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March 3, 2009

I am used to having fun in my kayak, and the guys I was paddling with
have about as much fun as can be had every time we paddle. However, this
run down the Upper Caney Fork was crazy fun! We were laughing and smiling
and zipping around in our 12′ long double kayak all day long. We ran the
main 8 miles of the run, which is class 2-4 with lots of nice boofs, rapids,
slots, waves, holes, splats (yes you can splat the Dynamic Duo!), and

There was an inch of snow on the ground when I woke up and it was only 20
degrees out. Nick and I had a truck full of wood we just cut and split and
were loading on the deck when Stephen showed up to talk us into a remote 8
mile run on the Plateau. We couldn’t decide right away, but after he
left, we knew we would be idiots to not go.

We loaded two Dynamic Duos and one Rocker on my 1988 Landcruiser and headed
up to the Plateau about 40 minutes away. It is a 5 mile 4X4 road to the
take out, but in good shape this year. Billy Harris’s care stayed at the
take out and we put in at about 1:30pm.

Nick and I discovered a cool way to push the DD to the river by yourself.
Simply put the paddle on the U-Channel in the cockpit and put the other
paddle blade on your life jacket and start walking! Nick, Dane, and I also
had a bobsled race on the big downhile portion of the carry in. We started
side by side, with Dane in the front of mine as my driver, and I pushed as
fast as I could and jumped in as we slide down the hill. Nick won, but
cheated as he didn’t have a driver. He is a fast pusher though.

The day started off with some surfing and spinning at the put in and some
fun ferries and attainments. Once we got under way every rock, slot, eddy,
boof, hole, and wave, even the trees became games. Trees in the river
became slalom gates, and slots that seemed too small and too tight of turns
to make were much easier than we thought as we hit everyone we could find.
There were some sweet boofs where we would charge the drop and get so much
speed (it is crazy fast to have two paddlers driving this fast 12 foot boat)
that when we hit the rocks right, the boat would sail. We caught some of
the smallest little eddies in the biggest rapids and ferried around them.
It started getting funny as we decided that we should try rock spinning and
splatting everything. At one point Dane and I were helicoptering over
Billy’s head as we spun a rock that he was eddied out behind. The front
person gets some serious air on rock splats and we got both people up on the
rocks most of the time. The funny part of charging too fast is that the
person in the back has to look around the front person to see exactly where
the bow is going and it makes it exciting.

The boat is turning out to be ridiculously easy to paddle and more fun that
even we thought it would be. When I am hanging out with the team all I am
hearing from them on a day like this is, "I can wait to get my mom, dad,
sister, brother, friend, etc. etc. on the water in this!"

I was very excited to see the Ouachita guys make a video of them paddling
it. They look quite fired up too!


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