5 swims and fun had by all. At least no one vomited from exhaustion like the guy who just beat me by a few seconds the last time I raced. While I didn’t get a chance to shoot video this time around, you can check out some Cherry Creek action from this video I put together a few weeks ago.
Thanks to Keith for all the logistics, effort, and money he applied to make it a great party, complete with live music by Kipchoge right on the banks of the Tuolumne River. Here is a little taste of the tunes that I shot from my beach chair as I relaxed under the stars. Not very professional, but basically I just wasn’t into filming and simply wanted to listen. Either way, it gives you a taste. Notice you hear the river directly behind them. We are an hour away from pavement down a steep and treacherous road.
Here are a few mug shots of some of the racers and general attendees.
For the week of July 4th I found myself at the bottom of a river canyon with no cell phone reception, no Internet connection, and nothing to do but kayak and kick it with a dozen friends who were all there to do two things – paddle Cherry Creek and forget what we do on a daily basis.
Cherry Creek is such a perfect combination of hydrology, geology, and geography that if I were to stand up and give a presentation on what constitutes the ideal class V river it would be this place. If you are a confident class V boater then it presents few worries and plenty of excitement. Basically, everything goes but in a big way. To quote Lars Holbek and Chuck Stanley,
“This is where they come to strut their stuff or to get stuffed while strutting.”
The only stress I experienced over the course of the entire week was the unfortunate run-in with a rattlesnake. Several of us were in the midst of an extremely competitive bocce game when we first became aware of its presence. It crossed a dirt road that we were on and hunkered down in a hole presumably built by a mammalian species. I threw a warning rock across its bow and hoped that it was the last I would see of it; but alas, it was not.
Later on that evening it presented itself again. If it were not for the fact that we had a campground full of paddlers sleeping on the ground and dogs oblivious to the powers of poison, I would have left it alone. I don’t like killing things unnecessarily, but in this case it was a problem.
Kayak paddles can serve multiple functions, some of which do not involve actual paddling. A swift blow to the back of the head, a few saw-like motions, and it was not long before I had extinguished the life of this poor yet deadly reptile. I thought for sure I would pay for this action on the river the next day, but as luck would have it I was spared. Regardless, I am sorry rattlesnake. It is not your fault that you were engineered with an extremely effective defense mechanism. It just so happens that humans have a pretty good one too.
Now for the video. There are a few rapids not featured, but if you are new to Cherry Creek then this compilation should give you a pretty good idea. It’s a definite “Splash Party.”