Kristine, KC, and I drove from Tennessee to DC on Wednesday night, and got here just in time for instructor training classes on Thursday at noon.    This must be my 12th year in a row teaching the Valley Mill instructors.    I met Stephen Wright here many years ago and recognized him as somebody who would do incredible things in paddling.  Danny Stock, James Sneeringer, Jim and Monique Hubshman, and more have all come through the Valley Mill ranks and have been here for my instructor training clinics over the years.    The goal is to have a kayak school teaching a very specific progression of skills, but with the goal of turning every student into a motivated, self-sufficient paddler who is a great ambassador for kayaking and the rivers.   

After my clinics, we all went to Hunter Inn for dinner. (fish tacos, yummy).   On Saturday i had two 12 year old kids, campers from Valley Mill camp in my clinic and took them on virgin territory.  We went up above Great Falls and paddled down to the falls, portaged it, and then down Mather Gorge.  Great kids in both Jordan and David.    In the afternoon I had an adult class and we did the same lines- paddling up Widewater, doing “EJ’s Strokes and Concepts” , some playboating, and then running down to the falls, going around them and then down the gorge playing along the way, learning how to splat walls, surf, etc. etc.  Fun!

Saturday was a great day too- more clinics, everyone in Star series boats- so lots of playboating!  Dinner at the Rio Grande with the Valley Mill Team and Jana too!    Fun!  today is a cookout at Valley Mill for lunch/afternoon!    Join us if  you can, otherwise, I’ll eat your portion!  

The river is a great level now!  Center lines down the falls anyone?  I am hoping to do the Dynamic Duo with Danny today down the falls!

EJ