Middle Fork Salmon, June 25, 2013

Tristin ripping it up on the wave at Marble during an early morning surf.

There were lot’s of familiar faces for our first trip of the season down the Middle Fork Salmon. Tom, who probably has more trips on the MF than Mary and myself combined, made the long drive from Texas, Arn and Deb as well as Jim S. arrived from Colorado, Jane, one of Mary’s old friends from NOC days,  used the trip as an excuse to bring her busy kayaking family together from Maryland. California was well represented by Kurt, Tristin, Dave, Vicki, Pam and Bill K.  Also from Cali was our adopted raft passenger Bill W. who has done numerous trips with ECHO over the years. Once he stumbled onto a trip of ours, he had such a good time he’s now a member of the tribe. Rounding out the trip and all the way from the flooded city of Calgary, Canada was Paul.

For the first day and half we had a steady drizzle of rain and a stop at Trail Flat hot springs along the river’s edge gave temporary relief from the cold.

Kayakers knocking down the chill of a rainy day with a soak in Trail Flat hot springs.

By the afternoon of day 2 the clouds were breaking and the sun warmed our camp at Marble and shown a spotlight on the surfwave just below. People took advantage of the sunshine to play frizbee golf & bacci ball, hike to a vista point behind camp or just sit and relax.

One tight family, Luke, Steve, Jack and Jane discuss strategy during a lively game of bacci ball.

On day 3 the diehard surfers in the group enjoyed a morning surf session before paddling down to catch the rest of the group that were enjoying a soak at Sunflower hot springs. Luck had been with us on the assignment of camps and we scored Loon with one of the best hot springs on the entire trip just a mile up the creek.

Loon Creek near it’s confluence with the Middle Fork.

Paddling into camp late afternoon of day 4 we had covered just over twenty four miles that were packed with great whitewater and dramatic changes in the canyon’s character. We were camped amongst the Ponderosa pines at Survey camp.  The margaritas had been out for an hour now and the guides had strung up a rope between trees and draped it with “dare wear”, a mix of thrift store costumes for all to wear should they decide to. I’m always surprised at who wears what, but hey, “what happens on the river, stays on the river”. Dressed up, seated in a circle, we listen intently as 16 year old Jack gave us his TED Talk (No kidding, to see the original talk, minus the costume, click here). Proof again that you never know what you’re going to learn on a river trip. Our many talented musicians played into the night with all of us enjoying one another’s company and conversation.

No shortage of good conversation around camp.

Our last two days we paddled through the Impassable Canyon, a name that speaks of the steep terrain.  The river is by far the only way to navigate this rugged landscape. After an awesome morning of great rapids our final day, we confluenced with the Main then crashed through the mighty, Grand Canyon-style Kraemer rapid to reach the take-out. As Henry B says, “The Middle Fork trip references my whole year. There’s what happens after the Middle Fork, and then, there’s what happens before the Middle Fork.” We hope many wonderful things happen in your lives before your next Middle Fork trip!!

The sweep boat leaves camp early morning our last day in the Impassable Canyon.
Thanks everyone for kicking off the Middle Fork season with us.

Click photos for larger view.

Photos and content ©DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking all rights reserved.

Mary’s American Whitewater Article; The Mental Game of Kayaking

We’ve been getting a number of requests for Mary’s recent article on the Mental Game of Kayaking that appeared in American Whitewater.  We had posted a link to the article on our Facebook page for all of those good dues-paying members out there.  After letting some time go by we are now make it available as a pdf download. Click here.

kayakers_Piatua_Jaime Dalgo_Ecuador

Photos and content ©DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking all rights reserved.

ACA Instructor Course- Lots Of Learning, Lots Of Fun.

kayak wet exit
Steve does a demo of his wet exit progression minus the wet.

We had a super fun crew of eager instructors-in-training join us for a five day combo ACA (American Canoe Association) development and certification course surrounding the Memorial Day weekend.  Classroom sessions were based out of our house here in the Coloma/Lotus valley and on-the-water development was never more than a ten minute drive away. We experienced weather that was all over the board, from rain to sun, hot and cold and flows that were bouncing between 2500 and 4000 cfs.

kayak roll teaching
Mary leads a discussion on the teaching tips for the roll.

The gang didn’t let the cold get them down as we practiced bow rescues, “hands of god” and dealing with a yard sale on the water- all of which meant they were getting wet while practicing. In addition we worked on chalk talks, on-the-water progressions, tips and tricks for trouble shooting, video review, group management, logistics, course planning and stroke development. These classes are a super fun sharing of ideas for everyone involved  and we too come away with new tools and tricks for our classes as well.

kayak group ACA Instructors
A new group of instructors is ready to roll.

Students from as far away as Washington and Colorado made the journey. Thanks to Brandy, Rene, Max, Kevin, Steve, Collin, Sam, Lena and Eric. We look forward to seeing you all out there on the water bringing in the next wave of boaters.

Photos and content ©DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking all rights reserved.

Mary Teaches Instructor Course In Arkansas

Mary covers stroke concepts on the Mulberry River.

I spent 2 weeks during the first part of April in Arkansas teaching an ACA instructor course. Folks came from all over the state as well as from Oklahoma and Louisiana. Now, the Arkansas Canoe Club knows how to host a course! Dave and Cindy Robertson opened their home and we used the heated barn for our classroom (30 minutes from the river). Dave Reid headed up the dutch oven crews and produced some amazing meals and desserts to fuel us through the wild swings in weather. One weekend we had hail and wore beanies and pogies, the next we were in shorts! Continue reading “Mary Teaches Instructor Course In Arkansas”