Saturday, June 24, 2017

Urban paddling.

Perhaps few would think of Vail, Colorado as an urban environment.  After a winter and spring spent paddling increasingly remote canyons and gorges throughout the western US, I can hardly think of it as anything but, especially from the seat of a boat.  Once you slip into Gore Creek you're walled in by the interstate on one side, a bike path on the other, with bridges, retaining walls, power lines, hotels, coffee shops, and trophy homes dominating the view above water line.  Plus some scary pipes that had to be limboed, a low railroad bridge, and a lifetime supply of blast rock right there in the channel.

It was a sort of neat novelty to be so distracted by everything outside the river corridor, to the point that you had to repeatedly remind yourself to pay attention to what was coming.

Jesse had a freak wreck a few months back that landed him in surgery and then in a wrist cast.  Now that the cast is off and we can all agree that paddling isn't an 'impact sport', he felt the need to test the waters and this urban float gave us plenty of III and a tiny bit of IV excitement while remaining accessible enough that if his wrist started to hurt he could step out of the river at any given moment.

And yet -- oddly -- as crowded as the off-river was, the only people we saw on the river were launching into our takeout eddy.

Gore Creek was running 475 and the Upper Eagle was at 1500.  Great low/medium flow on both -- approachable yet still engaging.

Thanks for checking in.

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