This is my final week as the “Reigning National Champion” where I won the event here last year at KWP. Kelly’s Whitewater Park is not just any park. It is the brainchild and product of Mark Pickard and his personal financing in a style and grace that only an individual wanting to make a statement could do. Mark’s statement is a tribute to his younger sister, Kelly, who passed away, but is now immortalized here at KWP. The Park is not only named after her, but has a beautiful bronze statue of her at the entrance, along with incredible landscaping with flowers, grass, rocks, and trees. The Welcome Center is also super impressive and the rest rooms, showers, viewing benches, etc.. are all first class and make for a wonderful place to hang out.
The whitewater part of the park is no less impressive. The top feature or “Main Hole” is a combination of wave/hole and has a great shape to it. The hole allows for every hole move while the corner is a wave and you can do just about every wave move as well. The loops here are so massive that it is crazy!
We arrived yesterday after a couple of days at Kootenai Creek in Steven’s Montana. From there we drove along the Locsa for about 75 miles of awesome whitewater and then the Clearwater, and then the Salmon River in Idaho, and finally the Little Salmon until we got to the headwaters of the North Fork of the Payette in McCall. What a beautiful drive- 300 miles of small, windy roads in the wilderness!
We started training last night and I have already done two sessions today. (early AM and then Lunch time) This year’s National Championships is sponsored by Ford as well as Kelly’s Whitewater Park. The prize money is awesome with $3,000 for first place down to $1,000 for 5th place in the Men’s Pro class. I believe it goes:
I haven’t done any photos or video this year, but here is one of my rides from last year:
The water was 3,400 cfs last year and is 2,000 cfs this year so far. The hole is better at this and the wave is still pretty good, but not quite as tall.