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Yesterday, Sonia & I left Boulder CO. to set route to Billings Montana. We made it to Casper Wyoming in about 4 hours of real easy highway driving. Along the way there was rain, snow and wind… all the things Wyoming is known for. Another thing Wyoming is known for, is the high quality whitewater it has to offer.  This time of year the steep creeks in the area, such as Deer Creek, Box Elder, and several 1st D potential runs are close to being able to run, but one thing that is rock’n now is the whitewater park.  The Casper whitewater Park is on the North Platte river that runs right along Interstate 25.  Access could not be any easier…

For anyone that has not visited this whitewater park, trust me that at what I would guess was roughly 5k CFS, the play spots are fantastic. There are 3 main waves and some fast current flatwater water in between. At this level, there was an amazing green tongue coming into each feature and a nice foam pile hat on the back of each wave, to keep you on the front face, having fun.  There were some fairly stout (deep) holes that I didn’t venture into due to being there with no other paddlers and the fact that it was literally freezing.   But for those that are up for a serious (not fatal) hole ride, they are in there at this level.

I paddled the Large Rockstar. This is the first time paddling the Rockstar on wave features and I am really happy with it’s performance. The boat is so loose on a wave that even I “king of the front surf” was able to spin 360’s on a dime. Anyone that knows me, knows that play-boating is something I am not that proficient at, but I do want to get better.   I feel the Rockstar is going to get me there.  The Rockstar is truly a big step in the right direction…  The fact that I was spinning like I was on air, that I was able to initiate blunts (not that I can actually pull them off quite yet) and initiating loops (something else I am still working on) saw very big immediate improvement.

The Rockstar is super quick/easy to bow stall and even someone with my limited play-boating skills, can link ends for satisfactory cartwheels. I am 205 lbs & 6ft, at this size, the large Rockstar requires 2 hip shims on each side and with that I felt like it fit me like a glove. This boat is a tad larger than the Superstar and that little bit of added room, really makes this boat comfy for my size.

What a treat it was to be both in this boat and in the whitewater park for a season opener.  Beyond a creeking trip I did to Ecuador over the winter, this is my first boating for what I officially now call the 2011 season.   The Casper whitewater park delivered a ton of fun and was the perfect warm up.  Speaking of warm up… did I mention it was 32 degrees and snowing?!?!  4 hours may be a bit of a drive for some in the Denver area, but the fact is, it’s the best playboating I can think of this time of year anywhere on the front range of the rockies.

Sonia & I are headed to Billings today, Bozeman tomorrow and will be in Calgary this weekend.
I certainly hope to get some more time in this boat, everyday I can.

Live from Montana,
Marty (aka Craw)