Monday, September 29, 2008

Humble Pie!

Well, here we go, taking the plunge into the blogging world. Don't tell anyone! This whole thing seems like a great way to say "Hey, look how cool I am", or how stupid, I guess it depends on your point of view. If you know nothing else about me, know these two things. I like to kayak, and humility is not my strongest attribute. (I am the most humble person I know). So in an attempt to start off with a dose of humility, Yesterday I ate the biggest slice of humble pie in my short paddling career. The setting was the Ogden Mountain2Metro games and the river race on the Ogden narrows. This is a class IV stretch of whitewater that I have previously paddled without incident. Showed up at 8 am to catch the start of the recreational release flow from Pineview dam. Typically the Ogden River runs about 15 cfs but for the race they released 500. Signed up for the race and then went for a pre-race lap with some friends. All was well until "Poison Ivy" a pour-over with a fairly powerful recirc behind it. I got stuffed cold and sucked back in, stern squirted and landed on top of another boater (Chris Jones) coming through. Made it out alive and headed down through "Demon" and here is where things went poorly for polly. I go over and just as I start to roll up I hit my hand on a rock and lose my paddle from said hand. No worries I've been here before, just reach over and get paddle back...WHACK! I introduced my head to a rock with enough force to crack my carbon fiber helmet. Scratched but didn't break my glasses, and bruised my nose and cheek. I don't think I have ever been hit in the head that hard, not even by Ray Newberry! So at this point I drop the paddle and decide to get the hell out of the boat. Pulled the grab-loop to get out of my boat and lost my hold, now I start to panic. I gotta get out of this boat before I drown. My thought process was sped up by the continued pummeling of my head on the rocks. I get out and start swimming and there goes my new paddle that I spent and exorbitant amount on. I started swimming for it then realized that by the smallest of margins my life is worth more than the paddle so I gave it up and swam for shore. My boat pinned itself down stream and Chris found my paddle so once I was coherent again I was able to complete the run. I haven't had to swim from my boat since my first year paddling so I was pretty shaken and humbled by the whole thing. I did get in again and run the race where I almost ate it in the same spot again. Finished somewhere in the middle of the pack of about 60 racers. So there you go, my story of humility. Don't expect any more.

Here is the Ogden prior to the release

same stretch right as the flood came down.

and here is the abuse to my ugly mug. Note the bruised forehead(thats from the foam in my helmet pushing into my skull. Also note the swollen (drunk guy) nose. I was just a few millimeters from completely rearranging my face. Might not be a bad thing.