Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trip Photographs III- the Snake River (WY)

Sorry about that—I didn't mean to leave y'all hanging. We arrived home after our week and a half of travelling on Sunday afternoon, and now, on Tuesday evening, I feel a little blogging energy returning. In my last post I mentioned that everyone in Jackson has nicknames, and that I would explain the origin of "Little Kahuna Bunny." Here goes: I have done some whitewater kayaking, but not in the "big" water that one finds out west. Having seen the Snake River first hand, I decided that I didn't want to paddle it on my own, so we rented a two person inflatable kayak (called a Duckie), and along with Red Leader and her hubby, also in a Duckie, and the Pope of Chili Town, in his own one-person inflatable, set out to paddle the section of the Snake between West Table campground and the Sheep Gulch boat launch. Things went okay until we were over half way through the run, at which time S. and I capsized at the top of one of the largest rapids, called "Big Kahuna," and not only swam through that rapid, but also, not being able to make it across the "eddy wall" into the eddy (we almost made it, but then got sucked back into the current: not fun!) ended up swimming through a formidable rapid called "Lunch Counter." After that we were able to make it to land, albeit on opposite sides of the river. Thank God for life jackets and helmets.
I have heard it said that water has the power to transform, and certainly for me, in this circumstance, I can assure you that it's true. Big Kahuna and Lunch Counter turned me from a kayaker into a shuttle bunny, (the term given to someone who does not paddle the river, but instead acts as support for the kayakers—dropping them off at the put-in, often taking pictures of them as they make their way down the river, and then picking them up at the take-off spot.) I think that I'll be much happier as a bunny. Little Kahuna Bunny, to be specific. Yeah, that works.

Big Kahuna is at the top of the picture, Lunch Counter at the bottom.

The Pope of Chili Town intentionally swimming through Lunch Counter in a moment of insanity.

Scooby/Murph paddling Lunch Counter the day after we swam. Apparently the river didn't work its transformative magic on him.

The P. of C.T. hams it up.

Scooby/Murph surfing a wave beside the Station Creek campground while the Bulkster and P. of C.T. look on.


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