On the River: Wet and stupid | AspenTimes.com

On the River: Wet and stupid

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Put me in a kayak on a river ” any river ” and I’m a happy idiot.

It doesn’t have to be big or gnarly and I don’t have to be pulling flippy tricks worthy of a shot in “Paddler Magazine.”

There’s just something simple and wonderful about shoe-horning into my boat and peeling out into any moving current.

My first day of paddling this year was on Wednesday along the class II Toothache stretch of the Roaring Fork River below Aspen (from the western edge of Woody Creek to the Old Snowmass Conoco).

It was running higher than other times I’ve run it, but there wasn’t too much particularly challenging, and that was just what I was looking for to start the season.

My friend and I caught eddies where we could, pulled some jet-ferry moves from one side of the river to the other in the swift current, and caught a few rides on standing waves and holes.

But that first plunge was all about working the kinks out.

The Toothache rapid proper, which rises to a Class III rating in higher water, posed a challenge with a few must-miss holes, but I felt calm and confident and whooshed right through.

I might get my moxie up as the season wears on, but for now, and with local rivers gushing out of control and rising, I’ll stick to simply messing about in my boat wherever I can.

And maybe I’ll get a subscription to “Paddler Magazine” to see what all the maniacs are doing this years.


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