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After the Golden Games competition, we showered, did some laundry and hit the road, en route to one of our favorite comps…CKS PaddleFest.

Immediately upon leaving we noticed something not right. Exhaust was coming into the RV in the back. We opened a few windows and drove straight to a gas station, where my dad checked a few things out. Then, we proceeded on our 3 hour drive to Buena Vista. But, it wasn’t meant to be. After overheating constantly, we finally pulled over for the final time in Bailey, CO when the Turn Off Engine Light came on.

Things did not look good. My dad really thought the RV engine was toast. My dad was talking about having it towed and stuff. My brother, Kenny, was like, “No, we have to figure this out.” He wasn’t willing to miss PaddleFest, yet.

So my dad, Kenny, Dally, Cardy and our friend Jacob who is traveling with us around Colorado, did a thorough check of the engine. I’m not a mechanic, so I don’t really know what was wrong, just something to do with an exhaust fan or something. Long story short, they fixed it. We spent the night on the side of the road and the next morning, my dad and my brother, Rowdy, drove into the Denver area, and found all the parts he needed. Later that afternoon,they came home, fixed the RV and we were off. Crisis averted.

While we waited for my dad and Rowdy to get back, the rest of us explored the town of Bailey. In the morning we went on a hike. I don’t know if you saw the Instagram post of the photo I took while we hiked … it was crazy and funny. Go check it out on KelloggShowKids.

Then we walked around town. We went into a local artist shop, we checked out the Sasquatch store, we bought a few souvenirs of our down time and while walking back, saw my dad and Rowdy pass. We ran the rest of the way home to the RV. They fixed it super fast and we were off.

We pulled into BV around 9:30 Tuesday night, so relieved. We all said, we didn’t care if we broke down here…because Buena Vista is awesome.

We go to BV every year in May for CKS PaddleFest, and we all love it so much. The hole consistently gives best ride scores. I threw a loop and two spaces and got my first ever cartwheel in the BV whole. BV also has a great town river run for my little brothers and sisters. There are two bouldering parks, a skate park, a pump track and a playground. BV is awesome.

While we are in BV we kayak constantly. We get the whole family in their gear and play around ferrying, and river running and surfing. It’s funny the number of people who stop to watch. I always end up talking to so many about kids kayaking. Now, I can only practice for so long, I love just having fun and playing. Playing King of the Wave is the most fun game we play on waves and holes.

Once while playing, Jacob was surfing and I went on the feature to try to push him off. He reached over and pulled my skirt and flipped me over! I tried to roll and stay in the hole, but there was way too much water in my boat. I did finally right it back, but I was like 6’ from the next rapid and my boat was sinking. Before going through the next rapid, I was ejected, so I bounced down over rocks. Luckily, Kenny paddled hard and fast and helped get me to the side and grabbed my boat and I hung onto my paddle. It might sound bad, but it was a really really fun swim! I probably swallowed water from laughing so hard!

At night, BV is a fun place to walk around, there are cool hikes where you can see the lights of the entire town, there are cool restaurants and ice cream places. In fact, one night all the boys were going to an ice cream place around 9:30 pm. I didn’t feel like going, and in retrospect, I’m so glad I didn’t.

Long story short, they were stalked by a weird dude. When they noticed him, they started walking faster and he walked faster. They ran and he ran. Kenny was on the phone with my sister, Kady, who told him to get to a place with a lot of people, but everything downtown was closed. Finally they saw a friend driving down Main St and they flagged her down and she drove them back to the RV. My mom called the Sheriff and this guy had been noticed by the BV police earlier in the day, but they had no reason to stop him. They found him, based on everyone’s description of the guy and arrested him. Later after a free public criminal record check was done, it was found out that he had a record and their were warrants out for his arrest. The officer said it was nothing serious, but still. I swear, everywhere we go, there is some crazy adventure. I’m just glad I wasn’t a part of that one, even though I can run really really fast.

The next morning we got up early, kayaked and had fun. Then at noon we ran Numbers with Kenny, Dally, Cardy, my dad, Rowdy, Jacob McConnell, Maddie Kimmel, Hunter Vincent, and Ryan Duffy.

I loved Numbers it was not what I thought it would be, I thought it was going to be way bigger and way harder. So I was pretty scared, but I really trust Kenny. He knows what I can do and what I can’t. And, it’s weird when someone tells you, “ No don’t run this,” and you don’t it makes you trust that person more. It seems like most people just tell everyone how easy everything is and how every run is no big deal. I like good beta, I trust people who give good beta.

