Dec 17, 2008

Dec 17 Highlights since the Quijos

The thunder was so loud today it was setting off car alarms. Since the Quijos we've covered a lot of ground. Hiking in and out can wear on you! We finally have semi-reliable internet, and semi-reliable hot water. The weather here is pretty amazing especially by PNW standards. I could do with a few less sand flies, but even they seem to be waning off, at least the bites. I'm in a groove now down here. I think we all are. I speak better Spanish than I did when I got here, but my level of comprehension has room for improvement. The thunder is still awesome. It reminds me of the thunderstorms in Indiana during the summer. It was so loud there it would rattle the windows. A fresh group of boaters arrive about every week or so, and I'm remembering the runs more now, which is nice. Here are some highlights of things we’ve done, seen, bought, swam or thoroughly enjoyed since leaving the beautiful Quijos valley.

The first drop on the bamboo strtech of the Misualli. This was the first day I ran it.

The next day I was in the playboat and things didn't go so smoothly.

I blew the lead in and was too far right. Fighting to get back to the left side (which didn't work) I wound up dropping over this ledge on the right, dead sideways. Damn. The hole is backed up and boils back from 6 or 7 feet downstream. Double shoot. I started rodeoing and it didn't take long before I was upside down. The water was aerated too which didn't help for rolling. I wound up on my back deck at one point and just started paddling downstream out of the hole upside down. I think it was working, but I didn't wait long enough before I rolled and got sucked right back in.

Shee-yute! Hadn't had air in a while and gave rolling a couple more tries, then I pulled. Immediately I got sucked down and held in this little pocket that wasn't really moving anywhere, just kind of stopped between the pourover coming in and the upstream backwash meeting it. I managed to get to the surface for a second, got some air and a bit of water, then went back down again. By this time I'm wondering how this was going to play out. Team Yukon is on either side of the river and the river isn't very wide there. I'm wondering where the rope is, but I'm also wondering how this is gonna play out! I get a little push and try swimming into the green water coming in, I go down a ways and wind up surfacing about three feet from the pourover. I barely get a breath as I see Jeff (one half of Team Yukon) standing on shore in the 'ready' position. Right before I get sucked down again I yell at him, "C'MOOONN!" I want a rope! Then I'm under again. Soon enough I feel the rope and he pulls me out.

Sheeeeee-yute!! It takes a couple minutes for me to catch my breath and about 15 for us to get a line on the boat and pull it out. If you've ever run the Top Tye in WA it's a mini version of the hole in Paranoia, except the water doesn't seem to be flushing. The rest of the trip went pretty well, I led most of the way.

There are a few other groups of boaters in Tena and we all see each other about every day. I talked to one group later that night and said, "Dude, I swam today." He said, "I heard." I thought, who told you? I just got off the river 15 minutes ago. He then said,"I also heard you styled the rest of the run. You're the man! Except for that one drop." Snicker. On top of it, it was my birthday and that drop was the first of about a 15 mile stretch. The birthday tradition down here is to get whipped with a belt or switch for each year. I got my spanking from the river early. Humble pie for dessert.

Capt Fun keeps it real... fun

That's no playhole. Whatch out Capt Fun! That's El Toro at a stupid high level.

The ladies at the fiesta were great.
I don't know why they wore all black though.
Seems a bit too warm.

Jenny, Marco, and Chad love driving in the van to Tena!

Chris made a friend at the restaurant, Dona Cleo's.

The storms are beautiful, loud, and make the rivers go!

Sam likes it when kayaks go BOOF

One of the boofs on the El Reten section of the Misualli. Good stuff!

Can you find the small kayaker in Land of Giants? Lower Misualli at high water

This is the portage just above Land of Giants. LOG starts just out of frame.

Portage. Gynner and Chris look and talk about it.

The only beach on the Lower Mis.

I got a guitar

Some very cute kids at the putin for the Lower Mis.

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