Monday, May 26, 2008

The Red River Gorge, and Oyster Shell Triathalon

My mother's birthday was May 20th. So, I decided to go home and see some friends that I haven't seen in some time as well as do some fun activities. I began my journey to Richmond, VA by flying to Lexington, KY to see an old friend and go rock climbing at the Red River Gorge. My good friend Ned Trice is seen here (explaining his lack of enthusiasm for the the gross camping at Miguel's Pizza).

Ned took me to the Military Wall at the Red, a major destination due to the large amount of aesthetically pleasing climbs in such a small area. Here's Ned warming up on a 5.9.

The climbing was great, but my injury is still in play so I had to take it fairly easy. Still, it was a great day.

We then drove to Richmond, where I had a birthday party with my mom. After seeing my family, I proceeded to Deltaville, VA (on the Chesapeake bay) for a makeshift triathlon that Ned and my good friend Parker Garrett put together, the soon to be Annual Oyster Shell Triathlon.

My stomach wasn't feeling that great so they put me in a canoe to run safety instead of running the race. So I decided to take some photographs and utilize my injured state. We had 11 competitors in all (I told you it was makeshift), but despite the low numbers everyone had a great time.

The race began in the water near the dock at Ned and Parker's bay houses, so people decided to jump off the dock into the water. Here is Ned's mom, Betsy Trice, preparing for the start.

After the start was a swim across a channel to another body of land. Chris Fehn leads the pack swimming to the mark.

After the swim was a bike leg, and here is Betsy getting her riding legs under her after the swim.

Now, the race wasn't all that competitive, but there were some out there to win. And, here is Chris Fehn, still winning.

Parker Garrett was not far behind, and here he is trying to catch Chris. Parker is smiling because he knows how much faster he is than Chris at running.

After the ride there was a little run through the shallows. Chris did not quite make the picture being so far in the lead, but here are second through fifth trying to catch up. In order they are Ned Trice, Parker Garrett, Winston Trice (Ned's dad), and Jennie Belt.

Finally after making their way back across the channel there was more running, and the finish was back a Ned and Parker's bay houses. Here is Kai Gould finishing the run and gladly.

Everyone finished in under an hour, which left me fairly tired after trying to keep up in the safety canoe taking pictures.

First place went to Betsy Trice who actually finished last. But, there was a last minute decision by the judging staff that disqualified everyone else for simply going to fast. So because of her great hospitality, Besty won. Finally, I decided to try my hand at taking some flower pictures because it was such good light and there were so many beautiful flowers around. Here is a shot of some flower that I have no name for (don't blame me, I'm not a horticulturalist).

So, as Warren Miller (ski film maker) says, "Don't wait until next year to go out and have some fun because you'll just be one year older when you do. Who knows where I will be next, but maybe I'll see you there.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Great Falls on the Potomac

So I'm trying my best to keep up weekly updates with interesting photos. I'm fairly sure that I can't keep this pace up without having thousands of spectacular photos already taken, but I'm going to try. This week we venture to Great Falls on the Potomac River to see some past phtots that I've taken (mainly because I'm out for a little while from a bike crash). So, on to the pictures.

If it's high water and the middle of the winter, you might be looking down the center lines.

This sight is almost completely terrifying because unless there is another person in a boat just behind you, you are entirely on your own. Personally, I don't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's always nice to have friends near by if you happen to crash.

On the occaision that you do have friends with you and you are careful, your crew could end up happy at the bottom.

Now, let's look at some specific rapids. We've now seen the center lines from both the top and the bottom. Here is Dave Moffatt in the middle on Grace Under Pressure having as good a line as I've seen.

Further down the center lines you encounter the streamers, and here is Van Nall taking care of business in a Dancer at the streamers.

When it comes to the other lines, there are several other options. There's the fish ladders, which I conveniently have no pictures of. There is the Maryland side, the first drop of which is called Pummel. Jason Beaks, the fastest paddler I know makes Pummel look good during last years Great Falls Race. Do note that the Great Falls Race a part of the Potomac Fest, is one of the most fun events that I attend each year. Anyways, here is Jason.

