8:00 Saturday morning at David Levine's home.
Brian & Kathie have arrived with their gray boat and trailer.
Captain Brian can be identified as the guy always holding a brew! :)
David's blue boat going on top of Brian's.
The boats are the same size. ..Brian's will be rigged for paddlers, while David's will be rigged for him to oar.
Connecting in Canon City with the rest of paddlers, i.e., Matt and Michelle; Michelle's sister, Jenny; and Matt's high school friends Taylor and Dane.
Driving west along Hwy 50 to our put-in.
The Arkansas almost has bank-to-bank boats already!
Stopping to scope out a particularly gnarly rapid.
One wrong move here will be your last move!
Yep - notice this is a video, the first of eleven total.
Brian: "well done."
Topping off the tanks.
This is the Pinnacle Rock put-in; lots of boats here.
The paddlers getting fitted out.
Matt, Penny & Michelle.
Lathering up is key - especially with a friend.
Gnarly Bill & Gnarly Bob ready to launch with Captain David.
Bob uses a soft helmet.
But first the SAFETY talk! .. David said he's done the Ark over a 100 times - we didn't ask about casualties. :)
[Close up images to follow.]
We'll be boating for just under 19 miles total.
We'll have a lunch stop in Parkdale, then into the madness through the Royal Gorge - ending in Canon City at River Station.
Flow today is at 1,940 cubic feet per second - not real dangerous but dangerous enough to make it worthwhile!
Too many rapids named here. .. Map from Wilderness Aware Rafting: http://www.inaraft.com/arkansas-river-rafting-co.php ... then click Royal Gorge Full Day.
[After viewing link, use browser's back arrow to return to album.]
Almost 11:45 and ready to launch.
Yeah, it's all "fun and games" - until we get serious!
You know this is a private trip rather than commercial due to the variety of helmet colors among the seven paddlers.
David's in control while Bob & I relax up front.
SweenCat boat in rear.
I'm always on the left of the bow, Bob on the right.
Our key job is to serve as a wave-shield for David.
The oars are primarily for steering, as the boat will move fairly fast just with the current.
More boats launching - everyone with the same helmets.