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Saturday, May 30, 2015

West Fork and a Flip

West Fork River                                                  12.6 miles                              589 total
With PAU (me, Scotty, Suzie, Lisa, Cliff, Jerry, Dan)
Weather - about 80 degrees, beautiful blue skies
Total Paddling Time 4:17, Avg Speed 2.9, Max Speed 8.7

Scotty and I met the others at Clarksville's new put-in.  There will be 7 of us paddling; Blueway Adventure took our kayaks up into Kentucky where we put in our kayaks.  There was a little jump in the water that we had to get past, and we all managed.  It was a perfect day for paddling.  We like the smaller groups as we get to know the other paddlers.   We met the other 5 people and really enjoyed talking with all of them today.  It sure is fun learning about other people as you're paddling down a beautiful river.  We stopped for lunch on a rocky bank.  There aren't a lot of pull-overs on the West Fork.  The paddle was fairly uneventful.  We looked for 2 kayaks that were stuck in a strainer.  We found the strainer and it was huge, but Jerry decided he wasn't going to ruin a perfect paddle by climbing for 2 kayaks.  We took another short break farther down the river.  It was soon after that there was a fork in the river.  I followed Jerry (mistake as he is a whitewater paddler).  He yelled to go left, but it was too late.  I attempted to turn around, but instead got sucked right into the current under a tree and just like that - my boat flipped over.  It really took my breath away being under that cold water.  I got to shore, they pulled my boat over and I worked on emptying the boat!  I lost nothing, but my dignity - heck that was long gone (especially as I decided that it would now make a good time for my bathroom break since I was already in the river).  The take out has a pretty strong current, but we managed to get all 7 kayaks over to the steps.  And the hardest part of the whole day was carrying the kayaks up the steps at the end.  Great weather, great people, great paddle and as I'm typing up this blog 2 hours later, it is pouring down rain (the rain that was predicted to come earlier today)>

Jerry, Lisa, Suzie, Dan, Julie, Scotty (Chip was taking photo)

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