After we left the Crested Butte area on Saturday night, kind of late I must add, we thought that we were in for a little 5 hour drive. Nothing bad remembering that we drive 7 hours for a great run regularly; however our drive north to Big South was longer than we had thought. After pulling in at 6:30 in the morning, Boyd and I "slept" sitting up in the cab of our truck. Three hours later we were awake and talking to the other guys about the run they were about to do.
With 11 miles of hard class V/V+ at high water, Big South is considered to be within the top five runs of Colorado. The gate was open by Sunday and, although it was at high water, quite a few boaters showed up to enjoy the run. Some of the guys that Boyd met up with were Marty Cronin, the co-founder of Jackson Kayaks, and Clay Wright- a world class kayaker from middle Tn that also paddles for JK. A very good group of people to run this river with.
Since I am not a solid class V/V+ boater yet, I wound up being a shuttle bunny for my first time ever. I gave Boyd and Clay a ride up to the put in and then drove the truck back down to the take-out so that they could get to the truck when they get off of the river. After dropping off the truck, I hiked the Big South trail with Flow(Clay's doggie), one of the best dogs I have ever met. The Big South trail follows the river, so I hiked it hoping to catch up with the guys. Flow kept me company on the trail as she warded off evil bears and mountain lions!
After hiking 8 miles, the trail started to veer a little too much from the river. If the paddlers came down I would have missed them, so Flow and I decided to turn around and hike to a cool rapid that I could definately catch them at called Slideways. While waiting on the guys to come down Flow and I played fetch and hung out in the sun.
With 11 miles of class V/V+ creeking I was a little worried about Boyd. Driving all night and no food can knock someone off of their A-game. I knew that he was stomping the river- I had just hoped that he wasn't too worn out. By the time that the group came to Slideways they all looked tired, but they were still doing well.
After Big South Boyd and I headed over to Fort Collins to grab a hotel so that we could get some rest and take a shower since we had not had one in five days. During the five minutes that it took for us to get a room a stray bullet hit the back window of Boyd's camper top causing it to shatter. Already tired from no no sleep the night before, we were both in a pretty bad mood. We spent a lot of the night cleaning out glass form the back of his truck. We duck taped the window for now so that we could sleep while still feeling safe. I must say that it is quite a good ducktaping job! Boyd and I decided to spend the next day resting a little bit; so we worked on editing our footage and vacuuming the glass out of the back of the truck. That night we headed back over to the Big South area to meet up with some other boaters that were going to run Big South the next day. We camped there and wound up running shuttle for them the nthat morning before heading out to Salida, Co.
At Salida we got in some good surf. Sorry guys no pictures, but I will tell you that I got some awesome surf! Boyd still played, taking it easy in the hole while still managing to land some beautiful loops and even an incredible space godzilla. We are planning on heading back over there soon so you can bet that we will have the cameras out! After surfing we headed back over to the Crested Butte area. Today Boyd managed to get two good runs in on the waterfall section of Oh Be Joyful before the storms hit.
As of right now it is 3 in the morning in Gunnison, Co. I haven't had a shower since Sunday night So Imma need to hit that up before I crash.