The last option assuming that you are padding at normal flows (there are a few other options for lines a super high water, but don't start looking for them until you've run the normal lines a few times) is the Virginia Side. The last drop on the Virgina Side is called the Spout. Van Nall, me, and Michael Stratton decided that it might be a good idea to run this drop far above regular runnable levels. Well, we had some crashes, but we had enough friends around to make sure all was safe. Anyways, here is Van running the Spout at higher water than you might want to try running it.

Finally I'll end with a shot of me at super high water (about 4.5 for all those out there that might care). I'm running a drop left of the Maryland side, and it's shallow at the bottom (I found out the hard way). Here I am anyway, I think I look stylish. But, then again who am I to say how I look on the water. All I can do is hope that I look good, which I've heard happens occaisionally (I do crash too, don't worry).

I guess that's all for now. Hopefully I'll heal up soon so I can get back out there on the water, and take some more good pictures.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Crashing Sucks

Hey everyone. So we all know that sometimes you crash, and I found my self in the ICU down here in South Carolina on Wednesday night. I seems that I found the skinny end of the handlebars on my mountain bike with my stomach and ended up losing a sizable amount of blood into my abdominal cavity. I guess it goes to show that it's the little things that get you.

Things stabilized quickly and I'm recovering fine with no surgery. Here's a picture of me in the ICU,

Good spirits, laughing that I ended up this way. You will have to pardon the photo quality. It was taken with an iPhone. I didn't think it very smart to bring my camera along.

So it seems that I'm out for a month. But, hopefully I can hike into some runs and put up some more good pictures. But, we'll just have to see. Clearly we never know what is next. So, I hope all of you out there are doing well, and hopefully I'll see you out there soon.

At home and doing much better,

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Chattooga

So, before I begin with this post, I feel it necessary to explain my motives with my blog. I really just want to take as good pictures as possible while living my normal (if normal suffices here) life and describe those to you. Note that I'm not trying to be some superman in a kayak, just someone who can kayak well and takes pictures that are fun to look at. So, here is a good day on the Chattooga that I had with some friends.

I went to the Chattooga with some of my friends from USC (where I'm currently a graduate student studying math . I know, a bit of an ugh for most people, but it's what I do well other than kayaking). So, here is our day.

I went with Brandon, Bo, Don, Kelly, Kevin, and Matt, and here are some pictures I took. Here is Brandon after a spectactular run of Corkscrew getting out of his boat.

It was a good day because Brandon managed to plug every drop and still was fine. Next are three more photos of Corkscrew, the first is Don making the rapid look much smother than it actually is, which is the same with Kevin in the second photo, and Bo, well Bo seems to be a camera hog. But, I will let you decide for your self.

Don, having a great line through the Corkscrew.

And, Kevin making sure that hand paddles work just as well as regular paddles.

Finally, here is Bo with a little too much attention, but with such a good line who can argue. Next, I got out of my boat to scout Jawbone, with Kelly who was running the river for the first time, and I happened to take this picture of Matt.

Here's Matt, making it look like there's a 15 foot drop on the Chattooga. Perfect form, and good lines. Finally we arrived at Soc-Em-Dog, where I was excited to get this great Black and White photo of Bo with a line that ended him upright and in the eddy at the bottom.

I was also excited to get this shot of Kelly, who I was scouting with all day and hardly had time to photograph. But, here she is making it through Soc-Em-Dog, and making it look good.

Finally, when we got to the take-out (and on such a good day), I though that I would take a picture of the scenery (with the widest-angle lens that I have available), and here is what I got.

So, who knows where I will end up next, maybe mountain biking, and probably padding (hopefully we'll see a post on the Middle Kings by the end of the summer, but no promices). I hope everyone out there is having as much fun on the water as I am. See you out there hopefully.