What an awesome weekend. Despite it ending up the way it did, with me sick once again, this was one of the best weekends ever! This is because I actually overcame my fears and did something. And boy was it something. We spent Saturday as usual, with Bruce running the Lower Yough and me relaxing and just enjoying the beautiful day as “Shuttle Bunny.” Once off the river, we headed toward Clarksburg to crash at our buddiy Rodney’s place and get rested up for lay ahead the next day – Valley Falls and Jeff Prycl’s annual “How to run a waterfall clinic.” Although I had been loking forward to this since last year, I still didn’tknow if I was going to have enough nerve to actually do it. I know Bruce didn’t believe I was going to do it. I am infamous for chickening out at the last moment. I just kept telling myself that the worse that could happen is that I would swim, no big deal. Just do it. At least you can say you tried, I thought. With these thoughts running through my head I went to sleep. I awoke surprising calm and remained that way up until I pulled my boat from atop the truck. That is when I started to get nervous. I hurried up and got on the water before I could overthink it and change my mind. There I spent some time practicing boof strokes, timing and leans before we got out to take a long look at the first falls.
First Falls - Valley Falls, WV
I spent a little too much time looking at it and freaked myself out so by the time I got back to my boat I was scared out of my mind. By the time I finally got up enough nerve to make my first run everyone else had already been over at least a couple of times. So I finally decided to go for it. With Bruce and Rodney waiting below, I headed toward the edge, timing my strokes to end on the right and looking for the roostertail. I finally neared the edge – the monent of truth – did my best to get a verticle boof stroke on the right of the roostertail and went over. Success! What a rush! I couldn’t believe it. I made it upright. Unfortunately Bruce didn’t know I was coming so he didn’t catch my success on film. Hopefully someone else did and eventually I will be able to get my hands on some pictures. I will post them as soon as I do. He was able to get video of my not so successful second run which I’m not too ashamed to share with you all so check it out below.
As you can see I got worked pretty good but at least I tried. It was definitely a learning experience. After my two runs, I wasn’t feeling too well. I was having some signs of a possible seizure so although I really, really, really wanted to run “The Spout”, we decided that it would be best if I sat out the rest of the day. It’s not worth putting myself or anyone else in danger when there is always next year. Thanks Jeff for an awesome clinic and we’ll see you again next year.
We have finally decided what we want to do for our vacation and when we tenatively want to go. Right now it is possibly a 5-7 day paddling trip on 75 miles of the New River in Virginia the week of Labor Day! At this time it looks like all we need to make it happen is to get our hands on a tandem canoe. (Have one we can borrow? Post a comment.) I am so excited! I can’t wait. I haven’t had a real vacation in over two years. I really need this. I am looking forward to paddling tandem with Bruce again. Our first paddling adventure together was an overnight tandem canoe trip on the Potomac in Paw Paw, WV followed by a trip down the Middle Yough the following day. This trip will be much, much longer & hopefully be alot more exciting. That first trip, Bruce had no expectations because he didn’t know what my paddling abilities were. This time he is fully aware of both my capabilities and inadequacies. I just hope I don’t let him down. As always, that is my biggest fear. I just want us to have a great time and I don’t want to do anything to screw that up. Things are just in the planning stages and subject to change. If you have ever paddled this section and have any beta, please post a comment. Check back for updates.
Welcome to my new blog. I thought it would be the perfect way to keep in touch with everyone in my life from paddling buddies to family & friends. Bookmark this page and check back often to keep up with what’s happening in my life. Post a comment or two if you like to let me know what’s going on in your’s.