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2019 started off cold and snowy in Northeast Iowa. Low water levels persisted at our local play parks in January and February. A mid-February trip to the Saint in Missouri with our good friend Carl Neubauer kept us sane until water levels bumped up. Finally, in March the levels rose and kept rising…ahh, the JOY of flood! The water just kept coming all spring, summer and into late fall. Sprinkled in a few trips along the way too.

The Crew, Carl, Hannah, Marty, Kris

• New highest flow paddled at Manchester Whitewater 10,000cfs. Nano dream was in and pretty darn fun.
• Enjoyed Charles City Whitewater at flood levels, 14,700cfs.
• Several trips to one of my favorite rivers, the Pesh. Also got on the four falls section. A particular pesh trip with Carl was extra special as he invited all the ol’ timers to come up and watch us young pups. It was a memorable experience chatting with Carl’s living legends and the people that got him started in whitewater kayaking.
• Many opportunities to practice more play boating, still figuring out McNasties and Phonics, but sure am having fun trying!

• A 3 week trip to Colorado, spending quality time with friends and teammates. Enjoyed hot springs for the first time with Anna. Boated several Browns canyon laps with Noah and Tom. 4300cfs is the highest I’ve ever boated Browns. Visited Durango and boated the Animas town run for the first time, 7200cfs. Thank you Shane for leading us down the town run! Had the pleasure to boat/chat/watch Nick, Dane, Anna, EJ, Stephen, Cat, and more. I got third place in the surf comp at fibark. Meeting up with our friend Chad was a treat!
• Assisted with organizing and hosting the annual Charles City Challenge. We had great levels and boaters from 7 states enjoyed a fun day on the water.

• Partnered with Swiss Valley Nature Center hosting kids and adult clinics.
• Partnered with Wander Women Iowa during their women’s weekend getaway in Delaware County. Such a fun group of ladies.
• Marty and I were speakers at Paddlefest, hosted by Crawdaddy Outdoors. Our topic was cold water immersion…brrr.
• Hosted numerous impromptu kayaking and river surfing lessons throughout the summer.
• Hosted a river clean up at Charles City Whitewater.
• Had the best seats in the house for the Union Pacific Big Boy that rolled through Cedar Rapids.
• Lead speaker for Bus Tours of Manchester Whitewater

This past year has been another splendid season of whitewater fun. I made lots of memories on and off the water. Paddled with new and old friends. Explored new places and revisited favorite rivers many times. Thank you to all who made it a year to remember and for all your continued support. Here’s to 2020, lets make it another great year!

-Hannah RayJ

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