I got to see family in DC last night.  missed my cousins Steve and Sandy, but got to see Mark, Mike, my aunt Jackie,  and 2nd cousins Andrew, Brian, and Jenna, a couple of new girlfriends and boyfriends, Kate, and my cousin Kirk.  Kirk got sick and had to go to the hospital, but seems OK now.

A few highlights from the trip…

Paddling with Valley Mill’s instructors.  Paddling and teaching with Colin Kemp.   running the falls in my playboat and attempting to play in the best hole on the potomac at 2.7 ( the hole right above the lip of horseshoe).   that was the shortest playboat session I have ever had there.   A single righty cartwheel to flush on my stern in a stern stall.   I made an attempt to catch the eddy on river left, but didn’t make it, so bailed and went for the ramp on the drop, but didn’t make that either.  I got a sweet meltdown to surf, and the excitment had me wide awake and ready for the rest of my class.    Another great moment was running the falls with Danny in the Dynamic Duo.   Danny, being one of the best slalom racers anywhere, is not only strong, but very dynamic and we truly were moving around fast and doing alot of slalom type of moves.   We opted for not scouting Grace Under Pressure.   Our run was smooth and right where we wanted to be as Danny did a big draw to the right to pull our bow up on the boof rock and swung the stern around for a good boof angle of the end without going into the right wall.   We landed softly and swung the big boat around and caught the eddy before going down the next drop.   After getting to the lip of the Fingers I decided to scout to see just how close the rock at the landing was in case we didn’t get a good boof.   The drop lands on a rock but typically at lower water like this you boof and don’t touch.    We agreed that if we could at least 60 degree it we should be OK.   We lined up and I rode the right rudder down the first part of the slide while Danny did two lefty strokes.   Once I had room for my paddle to reach past the drop i grabbed the rocks on the left with it and did my boof stroke and we got a good 45 degree boof out and a good landing with the bow resurfacing just before hitting the downstream rock.    Smooth and fun.  We surfed around some before heading back to the RV and then to a family dinner.

Valley Mill hosted the Shred Ready Belly Flop contest in the pool.   They made a 4 foot high take off platform and it was impressive to see the commitment levels of everyone competing for fame and fortune.    Jack’s 9 year old son won the thing in good form,followed by a two way tie between Bruce and I.     Cindy was third leading off the hole thing.  

It is amazing how not cold the water and air is when your front side is red and warmed up from blood going into it.   The stinging sensation over-rides the cold sensation of swimming in a cold pool in 43 degree weather.    Next time i get really cold on the river I am going to do belly flops.

i must admit I didn’t know the weather could be so nasty in DC in October as it was never over 45 degrees and it rained for 4 days straight!   Wet gear, and I was very unpreparred for the weather.   I didn’t bring enough stuff. 

I did find an IR head gasket on the final day which made things much better for me.

Sunny and cool for our 600 mile drive south today.     Rock Island is spilling now, and I am sure the kids have been having a great time on our local “Great Falls” as well as Sieve City.  I hope they ran it in the new Fun.  That would be a perfect boat for the run.     It looks like the dam will stop spilling before i get home, so I won’t get both DC’s Great Falls and Rock Island’s Great Falls back to back.  

Thank you Jim, Evelyn, and Bruce for taking great care of the Washington, DC kayaking crowd, and making sure that Jackson Kayak is well represented there.

Colin thanks for coming out!

🙂

EJ