13 years ago, the seed was plantedVancouver Island Record in 2007 focused the mind266 nautical miles 5 weeks in Alaska, 2 weeks prep12 paddling days, 1 day of rest, 7 days waitingan immeasurable life experienceour most unforgettable adventure so far..."the journey is straight, but the path is winding" As Rob Egelstaff reminded in his farewell email to me just before we set off.
When the days get longer and the snow finally starts melting off the peaks, paddlers in the Durango area look to norther New Mexico to get their early season creeking fix. One of the first runs that comes in is the Upper Taos Box of the Rio Grande. Just minutes north of Taos New Mexico, the UTB is a sweet run and a welcome warm up for the spring creeking season.
In the valley north of Durango lies a kayak run in a tight and deep gorge...the Middle Box and Baker's Box sections of the Animas River. In here you'll find tight and twisting turns, steep drops, boulder gardens with many lines and many boofs, along with pushy rapids leading into sieves. Yeah...it's committing yet with this commitment, a great sense of accomplishment always follows.
I am so psyched!!! I just did a rock and paddle combo at the Black Canyon National Park in Colorado. One weekend of paddling with friends from Durango, and another weekend of climbing with my girlfriend. The "Black's" totally awesome for kayaking...a committing 2-day kayak trip with excellent grade IV/V whitewater, long and burly portages, prehistoric poison ivy (I'm talking head high plants with bark and berries) and a fantastic camp with epic trout fishing. The climbing...old school multi-pitch trad. Each route crosses the spectrum of possibilities when it comes to rock quality. Some pitches are on solid rock...