Early Saturday morning Caleb and I drove up to the Lower St. Louis for our first run of the year. It was just us in one vehicle, so we packed a bike along as our shuttle. When we pulled up to the put-in, however, we saw that the bike was definitely not going to be necessary. There were several boaters in the lot, and more that were already running shuttle for the Upper section.
Everyone was interested in running the Upper first, but Caleb and I didn't have time to do both. Luckily we met Todd (aka Metrix) in the lot and he was up for hitting the Lower with us. Todd turned out to be both a really nice guy and a great boater, so the trip was a blast.
The level was about 650cfs and we all managed to keep ourselves upright for the most part. The only flip was me getting lazy on the 210 drop and having to roll along the river-right side rocks.
The highlight of the day was Caleb making his first decent of Octopus - Congrats Caleb! All three of us took the right channel, down the curving slide at the bottom. I had almost forgotten how forceful the eddy fence at the top of the rapid is, but managed to just squeak by the rock downstream.
On the way home we got a bit of humor, too. Caleb and I stopped at the Hinckley Dairy Queen, where Caleb ordered a bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, etc. We got the order to go and were back on the road. After the first bite, Caleb noticed something missing from his burger - the burger! Yup, they had put bacon, cheese, veggies, etc all on the bun, but forgot the actual burger. So, he had a surprise BLT for lunch instead.
Despite the food glitch, it was a really great day! Check out the helmet cam photos and footage in the video below!