OK two weeks ago the kids got their combat roll. Then I went to Wausau to build a hole for the North American Championships for a week so I was not able to paddle with them, but Clay Wright took a day and worked on Danes’ boat. Dane wanted to get vertical easier, so Clay squashed his stern and his bow. Something is up when your 60 pound 4’ 2” kid with size 2 feet and a 20” inseam can’t get in his boat with booties on. Go figure, it is how he wanted it. Dane made the mistake of telling Christie Dobson that he would run some water falls he saw on a video. Christie called him on it and said, “you won’t even surf the first wave at Rock Island.” Well, he, and Emily did what any kid would do, they fell for the peer pressure gig and surfed it their next time out.
I got back from Wausau and it rained like crazy. Both Kids were now going from no paddling all winter, and barely last summer, to paddling every day, usually twice each day with me. Finally, my dream come true, I can actually go paddling and take my kids with me like any other person.
After a week of paddling the rains came and the river went from 3,600 to 16,000 cfs. The kids were psyched. They ran the rapid each day by themselves along side the Brave Wave in 4 foot crashing waves. They then stayed at the bottom of the rapid and surfed the waves at the bottom, practiced their rolls, did squirts, etc.
I would surf the Brave Wave- See photos of the wave at high water!! For a couple of hours and then run down to the boat ramp with the kids. We play in a couple of nice whirlpools, do some squirts, paddle under some waterfalls coming down the canyon cliffs, and take out, with Kristine waiting for us.
Yesterday, both kids learned their handrolls on their own and were happy to demonstrate them to me.
Today they learned to seal launch, and not a little 5 footer either. Here is the big seal launch at the put-in of Rock Island. Not something most people do, but it is amazing what a little practice and somebody leading by example can do.
Tomorrow we are heading to the Ocoee River. This will be a great river for them for both the river running and play.
See you on the River,