Friday, July 18, 2014

Playing Hooky to Paddle

I was never the student who played hooky from class in high school and rarely did I have sick days when I was an employee but in my forties I am learning to play hooky.  Playing hooky in my mind is a gift I give myself.  This gift rejuvenates me and it reminds me of why I got in the Paddlesports business 20 years ago - I love to paddle and be on the water.

Our home is a bit like a revolving door, people coming, people going and for the most part I like it that way.  Earlier this week, our friends and canoe instructors, Allyson Phillips and Roger Warnatsch from Green Wave Canoeing in Kimberley, BC came through town.  This was an opportunity to connect with friends that live hours away over cold ciders and healthy meals AND go paddling.

Mark and I took, Allyson and Roger's Moving Water Canoe Course last month.  You can read all about that adventure here and we were stoked to get on the water with them again.  This time, on OUR home rivers, the Chilliwack and Vedder Rivers in our favourite, Esquif Pocket Canyon. The Pocket Canyon is our go to boat for play days on the river where we do not have to load it with overnight gear.  Our Prospecteur 17 or Mistral 17.5 is what we use for multi-day trips.

We put in on river left across the river from Osbourne Road, this put in is accessible via the Vedder Logging Co. Road (take Chilliwack Lake Road, cross Tamihi Bridge and take your first right).  You do have to do a bit of a carry to access the river but it's not far.  We took out on river right at Lickman Road.  This run is a class 2/2+ and the biggest hazard is wood/trees and immersion.  During our run there were a couple of blind corners but we did not find any wood blocking the entire river.  There was always a way to avoid it.

Despite the crazy warm temperatures we have been having in the Fraser Valley recently we were dressed for full immersion in our Kokatat Goretex Meridian Drysuits and Maximus and Maximus Prime PFD's.  So often this summer we have seen people "tubing" down the Vedder River in no immersion gear and no PFD's.  The water is very cold, even on a hot day.  This was also an opportunity for me to try out my new Werner Paddles carbon Bandit - I loved it.  The swing weight was amazing and the paddle was "bomber" tough.

This run has everything in it, wave trains (big and small), one friendly hole and lots of spots to stop and enjoy your surroundings.

I hope this post inspires you to play hooky and go paddling!  It may be just the perspective change you need.

Thanks to Allyson Phillips for all the photos.

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin