Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving update from San Louis Potosi, Mexico

(Boyd dropping in on the Rio Verde. Courtesy of Adam Goshorn)

Getting just as thirsty as everyone else with the drought I found out that some of my paddling friends were heading down to Mexico for Thanksgiving in search of the beautiful, travertine waterfalls that San Louis Potosi is known for. Absolutely itching for whatever action I could find, I took off for Tampico with my good friend Drew Armstrong (for those that know him) and rented a car to drive down to meet up with our Alabama friends at Micos. The first stop was the warm, travertine waterfalls of Micos and Saltos for a quick warm up... just good clean fun.

(Adam Goshorn putting in on Micos. photo by Boyd)

(photo of Boyd by Drew Armstrong)

(photo of Drew A. on La Luminosa falls by Boyd)

(Drew and Joey hanging out on the travertine workin' the cameras. Photo by Adam Goshorn)

After our fun warm-up day in Mexico, it was time to branch out and do a bit of exploration. We found some pretty unique waterfalls to run and some truly beautiful kayaking! One Cascade in particular stood out. It's a cascade called Puente De Dios which translates as "Bridge of God." It's a beautiful maze of caves and potholes linked together in and around the riverbed.

(photo of Boyd boofing into Puente de Dios by Drew Armstrong)

The water flows from the falls, through and around the caves, and into a deep pool before going underground. It then flows through a large, caved out room before exiting on its way to Tamasopo. The locals had a rope strung through so you could swim from one side of the cave to the other. We also found out that it is a big attraction for scuba divers. With the sound of screeching bats and whistling locals, we each ran the cascade one at a time trying to avoid any underwater spelunking on our way down the falls. It was a beautiful cascade and unique experience to say the least.

(a perfect place for a hammock)

(local parade... photo by Adam Goshorn)

(the "good" road... photo by Boyd Ruppelt)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Boyd :-)
PS- special thanks to Drew, Kimberly, Joey, and Adam for the pics...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Voy a ir a Mexico!!!

Well, this week I'm continuing my adventures by taking a trip to Mexico!
I'm heading down with my friends, Joey, Adam, and Drew (hopefully meeting up with Rafa too at some point) to run some sweet creeks and waterfalls in Mexico. It should be a good trip and it looks like plenty of good water down there. More on our trip later this week from Mexico!
Boyd :-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

GAF Weekend Update

(Friends & campfire: photo by Boyd Rupplet)
Every year me and Sam make the trek over to NC for the Nantahala Outdoor Center's Guest Appreciation Festival, affectionately called "GAF Fest" by Southeast kayakers and Canoeist. This year was no different. We packed up Thursday night and took off early Friday morning to get and early start on the festivities.

(photo of Boyd by Samantha Brunner)
The week of rain & stormy weather leading up to the trip got our hopes up for the possibilty of something more entertaining over there than the Nantahala... But I we drove the Nashville the rain began to fizzle out and clear skies started to emerge. By the time we arrived in the Nantahala Gorge we found a barely even scrapable river bed in the cascades and a low flowing Nantahala River. Continuing our drive downstream we found what we really come to GAF for, lots of friendly faces and plenty of good times to be had by all! We decided to walk around and find all of our friends until shortly after dark where we were greeted by EJ, Dane, and Jonathan. After a short meeting with EJ, Samantha was ecstatic to find herself as the newest Jackson Kayak regional team member!
(a content & happy Samantha Brunner: by Boyd Ruppelt)

From there we all walked around to check out the sales and to get some dinner (THANKS EJ!). :-) The next day was busy; lots of sales, lots of gear, and lots of people. We stopped at the Jackson Kayaks booth first to help sell boats for NOC, answer questions, and to see the friends this drought has had us missing so much! From there we were off to meet up with some more old friends for a quick trip down the Nantahala River. Searching for at least a taste of some steeper action a couple of us managed to get out and do the seal launch/big slide off the railroad tracks into the river, later followed by an informal Boatercross race through Nantahala Falls. After a long, fun, almost crazy day of work and play, we decided it was time for some food and the classic NOC party and live bands.

(Samantha's always looking for new angles: photo by Boyd Ruppelt)

(photo of Samantha by Boyd Ruppelt)

Nearly partied out we all went back to our friend Anna's campground where I had the the bright idea of spicing it all up with a good, old fashioned a firewalk... We all pitched in and got as much wood as we could afford and built a sweet fire and then all we could do is wait for it to burn down.

(FUEGO!!! Photo by Boyd Ruppelt)

Eventually it burt down and we had nearly used up all our wood so we spread the coles into a path and just built on it until it was a hot, glowing, firey path of fresh coals and embers:

(our glowing path of hot coals: photo by Boyd Ruppelt)

So with the camra ready, the coals hot, and the beer flowing (I was completely sober as always), there was nothing left to do but take our shoes and socks off and start walking! I think my friend Evan went first since he didn't want to wait any longer and it was his first time, and then I went right after while the coals were nice and fresh:

(Boyd barefoot on hot coals; photo by Samantha Brunner)

(Evan going first - the flash knocked out the red color of the coals: photo by Samantha Brunner)
Shortly after us, Samantha did it herself and picked up her camera again to take more pictures. We just kept walking on them and piling on fresh coals until we were out of wood. I literally lost count on how many times I did it and the only slight burn I got was from a hot, sticky ember that got stuck on my foot. It wasn't even a real blister. It was the perfect ending to an already awesome day! Sunday we got up and went back upstream to find some vertical action.

(Samantha and her Gaia duffle: photo by Boyd Ruppelt)

We were up for almost anything at that point and after some searching we found a manky little falls upstream of the cascades (not on whiteoak) where all the volume was channeled through one tough little slot before falling over a 8 ft drop. It wasn't huge and pretty, but it's extremely difficult to have a real good line on it. This puzzle kept us entertained for a while.
(Boyd through the slot and off the lip: photo by Samantha Brunner)

(Samantha showing off with a better line - right above the lip: photo by Boyd Ruppelt)