Monday, August 25, 2008

Still, Hangin' in the Hood

(Mt. Adams with a crazy cloud formation at its' peak.)

Over this past week I have tried to make the best of the time I have while being unemployed.  I have been working every day to find a new career, or at least a solid job.  Last Tuesday I went on two interviews.  Both went well, one with a second interview on Wednesday and the other is a job at a kayak shop.  The second interview on Wednesday went rough, as I found out the job was a bit of a "pyramid" type deal and not something I wanted any part of.

The rest of the week has basically been full of paddling.  I ran a VERY silty East Fork of the Hood River with Joe, Rachel, Sam, & Kate on Thursday.  The run was very manky and the water was extremely hard to read with the insane amount of silt in the water.  I ran the Truss section of the White Salmon, for the third time, on Friday with Sam and Kate.  I had solid lines and again stayed out of the cave at Big Brother.  Saturday I paddled the Lower Wind River with Joe and Sam.  I had solid lines on the harder section, with multiple laps, but completely ran the rapid called "flume" on my head.  I will be back to clean that manky little rapid!  On Sunday a big crew of 11 boaters headed up to run the Upper Upper Cispus again.  I had some really good lines and fired up the big one, "Behemoth", this time around.  I styled the rapid, even avoiding the huge ledge hole after the main drop, 1 of 2 paddlers from the group of 11 to pull that off.  I did somehow loose my helmet from the impact off the main drop.  Luckily it resurfaced in the eddy next to me and everything seems fine with it.  Sadly the wind has not cooperated and has been dead or way to strong for my gear.  Once I get a job my first purchase is going to be a smaller kite so that I can enjoy the strong winds in the gorge.

I did finally get talked into joining Facebook for all of you that do that kind of thing.  I have to admit that it is good catching up with so many people that I had lost touch with.

For all of you who have also been following Julie's story here is the latest:  She is still enjoying her work both as the Windsurfing manager at KSK as well as her custom painting job at Kamanu Composites.  She has been spending most of her free time training for distance season on her outrigger canoe team.  They have done two races, the last one being from Kailua to Waikiki all the way around the south end of Oahu!!!  Julie has been on Facebook for a long time and if your interested I'm sure you can find out more about her on there, through her.

Wish me luck on the career search, as it seems I need it.  Please be sure to keep in touch.  I miss being around a lot of good friends and family that are now all over the country, or at least not in the part of the country that I'm currently in:)

(This was a cool side hike off the Cispus.)
(Joe running the good line at Island rapid on the Cispus.  I ran this on the right, out of frame, and got surfed pretty good in the hole Joe is boofing over.  That will teach me for not scouting a rapid with 90 cfs less water than the last time I ran it.)
(The is Dan Rubado, an old kayaking friend of mine, running Behemoth.  This shot doesn't do the drop justice as it is something like 40 feet from top to bottom.)
(This is a little map of the windsports area in Hood River.)
(This is a shot looking back towards the "Events Site" in Hood River from the sand bar.)
(This shot is from the Kiteboard parking area looking out onto the sandbar.  This shot was taken about 1/2 hr. after the shot above.  Notice the crazy clouds!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hangin' in the Hood

(Just a cool photo)

After OR I spent some time hanging with my friends at H2O paddles before they flew back to Canada.  I also got a chance to see The Dark Knight in an IMAX theater in SLC before I left.  Definitely worth checking out on the BIG screen.  I then drove up to Hood River, OR to hang out with my friends from Baltimore, Joe and Rachel.  They have been great hosts and I've been crashing in their spare bedroom.  The week has been full of paddling, eating out, and watching the Olympics.  I paddled the Truss with Joe on Thursday, and then again on Friday with Andy Maser, another Baltimore paddling friend.  On Saturday a crew of 8 of us drove up to the Cispus River in Washington.  It was a really fun creek, but the water was a bit low and there where lots of trees in the River.  I walked the big rapid on the run, but will fire it up next time for sure.  My paddling skills are all there, but they aren't coming second nature like they should to run the really big and hazardous rapids.  On Sunday I did a whole lot of nothing as the stress, allergies, and everything else finally caught up with me and I got a bad cold.  Today I'm working hard on job applications and followups, as I do everyday, and trying to get rid of this cold.  I should have an interview in Portland this afternoon and another again tomorrow afternoon.  We'll see what my over 14 applications for various positions make happen.
(Joe running Big Brother on the Green Truss section of the White Salmon river in WA.)
(Me having a solid line on Big Brother and being the only one of 6 on this day not to go into the cave on river right.)
(Me at the put-in for the class V Upper Upper Cispus River in WA.)
(Joe's fully loaded rig on the way back from the Cispus with Mt. Adams in the background.)
(Sunday saw the return of the wind to the gorge and everyone was out enjoying it in Hood River.  This shot is from the windsurf launch and doesn't come close to showing the magnitude of this place and the wind junkies that are out enjoying it!)
(This guy was just going off doing huge moves all afternoon.)
(Some of the pros set up a video shoot with this guy on a ladder about 100 ft. away from the sand bar.  The ladder is probably only in about 2 ft. of water.)

