By Jim Green
Photos and video by Gail Tubbs
I got into town just a little later than I expected. There was a group headed to Brown’s Canyon on Friday, and I took the day off to get on the river. Sometimes life gets in the way of recreation with things such as work, doctors, etc… Once I got that done, I jumped into my ghetto camper and headed out. No way I was going to make it in time to meet the Brown’s crew, so I notified them on Facebook (ahhhh technology!). I heard they had a great time without me.
With a little extra time in town, I suggested everyone stop by and say hi to our friends at Deerhammer Distillery. They are boaters, good people, and generally friends of Colorado Whitewater. I did some “business” in there and met Nick. Nick remembered me the next day when we met on the Numbers. Also, the whitewater play park in Buena Vista is great for killing some time and getting in the water. The downtown hole has to be one of the mellowest user-friendly play features in the state. I’m a flatspinning fool on that thing. Perfect for my tastes.
Friday night at these events is always a fun time. New people come in that haven’t ever met before. Old friends, and many onetime river acquaintances show up. Everyone in Colorado Whitewater has lots of those folks that they only see occasionally. It’s a cool time to meet people again for the first time and talk about plans for the weekend. I told everyone that asked that I was doing the Numbers or Brown’s Canyon the next day. I specifically worded it this way so that if I chickened out of getting on Numbers, I had Brown’s to fall back on.
The next morning, I settled on Numbers with a SOLID group led by Leslie Tyson. Let me say what a pleasure it was to be with a group that knew the run so well. George Tyson led me down a perfect line on #4 that made me feel like a hero. This was the best trip I’ve ever had down the Numbers, until it wasn’t. I let my guard down and swam a class II section.
It’s hard to explain what it’s like when we have a good day kayaking and all the nervousness is gone, but we all know the feeling. That’s when I can really enjoy cooking some good food, having a drink, and hanging with friends. We can debate all year long whether the group and camp life or the river is the core of a Colorado Whitewater weekend.
I think the Arkansas weekend is the whole package, and it wouldn’t be the same without the potluck. I’d like to give a shout out to Barbara Ames for her delicious curry soup. Big props to her for bringing homemade! This year’s Arkansas weekend was great success thanks to our illustrious organizer Laurie Maciag. Her tireless work to get the poopers in place is appreciated by all of us (including some uninvited rafter types).
To me the weekend wouldn’t be the same without all of us together in one big circle of camp chairs telling stories about our successes and failures for the day. If you haven’t been on a river weekend with Colorado Whitewater this is what it’s all about.