Linda Woodruff and I (Lindy Barnes) met John and Lois at the Shumsky put-in about 1:15 to become students in the Moving Water Clinic. Doug (Barnes) came along to run the shuttle and take pictures. Linda paddled her 12’ Perception Tribute and partnered with Lois. I partnered with John.
I have to say this time around proved to be a real challenge for me. I did this training last summer in my 10’ Perception Tribute. Today I did it paddling my 13’6” Wilderness Tsunami. What a difference a few feet can make. Lois and Linda started out a little ahead of us and we rarely saw them until close to the end, so I can’t speak to all they did.
John started me out catching almost every eddy we found along the river. Eddies are really great fun as long as one knows how to get into one in the first place as opposed to sailing right on by and wondering what went wrong. Peeling out is even more fun. Letting the current do the work is great as long as one remembers that one does not always have to do all the muscle work. Ferrying was a little trickier in a 13 1/2’ boat that tends to be faster than I can think. This (ferry) is one technique I really have to work on - a lot!
The “kissing rock” was most interesting as my boat did not want to stop at the rock but instead preferred to do a 180 and continue down river backwards. With John’s help (John was standing in the water on the down-river side of the rock playing catch-a-boat) I managed to get turned around and continued on downstream. At this point Lois, Linda, John and I were together working on ferrying.
I was very glad for the experience at the “kissing rock” because I promptly ran into a log that was mostly submerged except for a small stump just above the water. I got lots of real life practice out of that one. I also got totally soaked as water poured into my boat. However, I did not go over. Yeah Team!!!! John and Lois got me off the log and out of trouble while Linda just steered clear of the whole mess. After that, the current picked up speed and the waves became a bit higher as we headed toward Beitner and the take-out. We took it fairly easy during this final section and arrived at Beitner nearly 45 minutes after our planned take out.
All in all it was a really good experience. I learned a lot. Linda said it was a great refresher for her and she picked up lots of good tips. Now to practice, practice, practice. John, Lois, Doug and I decided to go out for dinner as we were all starved. Linda chose to go home to her already thawed out steak.
A million thanks to John and Lois for their time, their dedication to the sport and to safety and all their hard work.
Report by Lindy Barnes
A second report by Linda Woodruff:
Great clinic! John and Lois were a little surprised that I signed up, since I have been on quite a few kayak trips - but I learned a lot. Including all that Lindy mentioned, I even had a clean-up lesson! Lois found two beers and a rug, which was interesting getting into a trash bag. I don’t know how Lois planned this, but just as she was teaching me about ferrying up the river, a plastic container came floating down the river on the other side. She was able to show me a perfect example of why I might want to ferry upstream. She retrieved the container of pasta salad perfectly!
Thanks John and Lois for your time. It was a great day.
Photos from Doug