For the first time in many years I took the summer off to prepare for my first full time teaching position. Of course, i cant prepare everyday, and as a result many, many days where spent on one of my favorite places, the Deerfield River.
Over the years I have made many great friends on the river. Nowadays, i have no problem heading to the river, sticking out a thumb, and finding a friend to paddle with. Afterwards beers are cracked open at the take out or a trip to the Mohawk pub for a BBC River Ale is used as a debriefing session.
I spent my 33rd birthday paddling the Dryway, a classic class 4 run. As tradition holds, the birthday boy must roll their boat for each year he was born. Yet these 33 rolls holds no comparison to the 60 rolls my paddling buddy Bob performed a few weeks after. Prior to Bobs birthday paddle, Bob got caught up in rock in the gap, broke his paddle into 2, and swam through a rocky line that left him a bit 'dazed and confused'. Bob, who requires 2 hearing aids to hear on land, but cannot use them on the river and thus left virtually deaf, came back to the river with a new paddle. He rolled his boat 60 times and made a clean run through the gap. Bob earned his post paddle beer, old men do rule!
Surfing the new creek boat on Disappointment Wave, Dryway