Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Local Creeks

Brad and I met Nathan Shoutis, one of the best pure (i.e., no other boating experience) packrafters out there, at Nathan's "local" creek, Little Susitna (see photo above of my own 2003 harrowing solo run in an early "condom-style" skirt). Nate'd run it twice over the last couple days, and it was running 800 cfs when we did it yesterday, pretty much a non-stop whitewater run. It was cushy but not too pushy. In some ways much more satisfying/exciting than the bony run that Brad and I made last fall. We met some hardcore kayak kids, complete with short boats and attitudes to match. But we had fun, too, in big waves and bigger drops, flushing holes and smooth granite boulders washed in sun-lit, glacier-tinted water.

Anyway, it got me thinking about boaters' local runs: Little Su for Nathan, S. Fork Eagle River for Brad, Ship Cr for me, Willow Creek in Wyoming for Forrest. These are the creeks that ultimately kill boaters, they say. Maybe we get complacent through familiarity and don't pay attention, then fall out of our boats, foot trapped and drowned -- at least that's what I learned in my swiftwater rescue course: "Complacency kills."

So as Cody Roman says, "Stay frosty." Focus in the white stuff, relax in the calm.

....My sabbatical functionally ends this week, meaning I wont have as much time for "creative and scholarly activities" to make these silly music videos and slide shows, like this one, of the ten days I spent in Wyoming last July.


  1. Thank you for being scholarly and creative during your sabbatical, Roman. It's been enjoyable.


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