After a terrible start to the season with our RV, we have finally gotten into the swing of things. We have a new engine in the RV (our second new engine this season, as the first one was a lemon) and it is running like a champ! Kristine and I went to Napa Valley in California for two days and got to know the Francisan and Robert Mondavi wineries in person as my friend Riccardo showed us these jewels of wine making in fine style. We spent one night at the estate house at Franciscan and had awesome food and more wine than I thought you could “taste” in two days. When we returned, we loaded up the RV and started heading east to Colorado. We had one day to drive over 1,000 miles and we didn’t start until about 6am.

The drive was pretty typical as I went through phases of power driving where I was mentally stimulated with conversations with Kristine about Jackson Kayak, our family, etc., or with cell phone calls to staff, dealers, team, etc.. I was also struck with sudden tiredness and boredom as Kristine slept or I couldn’t think of anything to keep me awake. Kristine is the ultimate power driver as she just drives and seems to go as if tiredness was something she was immune to. Dairy Queen milkshakes, and Starbucks are regular stops to keep things interesting. We took the “shortest route” on the Garmin GPS, which is a mistake in the RV, but great for the Mini. Marty tells me that 50 in Nevada is the “worlds loneliest road” and it seemed like that.

The weather on the west coast is not quite the same as the east coast. It didn’t just snow in the Rockies this year, it dumped and as of last week was still dumping! I couldn’t really imagine winter in May until we hit Colorado. Passes are closed, Oh-Be-Joyfull has an 8 foot wall of snow from the paved road all of the way to the put-in making getting there a snow shoe endeavor only.

We arrived in BV and got to paddle in the park with some great new features. I am looking forward to the rodeo here next week!

CKS had a great event focused on getting paddlers out on the water and paddling again after a long winter. While they want to sell boats, their primary focus is getting people on the water and assuring that they kick off their season right. Hundreds of people took clinics from pros from a variety of manufacturers. Team JK was there in force and did a good job of helping CKS teach the clinics. Jesse Coombs, Ben Stookesberry, Nick Troutman, Emily Jackson, Dane Jackson, Jason Craig, Stephen Wright, EJ, Ruth Gordon, Heather Herbeck, Jonathan Shales, and more all taught clinics. Dane and team taught kids from 3-10 years old (15 of them!) in the kids clinics.

I am tired and ready to go to bed after our third day here!