icon in creekboating, going first. I was the 27th person to go, Nick was the 28th, and Dane was the 29th. The altitude was about 6,000 feet and the race was over 3 minutes long. We each got 1 run and I paddled the Mega-Rocker. My lines were good and the only real goof up was the “Bridge the Gap” rapid at the finish where the second part of the drop shot me into the wall on the left. We watched everyone go, and Dane, Nick, Ben Stookesberry, Andrew Holcomb, Bryan Kirk, and more had some sweet runs. They wouldn’t tell us who won until the awards.

We headed back to the park in the bus and set up the “Cadet Rodeo”, which is for 14 and under kids. Dane and Jason Craig were judges, and I was the announcer. 6 kids from 10-14 years old competed for big prizes. A Shooting Star, by Jackson Kayak was the 1st prize, a Jackson Kayak kids paddle 2nd prize, and a Happy 2 –B helmet was 3rd.

Two 6 year old kids were hanging out in the eddy watching, Sage, and Henry. They are aspiring to compete in the kids rodeo next year!

Seth, paddling a Shooting Star took the event, with Tyler in second, and Micah in 3rd.

The Pro Rodeo was next.

In the women’s class they went straight to finals with Emily in 1st, Hannah Farrar in 2nd, and Ruth Gordon in 3rd.

In the men’s class we had 6 heats of men for prelims and I won that round with two rides over 100 and 120.

In the finals, however, things changed! Bryan Kirk took an early lead with me in second after 1st runs. On the second run, Dane moved ahead of me but behind Bryan. I was now in third. In the final ride, Nick Hit a great ride and took the top spot with a 91 point ride and bumped Bryan Kirk into 2nd, and Dane into 3rd. That also put me in 4th and I got beat by Dane for my first time ever! I guess that is a cool thing?!

The awards were at Oscar Blues. I found out the results of the extreme race there!

Andrew Holcomb was 1st, followed by EJ, and then Todd Baker.

Eleanor Perry was the only woman who competed, so kudos to her.

There were a couple of swims, but nobody got hurt like at Homestake. The course is steep and manky looking, but has 140 cfs instead of 80 cfs like Homestake.

We loaded up the boats and started heading to Pueblo where Dane, Jason, and I were teaching a clinic for Pike’s Peak Kayak Club on Sunday morning. The clinic was part of a membership drive for American Whitewater. The deal was that it was free for anyone who joined or renewed their membership prior to the clinic. We had about 20 people in the clinic so that is 20 memberships, sweet!

I had never been to Pueblo. It reminded me of Watertown, NY. A blue collar town, with nice down to earth people, ready to paddle, and have a good time. The whitewater park is on the Arkansas River and was running at 3,000 cfs. There are 8 features on the park and in this case the best ones were, 1, 2,3, 4, and 6. They varied from waves, to holes but were all really fun.

We also had a surprise fish taco stand pop up ½ way down the course by “smitty”. A cooler full of water and beer, combined with incredible fish tacos. Sweet! I had a great time with the Pikes Peak crew.

Now we are in Salida. My favorite town in Colorado for parking the RV. We just walk to the river and I did 3 sessions yesterday. The hole here is awesome also! It was lower a few days ago and I could do a 4 move combo. Now it is high and more like a wave, not so retentive, so the combos are almost finished, but the wave moves are showing up. I am doing clean blunts and backstabs, donkey flips, and Felixes (like a helix but not aerial.)

The competition starts tomorrow with the Pine Creek Boatercross- sweet! Friday is the prelims for the freestyle competition, and Saturday is the finals, plus the Colorado Foam Boat Championships. Yes, we’ll hold it on the creek again, right next to the boat ramp. Bring your fastest boat for the head to head extreme race and your best freestyle boat too. $100 for 1st place in each category and great prizes for everyone! Watch out for 6 year old Sage. She has been practicing with a boat that Dane gave her. Yes, she has admitted that she has a crush on Dane. I don’t know how Dane is handling it, but the whole thing is quite cute!




Click to view larger image

Click to view larger image

Click to view larger image

Click to view larger image