(Photos of me taken by Joe Stumpfel)

Monday, August 11, 2008

CA, Hot Rods, & The OR Show

It has been a long week driving around and checking out the scenery.  Route 4 through California was amazingly beautiful and a place that I'll be back to for sure.  South Lake Tahoe was also quite scenic.  Hopefully I can make it back there when the snow is on the ground:)  Sadly there wasn't much wind and I didn't get out kiteboarding again:(  I then spent a little time back in Reno checking out the Hot August Nights car show and hanging out with Stephen Wright.  I wish him the best at the World Cup of Kayaking that starts this week in Europe.  I then spent two days driving across the desert of Nevada, this time on the highway.  I then spent the last four days in Salt Lake City, UT at the Outdoor Retailer show catching up with old contacts and trying to make new ones.  The career search goes on... and on...  I do have a few solid prospects that might happen in the next week.

I have re-evaluated the important things in my life over the past weeks on the road alone.  In the end I just want to be happy and healthy, and I don't think that I could ask for more.  Finding these "small" things has proved to be increasingly difficult.  The real kicker is that I have recently made some mistakes that have made it increasingly difficult to have the important people that I love be an integral part of my life.  It is really difficult when you discover what you want in life and can't have it:(  Hopefully I can adapt or make things rite again in the near future.

The world is still full of possibilities and I'm working hard to find the ones that will fit best in my life.  Please stay well and keep in touch.
(Beautiful California Scenery)
(More CA Wilderness)
(South Lake Tahoe)
(Hot August Nights Annual Car Show in Reno)
(A Really Sweet Orange Hot Rod)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cali Kayaking

This past week has been relatively uneventful with the many things that I'm working on in life.  I did manage to give back a bunch of money to the casinos.  I also got out to Washoe lake once for a little kiteboarding, but the winds where a bit crazy.  The good news is that I got to get out on the river 4 days this week with my good friend from back east Stephen Wright.  We park and played at Barking Dog, ran the Chili Bar run, ran the Gorge section of the S. Fork of the American, and ran the Ramsey Run section of Hells Kitchen.  Barking Dog was fun play and Stephen was showing the locals how to go absolutely huge in a relatively small spot.  The Chili Bar run was stunningly beautiful, but very easy and the play wasn't all that good.  The Gorge section was a blast with tons of little boofs and fun moves to make.  The Ramsey Run section was solid class 5 and was the most beautiful by far with huge granite domes and giant sequioa trees surrounding the river.  It was a blast to be back in my creek boat running the gnar:)
(A cool kiteboard spot about 25 min. south of Reno.  The wind here is crazy gusty.  When I was out I was riding in 9-30!!!  A bit scary to say the least.)
(Lake Washoe kite scene.)
(Stephen Wright going huge, as usual, at the Barking Dog playspot on the S. Fork of the American River.)
(Giant sequoia trees with Jessica, Stephen's girlfriend, and my paddling rigs.)
(Packing the boat for the 1/2 mile bushwhack down to the Ramsey Run.)
(One of the first drops on the Ramsey Run.)
(Stephen getting a nice big boof on one of the many manky rapids on the Ramsey Run.)
(Me dropping into one of the many beautiful granite gorges.)
(Stephen boofing into and styling the big drop on the run.  I walked this one today, but I'll be back.)
(Stephen using the rock to style this little chute.)
(Me helping out a fellow paddler on the river recover his boat after a swim.)

I'm now out in the middle of nowhere CA and looking for some more trouble to get into.  My only plan at the moment is to be at the OR show in SLC on Friday.  My grandparents health has improved, but please still keep them in your thoughts.  There is great news from Hawaii, Julie got 3rd in states for her outrigger canoe racing!  A BIG congrats to her on that amazing accomplishment.  Well, I have to find some cell service and a place to sleep tonight.  Keep in touch. Peace....

(All photos of me courtesy of Stephen Wright)