Friday, June 17, 2005

wild west adventuring and the long awaited reunion

Teaching took me all the way to my first view of the Pacific Ocean. I spent one week outside of Santa Cruz in the beautiful costal redwood forests.
A walk on the Pacific beach of California.

photo by Mefford Williams
After my teaching obligations were finished I was ready to hunt down Shanna and rescue her from the "Lealandria" mess that her post Salmon River road trip had become. Shanna spent a long week in the back of Leland and Andria's van, sharing her space with Hudson, the dog, who at one point had a fragrant showdown with a skunk.
Needless to say I was on my way to pick up my baby quickly. The drive from Yosemite to Boulder, CO was long (31 hours) but scenic.
Some where in Utah.

photo by Mefford Williams

First stop was Salida to meet-up with Philly, Yonton, and the in town whitewater playpark.

photo by Philly Williams

From here we cruised toward Crested Butte, CO and the amazing whitewater of Oh-Be-Joyful Creek. Free camping at the take-out of a one mile run that drops a total of 400 vertical feet: we were in heaven. The only downside being that unless you have a four-wheel-drive rig, you're walking to the put-in.

Shanna making good use of the back-yak system. Thanks JEB Hall for Mefford's fabulous graduation gift.

photo by Mefford Williams
The run starts off with a clean fifteen footer, only 4 meters from where you put your skirt on. Other highlights include a clean 25 footer and the bottom slide section called: "Avalanche".
While in Crested Butte, we met up with a hilarious duo from the east coast: Will and Mark. Will is a Green River boater and Mark is a familiar face from all over the southeast's rivers. The two are spending the first half of the summer cruizing in Will's '89 diesel Mercedes wagon, following the whitewater and teasing each other and anyone they boat with.

Here are the super heroes getting ready at the Upper East put-in, another Crested Butte local run we combined with a double on Oh-Be-Joyful to fill a long summer day in Colorado.

photo by Mefford Williams

Unfortunately we were having too much fun to take photos on the rivers, themselves. Oh well...maybe next year.
From Crested Butte we made our way to Durango to visit with Toon and Dunbar and try to get the car fixed. Hanging out was a success, fixing the car was not. With an estimate from the Durango shop, "Affordable Automotive", of $1200, we decided to take our chances with the car and wait for a less expensive fix.
In Durango we enjoyed some quality mountain biking as well as a tricky wave we surfed in this town's playpark.

photo by Toon

Also near Durango is the classic, Lime Creek. We had quite an adventure here with a team swim and of course the fabulous "Adrenaline Falls". Adrenaline is a great name for this 2 and a half foot wide, 25 foot tall waterfall.
Shanna got some great shots of me dropping in:

photo by Shanna Powell
So much fun, I had to run it twice.

photo by Shanna Powell
But of course Shanna's silly boyfriend missed her run. This, however, is what you feel like at the bottom of Adrenaline Falls:

photo by Mefford Williams
The last rapid on Lime Creek is called "Dragon's Back": a fourteen foot waterfall with a tricky entrance, and as Shanna, Will Lyons, and Jason Eights found out, a hole at the bottom worthy of swimming away from (especially when your surfing along with two other boaters and their boats).
Here are the three proud members of the Lime Creek Swim team:

photo by Mefford Williams

Shanna and I then revisited the playpark scene in Buena Vista, CO. on our way toward Evergreen and eventually Shanna's fast approaching work date.
Shanna throwing down as usual:

photo by Mefford Williams

While she wasn't killing it in on the wave, Shanna also took some time to snap some of me, also killing it:

photo by Shanna Powell

In the parking lot of the whitewater park, we cooked up a mean dinner while the sun set behind the rocky and still snow covered mountains:

photo by Mefford Williams
From here we fixed the car in Evergreen, CO much thanks to the hospitality of Shelley and Brandt Swankey and their 16 month old, Julia. Only $300 to fix the van here, and we exited the garage with T-minus 3 hours before Shanna officially started work with The Road Less Traveled.

We packed our summer storage unit and said our sad good-byes in Monument, CO. Shanna heads on to unknown adventures, for an unknown amount of time, in an unknown place while I head to California for the much less mysterious High Sierra whitewater.

Stay tuned for more stories and images from your favorite traveling pair (even while they're apart). In closing here's a shot of the great blue heron we happened upon near O-B-J:

photo by Mefford Williams

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