Sunday, September 28, 2008

Intense WW kayaing day

Yesterday was an intense day for white water kayaking. I started the day at 10:00 with a level 3 class that ran for 4 hours. I wasn't sure what to expect for the class but the water was big. We put in below Great Falls on the Potomac and tried to cross over a large current. I didn't make it and had trouble rolling back up. I think I also have a mental block that prevents me from rolling once I know someone is right beside me. Once the instructor was right there I just gave him my hand to pull me back up. I should have tried to roll anyways. I don't think any of us were really ready for that lesson. Most of us had trouble rolling back up and while I didn't let myself capsize again, I had a few near tippings. I think if we had started off with a good roll in calm water that would have boosted our morale.

I went to the social paddle at 5:00 and started working on things that should be second nature at this point. I am really sore today. I did play a little in the hole, but as one of the instructors was trying to get us to work on skills, I decided to work on ferrying across with him most of the 2 hour event. I realize that as much fun as it is to try to get in the hole and play with it, I need to work on skills that will let me play better in the future.

It was a rather drab and overcast day too. The sun barely peaked out at one point and for the rest of the day it rained off and on. At least we were all wet so we didn't notice the rain very much. It actually was kind of fun to paddle in the rain, calming and relaxing as we just floated down the river.


Friday, September 26, 2008


My dad went to Africa on some contract work and finally decided to start up a blog. Now if only I could get my brother and mother to start one. My father certain has an wry sense of humour especially on life. On his travels around Africa, he is always quick to point out how much fun he is having but careful to mention that the company is paying him to do this. My brother has a similar sense of humour, I think his blog would be hilarious to read. My mom makes jewelry and likes to review movies, I think a blog would help her get more exposure on her jewelry and likely she could even link it to an Etsy site and do internet sales too. At the very least, I would like to read her views on movies they have seen as I don't have as much time to watch movies as I used to. I have to choose wisely now.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gauley Fest

I decided spur of the moment to go to Gauley Fest this year out in West Virginia. Basically this is a festival about all things white water. And boy do these people know how to party. Good thing I had earplugs with me. I arrived Thursday evening and started helping to volunteer. Since I didn't know anyone, I thought this would be the best way to get to know people and at least I would have something to do other then listen to music. I still don't have any white water gear of my own. I was kind of hoping I would win a boat but I knew that was slim. But since I was volunteering I did hear about an opportunity to go white water rafting. Someone had a few spots available in their raft on Saturday that they wanted to fill and me plus someone I was volunteering with dropped everything and went. I ended up switching over to another raft that had even less people in it and eventually the other guy did too. So we were 9 people spaced across two rafts. It was perfect. The water was a little cold, but great. There were two raft guides in the raft I was in and we had such a great time. As this was not a paid trip, they were in it to have fun and fun was had by all. I managed to get some great pictures of the rapids before and after, and shot some video too. This was some really big water as they were doing releases from the dam. We did the Upper Gauley river which has a lot of class III to V rapids.

On Sunday four of us went out again on the Upper Gauley and thankfully the two guides managed to wrestle up a couple of helmets and an extra PFD for the two of us. Between that and my gear bag, we managed to dress warmly enough. I was kicking myself for not staying up Saturday night and enjoying more of the party. At least I should have tried to pick up a helmet. I did manage to snag a great deal on a rain coat. It normally retails for 300$ but the guy was selling for 25$ and no that is not a typo. I'd have picked up another for my dad (and I did ask) but they didn't have anything larger then a extra large and the vendor said it was closer to a large. Oh well, I do have extra rain coats now and will give him one from the pile that fits him.

We didn't get off the water until almost 5 then I still have 5 and a half hours to drive back to DC. That was a long drive and I was really tired. I feel like I am still recovering but I had such a great time. I am definitely putting this on my calendar of things to do next year. Hopefully I will have my own gear so I can actually go and play on some of the Lower Gauley.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Writing group

I have finally started going back to the Wednesday night writing group. I am not consistent yet, but at least I am starting to go and I have been trying to get back into writing again. I don't think I will participate fulling in NanoWriMo this year as it is too hard on my wrists and brain. I also find that when I finish November and Nano, I am too trashed to even think about writing again for many months. I need to be more consistent rather then writing in large bursts. I also want to work more on properly planning out a story line with background and character development. I have been thinking about taking some writing classes but I am not sure what would be more appropriate. I want to do creative writing but I have actually been making money on journalistic style writing, or knowledge based writing. So I could take a creative writing course and try to bring up the other side. Or I can take a journalist class and try to make more money. I think in the end, I might not do much this year and see what the new year brings. This will give me some time to work more on the creative writing side of things. In the end, I have really only made about 20$ from the articles I wrote for Associated Content. Small change but now I am hooked and want to make more. After all, it would be nice to have a white water kayak of my own.