As a “vintage kayaker,” I started paddling circa 1984 in Colorado and then in Washington, D.C. Back in Colorado in the early 1990s, I was on the CW board as the cruise director and organized some of the first Boating Betty cruises. In 1991, I discovered the local slalom group and what was a welcoming annual race series in New Mexico and Colorado including FIBArk. I was drawn to the technical precision of slalom and found training slalom helped me make the transition from class-III to class-IV boating.
I didn’t paddle much from 2001–2012 because we went sailing, my daughter was young, and she had other interests, like flying trapeze and circus. We started doing family trips again with my husband rafting and my daughter learning to kayak on multiday river traps on Ruby Horsethief, Gates of Ladore, Middle Fork, and Main Salmon. We also sea kayak and did a fun trip on Lake Yellowstone this year. We just bought cross-over kayaks to extend our river running season.
I currently assistant-coach the Dawson School Canoe and Kayak Team. Dawson maintains gates on the pond near the East Boulder Community Center, which is a good place to start training. I’d like to offer more CW peeps the opportunity to train gates for fun and as another way to improve their river running skills.