Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Rains

Myself on the second falls of the East Frok fo the Beaver River

Days on the St. Louis River were becoming numbered as the power company was to stem the flows releasing from the dam as of June. And though the St. Louis never seems to bore me, however if another option presented itself I would seek it out.After what was one of the driest Spring's in recent remembrance the inevitable occurred. The skies darkened and rain came to the North Country. It was only early May and yet it felt like the infancy of summer despite the inherent lack of leaves about the trees. The rains had fallen steadily over the course of a day. The rains came just in time to aid my internal state of affairs. Medicine and the stress of the educational process had me in a choke hold. I went to the rivers to find release.I wasn't the only one with a longing for the river. The text messages rang out as I was already on my way. Pulled over at the Northern most river on my path and checked the level and it looked reasonable. It was agreed that we'd converge on the East Fork of the Beaver river as it appeared that it's flows would be worthwhile. As I emerged from the bush after checking the levels up close, I found my compatriots awaiting me.
We lazily geared up in warmth of the midday sun and slid our boats into the river. The river was far from spring level and I winced as my 3 season old boat scraped along towards the three falls section. When we arrived we each exited our boats to check the line as it changes with the low water levels. Sure enough the line on the first falls looked to be significantly tricky and the possibility of pitoning came into question. As with any issue of pitons this season, Decker decided he would go first since his breakaway Jackson bulkhead gave him confidence that his ankles would go unscathed in the event of a piton. Sure enough he managed to hit rock but barely.

Joel Runs the first falls of the East Fork of Beaver River

Adjust the line of attack Cliff went next with little incident and T2's results were identical. I decided I had little to worry about and saddled up. I made the tight move working towards the river left and sailed into the aerated water. I emerged smiling without consequence with an eddy full of elated kayakers. From the hanging pool we each became airborne off the next 20 footer landing with the beautiful sound of a "boof".
We couldn't get enough and decided to lap the upper falls. This time when I cam to the first falls I threw a hard strong amongst my descent and boofed out and swung into the second falls without pause and stomped out another boof. We soon found that at the low water levels that the left hand edge of the second 20 foot had an easy cove in which to scale back up to it's lip. And so we preceded with joyous laps off it's beautiful cascade. I couldn't stop and pent up frustration with my internal state affairs melted with each lap. By the end I had lapped the second falls ten times over much less the two laps of the entire sequence already.

Cliff amongst one of many of the laps on the second falls

But alas the time came to let it go. Each with sore backs slid over the last 15 footer and made our way back to the shuttle vehicles. It was a day of pure elation and release. We stood around and talked like excited school boys as the sun slowly fell. Bliss had never come so easily and a rejoiced with my psyche recharged in simple contentment.

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