Definition for Kayak :-)

Kayak [] n. 1. an oblong banana shaped boat with a hole in the bottom from which the occupant dangles. Can be propelled the wrong way up by experts. (definition courtesy of Pete Knowles)
(And I've got this one from Chris' Kayak Lexicon)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lower St Louis at 5000cfs and Upper at 7000cfs

Two stroms this week bumped up the Upper Louie from about 1350 cfs to about 7000cfs! Too intense to paddle for me, but a great challenge for Nora and Aaron. So while they were riding rapids I was taking pictures, which I love, no doubt about that! Also, the more I look at whitewater, the better my river reading gets and seeing lines and danger spots to avoid in the midst of what used to be just one white mess.

Thomson Dam upriver of the 210 bridge. Midwest white water = cola fountain.

"Slot machine"

The back of Slot Machine.

I had been going with Nora and as I was approaching the bridge going East she told me to take a look left immediately when I got on the bridge and it was a literally breathtaking moment of awe. I remember two times in my life where I had that kind of immediate reaction to an experience. One was the first time I looked through the Algau Gate at the Bavarian Alps. The Algau Gate approaches after a long drive on the autobahn going South through a canyon of pine forest, which produces a kind of dark green tunnel vision. Then suddenly at the Gate the panorama opens to reveal the mountain range of the Alps from one corner of the eye to the other. I saw it in early December and the range was bright and snow covered, which made the contrast to the dark green tunnel that had narrowed our vision for what seemed hours to open up to a landscape of rock and snow. The second time I had this experience was surprisingly enough walking into a man made structure: Lincoln Cathedral. If I believed in a personified interventionist God, this would be the man made place I would have felt his/her presence the most profoundly.

Looking downstream on the 210 bridge.

At Jay Cook on the swinging bridge looking upstream.

The swinging bridge at Jay Cook.

Looking downstream.

Quite the contrast, here the calm and tranquility of the reservoir above the dam.

When Nora and Aaron came back from their run of the 7000 cfs Upper Louie the were still hopping with adrenaline despite their cool down time paddling across the reservoir. They'd definitely had had a good time. And I definitely had had no business paddling it at the level. So good decisions all around.
Back to the Louie for paddling another time.
At 7000 cfs? Time is on my side!

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