By Jessie Gunter
I moved from Virginia to Colorado last year right before boating season started here. I was a beginner boater with some experience but definitely in need of solid boater friends to show me down the runs here. I didn’t know about the Facebook groups or CW, so I went to roll sessions and started asking around. Someone directed me to the Front Range Kayakers Facebook group, where I patiently stalked every post hoping for someone to post about a Class II–III trip. And alas! A CW member posted that he was running Grizzly Creek and anyone was welcome to join. I went, had an awesome time, and learned about Training Camp, which was a few weeks away.
After meeting folks at Training Camp and getting plugged into the CW network, I started going on cruises. It was an invaluable resource for me to get to know the rivers and make other boater friends in the area.
I decided to get involved in planning cruises for CW because I think that getting people out on the water safely is one of the most important functions of the club. I sent out a survey for members’ input regarding cruises in February and received 122 responses (thanks, everyone)! Using the feedback from the survey, I started reaching out to folks who said they’d be interested in leading. My vision is to have a cruise on the calendar for at least one day of every weekend—hopefully both. I also wanted to make sure there were cruises for intermediate boaters looking to step up their game in addition to the classic beginner runs such as the Milk Run, Apple Valley, Pumphouse, and Deckers.
Thanks to many incredible members who responded to my call for leaders, we have been able to achieve this for the first half of the summer (I’m still working on the second half). These experienced boaters, many of them first-time CW cruise leaders, are providing an invaluable contribution to the boating community. Thanks to these volunteers, more people will safely enjoy Colorado’s beautiful rivers—what could be better?
If you’re interested in leading a cruise in the coming months, please contact me (Jessie) at CWcruises@gmail.com. Pretty much any section, Class II–IV, is fair game. I have some specific sections I’d love to get on the calendar as well, such as Shoshone (III+) and Grizzly Creek (II+) on the Colorado and Royal Gorge on the Arkansas (III–IV).
If you’re planning to go on cruises this year, enjoy! There are plenty of opportunities to get out on the river with CW this year. A few reminders:
- Please be courteous and communicative with your volunteer leaders before the trip.
- Don’t forget to print, sign, and bring your waiver with you to give to the cruise leader (waiver can be found at www.coloradowhitewater.org/cruises).
- Be safe and boat within your ability.
- For insurance reasons, only active CW members are allowed to come on cruises.
If you want to know more about our cruises, the website is a good place to start. Feel free to contact me with any questions, as well.
Jessie Gunter has informed her non-boater friends that she will see them in the fall.
Photos by Gale Tubbs