Wild Ride on the Little Su

Hello all trailbuds,

Hurray!! Summer is here and that means more adventures of the green kayak. Canoe or kayak, it's a boat and that means water fun. Whether you prefer to canoe endless lakes or like Destiny and Buford, kayak the many lakes and rivers both for adventure and seeking out waterfowl. Kayaking is a great way to to excerise the upper body and get away from it all for some peace and solitude on the water. Another kayak I hadn't thought much about until I actualy saw it in use, is a little short sporty kayak used for running fast rivers especialy in the spring as melting snows make their way down out of the mountains running into a river in one of my favorite state parks. On this paticular day I was sitting on the edge of the Little Su River observing a pair of harlequin ducks resting on a rock in the middle of the river. Eventualy spooked off as a young man walked by along the roadside dressed in a short style wet suit. I knew right off what he might be doing as I found out through conversation with him, kayaking the fast Little Su River. Really!

And he was about to start just a little ways up from me. Umm this ought to be interesting as the ducks had flown off, why not get some pictures of someone actualy kayaking down the Little Su while it's high from melting snows. Thus the show began and for the next couple of hours I was able to observe and photograph a young man enjoying himself in his kayak on one of the wildest rides I have ever seen. The entertainment was so good following this kayaker down the river taking only pictures from the edges, then quickly hopping into the truck and speeding down to another spot to catch him before he passed me. When the run was over I had asked the young man if he was tired? No, he replied and I had offered to take him and his kayak back up the river to start again. This time I was more than ready to capture twice the pictures from the first run down. Watching this young man at work, how he picked his path through the rocks and the white water was amazing. I had watched from shore how he started down twisting and turning dropping down hitting the splashes, the power of the river engulfing him and spitting him out.

This looked totally fun, though this type of kayaking is only for those who are a bit of a risk taker and adrenaline junkies. Both runs down through the rocks and white water was just stunning since I have never watched anything like this before. The results of shooting very rapidly captured intimate moments that even in a blink of the eye and you would have missed how this young man rode, bobbed his way in an out of the white water. When the river is this high in the spring it is considered a class 4 river to run.
Somehow I could see myself doing this type of kayaking but then reflect on memories of the way I choose to kayak on a calm lake early in the morning, maybe listening to the call of the loon and the sun rising - feet kicked up on the kayak deck just drifting along soaking in my surroundings. I would have liked to capture more of this kind of kayaking and may do so in the future. At one point in my life I did have a canoe - Oldtown 17 foot and it had to be a green canoe! This canoe took me on many adventures and I wish I had it here with with me today. Most of the people I know who have had a canoe then a kayak don't go back to the canoe, simply said the kayak is much nicer to ride in, with good lower back support from the seat and you are able to pack some gear both in the front and back of the kayak for that weekend adventure get away. Thinking on the shorter, sportier kayak, where you must think quickly while bobbing down the boiling, churning white water avoiding rocks and drops that could turn you over and make for a not so pleasant kayak adventure. Umm, I think I will just stick with my style of kayaking adventures, cruising the lakes and rivers and still getting some darn good photos along the way. If you have never been in a kayak or tried one you just don't know what you are missing, as it is very popular here in Alaska. Next will be sea kayaking, trying for pictures of seals and floating sea otters and well whatever the sea adventure produces (whales). Give it a try I'm sure you too will like it as much as we do over the summer months. Well it's off to the next adventure, Denali National Park to work the road for 10 days of adventure seeking out the wildlife that roams through out the park. I hope all your summer adventures are just the best, taking pictures along the way to record and share with others who are not as lucky as you!

Hey see you down the trail somewhere
Buford T. Porcupine


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