We had a little carnage on Numbers, though. Kenny was surfing one of the many holes and Cardy dropped in on him and Kenny’s boat slammed into Cardy’s mouth. It was a deep cut and bled so much, we thought he needed stitches, but by the time we finished the run, it had stopped bleeding and Ryan had ice in his truck which Cardy used to help his lip.

The next day, the day of the competitions, Brody, my older brother, made it to BV and instantly he jumped in to kayak. He was competing that day and he doesn’t get to paddle much because of his stupid job. It is stupid and he’s looking for another one because he wants to have a life, you know? Brody had two awesome rides, but pro competition is crazy hard, so he didn’t make it to finals. Kady, however, did, in pro-women. She threw down her best ride ever, like 650 points or something!

That night I was not nervous about competing at all, no-one in my family was, except maybe my mom because it was her first time ever competing. We all do it just for fun, though, so no expectations and no pressure.

My Mom and Dad competed the next day at nine in the morning and they both did amazing, my Mom got 2nd in Open Womens with 70 points! She got a loop and two spins in one ride! She looked awesome and had a huge smile on her face the entire time!! My Dad got 3rd in Open Mens with over two-hundred points! He did amazing. He got spaces, loops, spins and he even got a couple felixes. I was so happy for them both. And we all were super proud of them too.

Later that day, at noon, it was Rowdy’s, Emmy’s and my turn to compete. Rowdy was the only cadet boy in the whole competition! He competed with us and got his highest ride of 155 points! I was really proud of him.

This was Emmy’s 2nd competition ever. Her 1st in Golden, she got 15 points. In BV she got her best ride ever of 45 points! They made it really fun, including paddle twirls and rolls and even rolling up in the hole, which Emmy did! Being able to get points on the board even when you are just starting out is nice. I wouldn’t like to get zero points, that’s for sure, so being able to do a paddle twirl in the eddy and do a combat roll is awesome!

I, also, threw down my highest scoring ride of 215 points! I couldn’t believe it. I was so confused and excited when I heard this score. I looked over and gave Mom and Kenny a really confused, but happy look. They laughed so hard. But seriously, I got 215 points, what the heck? After that, I really didn’t care what place I got. But I ended up in 3rd, which was sweet.

Right after Cadets was Junior Men’s prelims. Kenny got first place with a huge score that I didn’t hear, I think like 800-something? Dally got 3rd right behind Kaelin who was second. Cardy who just started Juniors this year beat nine other kids and landed in 9th place, but finals cuts down to 5, so he didn’t get to move on. Cardy still threw one enormous ride that was 650 points. He just wasn’t consistent and bombed his 1st ride. He has to work at becoming more consistent, that’s all.

In finals, Kenny & Dally crushed it. Kenny’s score was a whopping 1,243 points. In one ride! That’s insane! Dally placed second with 970 points, again insane. And Kaelin Friedenson placed 3rd. I wish I could remember his score, cuz he did awesome too.

Man, I thought 215 was a massive score and here these kids are throwing down rides that make them competitive at the pro level!

Next was Kady’s turn for finals. Kady had three really great rides. Her top ride was a massive 610 points! Still, she landed in 3rd, just 6 points behind Emily Jackson with Sage Donnelly in 1st.

That night at 7:00 we had awards. It was crazy to hear Kellogg called in every class except two. I won a hat and a gift certificate to a local coffee place. I gave my hat to Cardy because he deserved it for throwing such an awesome ride in semi’s and I went to the coffee place and bought a brownie!

The next morning we woke up really really early because Kenny, Dally and Cardy left to run the Numbers Creek Race. My mom went to film and I stayed home with Rowdy and together we babysat my younger siblings.

Kenny did really really well. He got 10th out of everyone, like EJ, Nick, Pat Keller, etc and 2nd in Juniors behind Tom Dolle. Dally got 16th overall, but in Juniors he got 3rd. Cardy did great, but a bunch of rafts dropped into the middle of the race, right in front of Cardy. He had to avoid them the whole time. Same with Jacob. In fact, Jacob was run over by one of the rafts in Number 5! Cardy did not want that to happen to him, so he said he was back paddling to avoid getting run over. That’s crazy. The rafts should have waited, right?

Then after the creek race, everyone raced home and we got all the kids dressed and we drove up to the top feature at BV to surf and then run the town section with all the little kids and our friends again. Elly and Coby had so much fun. They each flipped once and swam and then each flipped once and were hand of Goded by Kenny and Dally!

We hung around BV and ran Numbers a bunch and Browns once, we surfed, we dined, and we played. We left for Lyons Outdoor Games on Wednesday. Stay tuned, I’m writing a blog about that next.