Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween Kettle Trip

As if anyone needed further proof that snowflakes and wind make for great paddling weather, a great time was had by all on the Kettle River Saturday.

Mother nature decided to hand out both tricks and treats to us for our Halloween paddle. On the tricks side, it was barely above freezing with high winds and snow falling when we put on the river. On the treats side, however, we had good water levels, great company, and even a little sunshine before the trip was over.

Nora, Andy, Dave, Spot, and I arrived at the river in two groups, but were floating together by the time we hit Dragon's tooth. The level was about 3' on the bridge gauge (1400 cfs), which left us with not one, but two decent surf waves at Blueberry. If it was warmer, I think the 2nd wave would have been bouncy enough to try some blunts. The waves at the end of Dragon's tooth were also large and steep, and made for easy down-river wave wheels.

The kayakers also took advantage of the water running over Wolf Creek Falls in front of an audience of hikers. I had high hopes for getting a helmet-cam view of running the falls, but was foiled by the cold. Turns out rechargeable camera batteries don't last long in chilly weather and the camera died literally on the lip of the falls. Next time I'll bring some lithium ones.

Dead batteries aside, it was a great way to spend a chilly Haloween afternoon. Here's hoping the rains keep coming!

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