Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer Time coming to an end

Vanessa, myself, Becca, Cooper and Camera man Scott
The best thing about summer time is hanging with your friends in beautiful places. The worst thing about summer time, the end of summer. I have chosen to be a raft guide as my profession and have been able to support my lifestyle by working on the river. One of the harder parts about this job and lifestyle is that it is seasonal and before you know it, the season has come and gone and you say goodbye to a bunch of friends that you might not see until the next summer. Hopefully you did not spend to much money at and your savings looks good for the so called off-season, so you can travel and have another sort of adventure.

The Start of the Rim Fire
With this past summer being a low-water year in California, due to not much snow last winter I chose to work on the Tuolumne river again because we were guaranteed raft able flows throughout the entire summer. But like any seasonal job and more importantly a job that relies on nature to perform, it does not always turn out as planned. The Kern River for example had a very short window of rafting this summer due to low water on the lake and many of those raft guides were out of work or had to move to another river. The Tuolumne this year shut down a few weeks early due to the Rim Fire that ended up being one of California’s largest wildfires to this date.

The start of the fire came at the end of a great weekend of rafting and kayaking. With the Cherry Creek race approaching and some good friends coming to visit I planed to take off a few days of work to go and play in my own backyard. Some good friends of mine, Scott and Vanessa, came up from San Diego and I got my buddy Cooper to take them rafting down Cherry Creek while I trained up on some race lines for the Cherry Creek race. Following that day of rafting, kayakers from around Cali started showing up for Saturdays race day. About 30 kayakers showed up to do the 6 mile sprint down Cherry Creek, which is a continuous class 4-5 river. I paddled my way into second place behind a good friend Sam, the both of us broke the record for the short boat category.
Finish Line Lewis Leap

Right before the ceremony was to take place by our riverside campground we noticed a bit of smoke coming from over the ridge. Just as toasts where being made and paddlers where being congratulated the Forest Service came and told us there was a mandatory evacuation due to a wild fire nearby. Well it turned out that this little fire went on to burn 394 square miles of forest and taking some homes and structures in the process. With access to the river being closed for the rest of the season and my next travel plans not being until September 9th, the next best option was to head south for some sun, cervezas and chorbel time in Baja.

Longboard days at the beachbreak

With the end of every season something new always comes seems to come along. This summer with our season ending a few weeks early it allowed me to spend some more time with my family and some friends that I don’t get to see very often and not to forgot relax at the beach at the casa in Baja. The surf did not pan out to be anything incredible but there was always something to long board and the weather could not have been any better. In less then 24 hours I will be on a plane heading to Africa to continue my summer living on another continent. I will miss my friends and family, but am happy to see my friends and family of Zambia. Until next season I will miss my river brothers and sisters and I will continue to drop in proud. Love you allJ

All Photos by Scott Leduc/
Some different views of Lumsden Falls
Chris Madden charging with Pruett watching closely

Baja Goodness


And now off to Africa in my new boat thanks to Fluid Kayaks


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