Thursday, May 26, 2005

Making the best of a s##tty situation

So with Gillman on the bench with a messed-up torso, & a long list of no-show team members, we had to come up with a Plan B to entertain Shane. After all, he did invest a lot of money & time getting out to Wyoming to film some kayaking. Memories of his failed Wyo trip from last summer being a constant reminder added extra incentive to get him onto something decent .. quick. Something nearby, fun, with water in it, & not involving a five-hour hike &/or ropework would do just fine.

Todd was unsure when he would be able to paddle again, & when pressured for a guesstimate, the best he could come up with was "I'll be back in the game soon." Options were seemingly limited. The Clarks Fork had jumped up with recent rains & warm weather, so Stix & Stones was way too high .. Obviously, the Box was out of the question .. And everything else was too much of a mission. So for today, the Clark's Fork Day Stretch & Honeymooners sections would have to suffice.

After cramming in a bunch of work phone calls & emails, Todd was easily coerced with a 6'er of New Belgium into coming along to perform photog duties. The drive over Dead Indian Hill into the CF drainage is speckatacular. The massive granite walls of the CF Box loom below, as the huge peaks of the Absarokas & Beartooths in Yellowstone's NE corner stand watch.

Once at the put-in, Gillman was tasting the pain as Shane & E-Rock geared-up for what promised to be a fun, mellow float on the CF. Being on injured-reserve sucks.

The Day Stretch starts out mellow, and makes you think you should have a playboat as it winds through a series of sloping ledges with great wave trains ... Although you are quickly shouldering your boat around an easy portage on the left, and then back in for a minute before scouting Adrenaline, the largest rapid of the Day Stretch.

Robinson getting Adrenalized.

Photo: TG/Range Life

A few more ledges and smaller drops exist before the river mellows, crosses under the highway, and drifts by the Painter Store, home of the epic "Clarks Fork & Spoon" diner. This marks the start of the Honeymooner stretch. This section is a definite notch up in difficulty and contains a few rapids with holes you either have to avoid or paddle very aggresively through. When Crandall Creek flows in you know you its time to take out before floating into the Box Canyon.
And of course, "hike" up to the truck.

Hiking up out of the CF.

Photo: TG/Range Life

While we were boating through the Honeymooners section, Todd kept himself busy scouting out photo opps on Crandall Cr. and mandated that we run one last rapid for the camera. It was worth it when he captured a couple beautiful shots, and a couple graphic ones as well.

Shane Robinson on Crandall Cr.

Photo: TG/Range Life

Setting up a time-lapse on the Box

Photo: TG/Range Life


Fill in your own caption:

Photo: TG/Range Life

After all the picture taking, we headed straight to the Clarks Fork & Spoon where "Everything is good", according to the owner, (& she was right), and pie is served "warmed with Ice Cream" ... as it should be.

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