Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rockwood Descent is in the Books

Seven members of Mountain Waters crew got into Rockwood Gorge this morning for the first raft descent this season. The verdict was consistent: this was the greatest idea ever.

After a “boats-on-the-back” two mile hike to the put-in, we finally got to boat. The Rockwood Gorge is special because of its remoteness. Although it’s actually fairly close to civilization, the task of getting in and out of the Gorge is a tall one, to say the least.

When we run it commercially with clients, we have the capability to use the train. The train drops our gear at Cascade Canyon, we hike in from Purgatory Flats, pump air into the boats, and saddle up. When you do the section privately, as was done today, you’re on your own. The boats come with you on the hike, which isn’t quite as easy as having a Steam Engine carry them for you.

Onward, enough of the logistics. Rockwood Gorge is a team sport. Your guide is there because he knows the river, but without a paddling crew the ship won’t sail. In this Gorge, the paddlers are every bit as important as the guide. The trip comes equipped with constant hi-sides and regular low-sides, “STRAIGHTEN UP” calls, “DIIIIGGGGG” calls, and usually one or two calls that nobody has heard before. Being active in the boat is just as much a part of it as paddling. And it’s crazy fun.

Today was a clean day. It was an immaculate morning in the canyon, the water was loud and green, and the train ran 400 feet above us twice. The water is at an amazing level right now, and the two biggest rapids – Mandatory Thrashing and Red Rock Rapid – are flowing at a great speed. I’ve never had more fun in a boat than I did today.

And after the trip…it’s time to team build and haul the boats and gear up and out of the Gorge. It’s a chore, but it’s over in a half hour, and for a great day of boating I wouldn’t think twice about it.

Give us a call and try it out for yourself. You’d most likely be one of ten people to raft this stretch of water this year. No kidding. And it’ll be the most amazing piece of water you’ve seen.

Matt should be posting a video of today’s trip within the next couple days. Don’t forget to come back and check it out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ain't No Home like a Raft

"We said there warn't no home like a raft. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy on a raft."

There's just something special about being on a boat. Whether your a seasoned boatman, a first timer, an annual whitewater enthusiast, or Huck Finn, there's simply something special about sitting on a boat.

Using water as a means of transportation, that's where all this started. And after a while the great pioneers were building their own boats for their own reasons. Our heroes came to be when John Wesley Powell first passed through the immaculate waters of the Grand Canyon. We saw brilliance in Bert Loper's love for that Canyon, and we rally from his inspiring death in those waters. As boatmen, we reach for reason in myths and folklore concerning our pioneers. We find our reason in campfire stories told by our buddies about waters we've never seen. We believe each other and we understand each other, and often times we feel the same sense of enjoyment and satisfaction as Powell and Loper and Huckleberry Finn did.

There's nothing special to it, there's no secret to a boatman's happiness. It's simply that being on a boat, heading downstream, makes you happy.

Rockwood Gorge Trips coming soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's Duckie season!

The little inflatable kayaks are starting to make their way onto the Animas town run more and more each day. Mountain Waters plans to start offering guided Duckie (inflatable kayak) trips in the coming weeks.

Casey Lynch, owner of Mountain Waters, will hold his annual "duckie guide meeting" tonight. He will go over safety issues, rescue situations, and do an on-the-water training. Obviously being in a duckie alone is a lot different than being in a boat with eight other people, therefore a different sort of mindset is needed. Although duckie guides are usually staying busy while on the water, it's a favorite among the crew here at Mountain Waters. Guides get excited to be in a different boat, in different situations, and, all of a sudden, bigger water. The smaller the boat, the bigger the wave.

We offer single duckies as well as double duckies. If you book a duckie trip, we'll get you lined out with a helmet and a paddle, a quick little safety speech, and then you'll be off on your own whitewater adventure.

The boats are fun, the water is good. Come and find out if you have what it takes to guide yourself down a class II-III river. We'd love to have you.