Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Fort Springs to Glen Ray Rd at Alderson

We had another Wednesday adventure.
Water was at 2.84 and the speed was about 484.

We prefer above 3 feet.

It doesn't seem like a lot, but those 3 or more inches make dealing with rocks easier.

Most of the rapids were not a problem. I was a lot stressed about rolling again, mostly because it seems like such a fail when that happens. The water was moving slow enough today that it wasn't going to run me way down the river like it did last week, but it was low enough that working through an area would result in hitting more rocks with legs and such. Luckily, I only rolled one time and that was the very bottom of a rapid. Everyone was sitting there watching.

Right after that was our lunch stop at Stuart's. Good food, high price. It is what it is.

A couple of tubers joined us after lunch. It slowed us down a little, but made for more fun.

The one thing I was afraid of was under the old bridge in Alderson. We went through one time when the water was so low we had to walk through the cobble.

Fortunately, 2.84 was enough through there. Past that there are some cobble areas. We should stay in the middle at this level. I went right and bounced a bit.

Finally made it to our pull out. All was a good day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

High water on the Greenbrier

We kayaked Talcott to Willowwood on June 13, 2018. Water was 3 feet last night and 765 cfs. It jumped to over 4.5 feet today and 3200 cfs. We did not check that before heading out. It turns out there was a lot of rain upstream overnight. If we had known we would have done something different.

Four feet is too high to hit the first rapids. We did not think it through. Just went on bad information assumptions. Five kayaks, dumped four of them, I road the entire "Lindsey Slide" in the water to the end, a lot of rapids, a lot of water. It was about a mile and a half, which may be more than the actual slide, but the water was moving so fast we couldn't stop. Billy stuck with me while I held onto my kayak. Then I let it go and we tried to get to shore, but all that happened is I ended up dumping him by hanging on. We caught up with my kayak a little later and then the rest of the crew found us sitting on a bank waiting for them.

Information: that part of the slide is good on the right for less than 3 feet and slower water. The guys did it before. It might be better on the left side with higher water. We didn't even look due to our assumption that the right side was always good.

Rules for future trips, which are obvious, but somehow we let our excitement about the first run of the season get the best of us.

1. Check the water levels before leaving the house. Weather check up stream might be smart too.

2. If you end up in the water, especially with so much speed and rapids to deal with, Try to hang on to the kayak. I used it as protection from the rocks. Held on to both sides of the cockpit and did everything I could to keep my body, hands, knees, and feet inside as I went over the rapids. Basically, ride it anyway you can.

3. Find an eddy, get in it and rest. If you still have the kayak, empty it out, and keep going. If you don't have it, hope your friends are still coming down the river.

4. Wear your life jacket. Make sure it fits. Tighten the straps. My waist strap seemed tight, but the whole life jacket was slid up and was only caught by my shoulders. That helped keep water out of my face, but I had to be careful.

5. Water is fun and dangerous. Be careful out there.