Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Verde Falls, Round 2
A second trip down Verde Falls this past Sunday went slightly (only slightly) higher on the style meter, with about 3X as much water going over the lip as had been there during my previous, elegantly-inverted escapade. This time around, I managed a good line to the left side (not an option at lower water) and thought I put in a good boof stroke at the lip that would shoot me over the top of the fall's backwash. Not so much. I submarined in good and deep, then attempted two or three rolls without really knowing which direction was up.Thankfully, it's a pretty forgiving hole and spat me free at river left after a few seconds of the rag doll shake, and my last roll did the trick.
The bigger news was West's hard-man finish of most of the run when a broken paddle in the Pre-Falls rapid left us looking at Verde Falls with three kayakers and just five paddle blades among us. We did some radical surgery on the remnants of the broken paddle (this after taking stock and realizing that not one of us had brought the "don't leave home without it" duct tape -- Doh!) and he put his C1 slalom racing skills to the test. Though Verde Falls that day probably won't be among his favorite memories, the rest of the trip was one he should be proud of, pushing a stubborn little playboat along with half a paddle.