I’m not going to sugar coat it, last year’s Middle Fork trip, with unusually high water, replaced the smile that many folks normally have with a look of focused determination. Everyone got off the run feeling like they had really accomplished something significant, the way you feel when you push your skills and experience and feel tested and pass.
That was then and this year the Middle Fork was back to it’s wonderful self treating us to sunny days and friendly water levels. All we had to do was add a great group of folks. That we had. These trips are like little reunions for us. People like Jen H., Pete P., Henry L and Jim M. know the magic that is the Middle Fork and come back year after year. They look forward to it and we look forward to seeing them.
Passing on last years trip due to the high water was Henry B. from Florida. To make up for missing the trip, Henry brought his two daughters Rachel and Rebecca and their husbands J.J. and Calvin. It was the first trip for Henry’s family, the seventh for Him. Henry and Calvin were hardshell kayaking while the others tried their hands at the Inflatable Kayaks (I.K.). They rocked it!
Other returning friends were Dick S. who probably has more trips on the Middle Fork than a lot of guides. For every trip there are stories and Dick has lot of good ones. In his usually efficient and experienced style Dick was the one to follow if you were looking for the “sweet” line. Kay M. finally got her wish and joined us as did Dave F. who was another who had to pass on last year’s flows.
The infamous father son team of Doug and Miles, two awesome kayakers, who we’re used to seeing on the Rogue each August, busted out of their normal routine and traveled to Idaho. Those boys know how to have fun.
Shawn and Kristin brought their kids Bridget and Landis. While Shawn smoothed his style in the hardshell throughout the trip, his family was smoothing theirs in the I.K. s. Landis pulled ahead in the rodeo standings with an impressive ride at Tapan Falls. From PA, this family knows how to do it right as they were headed on a tour of western parks after the river trip.
Jim S. is another kayaker with numerous trips down the Middle Fork and he guided his playboat skillfully through the rapids. When Bruce W. wasn’t kayaking you could find him fly fishing at the river’s edge breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Thanks to Jerry S. for keeping us entertained with his music and his humor.
Colleen W., Dewi B., Tate H., Hata H. and his younger brother Eshawn were our raft crew and are just stellar in what they do. Chris L. was out third kayak guide who also does a great job and will be joining us on the Rogue in August.
As with all of our trips we sprinkle in some pointers on technique and skill building. It is so rewarding and fun to see people improve and relax as the trip progresses.
Toward the end of the trip there was lots of talk of next year- looks like the reunion group might be growing.
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