For many of you following without Facebook, I'm alive and well! The last two months have seen a hiatus from Scootering while travelling to VA for the month of March to visit family and exploring the areas of Southern California by kayak. In February I received a fb message from Scott inviting me to take a break when traveling through Los Angeles. Arriving during one of the heaviest winter rainstorms, I felt like a drowned dog and the hot shower and warm home was a welcome respite from the road. He and Yvette made me feel at home and provided a comforting environment to reconnoiter gear, work on the scooter and get private tours of the LA attractions.
Scott's big hobby is whitewater kayaking, something I had been interested in learning but never had the opportunity. We spent countless days practicing my brace, hip snaps, and roll in his friend Liz's pool dubbed the Roll Hole. This opportunity for one-on-one training will seriously pay off in a year when I put my SeaYak in the Monongahela. The last three weeks were nearly continuously spent paddling and camping. I challenged my limits on Class II and III water with high flows on the beautiful but cold Kern River, took a swim or two and learned much about eddy peel outs, surfing waves, punching holes and rescuing swimmers.
A weekend of cooler wet weather left us searching for sunny skies so we loaded up the flatwater sit on the opposite kayaks and headed over toward Vegas. Just downstream of the Hoover Dam, the crystal clear waters of the Colorado River enter the Black Canyon for a gentle Class I paddle. We put in at Willow Beach then paddled upstream 7mi to camp at Arizona Hot Springs. For the following three days we set out from our basecamp to explore slot canyons, hot springs, waterfalls and extreme scrambling up and down wet ropes on waterfalls. Downright dangerous fun! Desert Adventures out of Boulder City can rent all the gear necessary so if you've got a few days to kill in Vegas, you'll never forget this side trip.
We turned around and headed back to Kernville again for the weekend to hit the 3000cfs river on rapids with names like Lickity Split, Big Daddy and the Cemetery Run. Around the crackling campfire, the sound of a baritone ukulele drifted on the breeze and drowned out by the roar and crash of the swift river. I will look back quite fondly at my time spent in SoCal and to Scott and Yvette for their famous hospitality.
The Ruckus has been serviced and I'm feeling the familiar call of the road again. Planning routes, checking out new places in California and riding northward up through the NW are all heartwarming activities on the horizon. Follow along as I make my way up to Inuvik, NWT in the Arctic Circle.
4/18/2017 12:16:44 pm
So great to have you around for good times! Hate to see you go. Hope you come back soon for more!
4/18/2017 12:56:01 pm
Great to meet you and paddle with you! Happy Travels! Come back for some sailing fun!
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In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.