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As Forrest Gump would say. We never know what we’re going to get until the spring runoff. We first started dredging out old cars and shopping carts from Smelter Rapid about 30 years ago. Smelter was so shallow if you did an ender (remember those?) you could smash in your head. Whitewater Rodeos (remember those?) were all about Santa Rita Hole. Now it is all about The Durango Whitewater Park, formally Smelter Rapid. It has been messed with every season, either by Mother Nature or humans or both. Engineers, raft guides, kayak gurus all have the answers. Corner Pocket Rapid got so big raft companies had to portage it. The first season after the professionals built DWWP, Ponderosa wave was enormous. Huge crowds gathered to watch raft after raft attempt to make it through. What fun! Last season at Animas River Days, Dane Jackson and the other professional paddlers just killed it on the Smelter wave. If you make it to Durango, try out the Whitewater Park or the 29th St loop spot. Make sure and stop by 4 Corners River Sports where they have all the Jackson’s for sale or demo.

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-Dana Scalf