Sunday, July 7, 2013

FD2 Whitewater kayaking Montana days 1, 2 & 3

Well it is that time again, time for me to spread that fantastic First Descents LOVE! I just came home from another fantastic whitewater trip which has left me feeling that FD magic all over again! But it is really hard to cram all that happened into one blog post especially because who wants to read something that long. So I have decided to break it up into a few posts. So here goes I hope you're ready for the retelling of some awesome adventure time!

This is where I am going to start my story Spokane International Airport! I flew out of Logan International Airport at 6am on Sunday June 30th, which as you have guessed that means I was up at about 3am. After a stop in Minneapolis I arrived in Washington at 10:32am, where I would be waiting until 12pm for everyone elses flights to arrive. I met one other camper while waiting, Dak who happened to be on the same flight as me. So we hung out til everyone else got there. Once it hit 12 everyone started coming in and we found one and other. There was Road Rash, Flip Flop, Bro Puppy, Pasta, CoPilot, Tiger and of course me. Braveheart who was our volunteer and incharge of all our lovely beings was also there. She informed us that two other campers were stuck because their flight had been cancelled. They were able to get a flight but it wouldn't be arriving until 6pm. That is what started the Washington adventure. Oh yea and incase you are completely confused about all the names I will let you know that everyone that is involved with or goes to a first descents camp gets a nickname. Mine is Aly Cat!

Our first stop was to...
which was not only a market but also had a deli section. So we all gathered for some lunch. After about an hour we set off on our next adventure. We were heading to the movies!! It took us a little while to find a place to park for two reasons. 1.) we were traveling in a 12 person van and 2.) the Spokane Hoopfest was going on.
But we did finally find a place to park that wasn't too far away and got to AMC theatre. We got to see...
This movie was so funny! It kept us thoroughly entertained and most importantly awake! It was just the right amount of time. When it was done it was time to return to the airport where our last two campers were ready and waiting for us. Now that Buo and DotCom had joined our caravan it was time to head to Kalispell!!

It was LONG ride about 5 1/2 hours. We stopped twice but quickly got back on the road. It wasn't until about 11:30pm that I was finally able to sleep in the van which was mainly because that is about when it started to get dark. We hit the dirt road part Glacier National Park about 12:30am and everyone in the van was awake. We got to the cabins around 1am where we all quickly got our bags and headed to our respective beds. I did meet some people that night but I couldn't tell you who!

After some much needed sleep I woke up to one of our lovely camp moms Mama Mia telling us it was time to get up because breakfast was ready and we needed to get fitted with all our gear this morning. I rolled out of bed and proceeded to spend the next couple of hours meeting the new people (Bandcamp, Journey, Bruce, Mama Mia, Ruby, Bomb, The Dude, Raz, Patch and Pedro), having breakfast, of course really getting a chance to check out where we were staying and getting all our gear fitted.

Then came the part I had been waiting for since last year, it was time to hit the water!!!

After some beginner time of learning how to wet exit and just getting comfortable in our kayaks it was lunch time. Then we got to hit the river! I will admit that I did in fact flip once that day however it was because I hit the Eddy line wrong and just went over. I just kept my hand up and waved at Pedro (One of the camp directors) to come get me. I successfully did a T rescue with a little help from Patch (our other camp director) because he helped tilt my kayak back down. Then a little later down the river Pedro was there again just as I was about to flip he grabbed my kayak and kept me up. But then his kayak went under mine and I saved him so it was a win win!

When we got back to the cabins we got to have our first dinner together!
The camp moms and camp dad really took good care of us and made a fantastic meal. Then we had our very first campfire.
Besides kayaking campfire is my next favorite thing about going to an FD camp! It just gives you a chance to unwind, share your thoughts about the day or in our case whatever Pedro decides we should talk about. Then we also get a run down of how the next day will go and what time we have to get up. Just so great to sit around the campfire. Then we all headed to bed!

Day 3: We launched right from the creek where we were staying. It was very overwhelming to look at and so some of us needed a little extra reassurance before we headed down the creek. At about 11:30am we got started, Bandcamp and I went first. Our friend Journey flipped on her way down the river and got stuck in some strainer trees. Pedro was able to save her and get her out of all that. But the best part is that she immediately said she wanted to go back to beginning and start down the creek in her kayak all over again!! Woohoo Journey you are amazing!

We were split up into pods with each pod having a guide assigned to them. We were with Korps! As we made our way down the river everything just seemed to be going wrong. There was too much congession on the river, we were all staying together instead of stay separated into our pods. We had one particular rapid that had massive carnage because all of went through together, more than 6 people flipped over and wet exited and all needed help getting to shore and emptying their boats. It took us seven hours to get down the river because of all of us flipping and spending more time in eddy's recovering then on the river. When we finally got back to the cabins we got to celebrate a fellow campers birthday, Journey! We had a great time dancing around, watching journey smash the pinata and of course playing with all the stuff we got.
Left to right: Patch, Journey and Pedro

Then when we had dinner it was late. We forfeited campfire because it was so late and we were all tired. However I certainly learned why campfire is such a part of the nightly routine. Everyone in my room was certainly wired, we were up until 12:30am talking. Mama Mia actually came in and told us to go to sleep, haha. But we finally did!

To Be Continued...

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