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I started paddling Jackson Kayaks this past April, and had an amazing season. My first day in the Villain, I went down Weber Creek at high water. Perhaps not the best choice for the first day in a new boat, but after a minor hick-up and adjustment, the boat and I were getting along great.

Shortly after, my new Villain and I went up to Northern California to paddle the North Fork of the Trinity River, Kidder Creek, and the Scott River, all fun runs that I’d wanted to paddle for a while.

Next, with some local runs in between, we went down to central California to paddle some less commonly run sections of Dinkey Creek. The sections we did were Superdink and Cherry Bomb, which are up river from the more commonly known Waterfalls section.

At this point, my semester of school was finishing up and it was time for an adventure. We headed off to Japan. To read my write-up of the Japan trip, follow this link.–-the-hidden-whitewater-gem/

At the end of the trip, I sold my Villain to an ecstatic Japanese paddler. It was truly an amazing experience.
Once we returned home to California, the rivers were drying up. It was time to try out my new Rockstar on our local dam released rivers, as well as time for the river festivals and races. Below is a list of the competitions I entered this season.

American River Festival, Freestyle Rodeo – 1st place overall (men and women)
Feather River Festival, Tobin Downriver Race – 1st place women
Cali Burn Fest, Burnt Ranch Downriver Race – 1st place women

Now it’s December. I’m sitting on my computer reminiscing about a great past season and looking forward to the next. Rain is pounding down outside my window and the rivers are starting to overflow. I’m excited and ready for the 2013 season to get underway. Enough chatter, time to go kayaking! ~ Diane Gaydos

Photos courtesy of Daniel Brasuell, Darin McQuoid, and Laura Farrell