hasta pronto, syotr, gdtrfb...
he trip started with a 28 hrs marathon thru ice and snow. trying to beat the storm, SURE!!! with the help of our loyal Dolphin and our great ice pilot, joel we made it safely to phoenix where good beer, friends and the mexican market set us up for the country of the "topes" (bumps), Mexico. Down thru Nogales and all the way to Mazatlan things weren't all that exciting, although the places where we slept were definitely better than any 5 star hotel you can put us in. As soon as we left Mazatlan we got onto the most amazing road I've seen so far. Steep cliffs right off the road made the landscape even greater. At times it felt as if the Dolphin all of the sudden got wings and we were suspended a couple of thousand feet up in the air, but the feeling only would last until the next dangerous turn (there's a reason they call the road the "spine of the devil"). To do this couple hundred km of sierras took a whole day and one of the main reasons for it was the amount of accidents. one of the most impressive accidents we saw was a semi that had rolled over. The roof of the trailer came off and some how the merchandise, shortly after the incident, was "gone." We drove thru some beautiful cities until we got to Ciudad Valles. Here we ran our first river, a very short section call Cascadas de Micos, and couple of days latter a Argentine named Che from Fede's home town brought us to the rio Tampaon. After some asado and vino we rode down to Jalcomulco, Veracruz, where we meet with Pitico, Alfa and our new best friend, Rio, their 4-month-old boy. By now Joe was three days sick, so there was not gonna be any Night surfing at the olita or running a class 3+, 4 section call Pescados. That didn't stop Joel and Fede from tearing it up. By the time we left Jalcomulco our next victims fell. Joel got a mild case of food poisoning and then Fede, with a little bit of the same. And on the 23 rd, that same night, the dolphin got some disease called Bad Alternator Syndrome. We made it to a gas station and soon after that Fede found a electric Mechanic but obviously was closed, probably because it was 11:30 at night. The very next morning, as Fede is working on getting some charge to the battery a very short guy call Sergio show up at the dolphin saying he was... THE MECHANIC! We manage to get the car to his shop after got lose and ran out of battery. The shop had a tool box smaller than ours, but with his three tools Sergio manage to get the alternator out and found the bad part. The best came when Fede ask him if he could accompany him to buy the parts, his answer was almost not surprising, "Not a problem, lets go catch the bus." They rode the bus for about 20 minutes until they got to the city where we would find the parts. After one and a half hrs of walking and riding buses looking for the parts they decided to buy a new alternator and head back. This was the day Fede got sick but so much work made him forget about it. About a half hr of amusing drama went on around the dolphin, first Sergio trying to fit the alternator, then a neighbor, than a friend, even a little kid came over to try to figure out the dilemma. finally Fede with almost less than a clue got underneath of the car an got it on. then Sergio though the belt adjustor screw wasn't going to be necessary, but we got that on to. definitely, one of our highlights of the trip. Spent christmas eve somewhere in the mountains next to a corn field and on christmas day rode into Guatemala. That night we got lose once again after the dolphin got altitude sickness and made us push it up a hill, barley made it to a camp. we woke up to the sound of the indigenous riding donkies right by camp from where we could view a maya village and behind it an imposing volcano. We're here in guatemala, in the half-gringo town of Antigua eating bagels, and we'll be heading southeast, continuing through central america.
Having finals this week my kayaking was at a low, but with the weekend I was able to squeeze in some snowboarding in preparation for my winter break trip to Denver. Paul Butler was able to make the trip up to Boone to also get in some training, as he plans to travel to Colorado as well. Paul, my roommate Rhett, and I traveled to Sugar Mountain and had a blast. We all got some good air off the jumps and had our fair share of wipeouts. One more final and Im heading back to Robbinsville to get back in my boat. While in the past week Western North Carolina has received plenty of rainfall and gifted us boaters with high waters and good times. This up coming week I am excited to get in some quality boating! I will keep you updated! Thanks WRSI! Ty Caldwell
So this is my first check in and we recently had a good bit of rain down here in WNC. Recently due to this rain Joel Bostic and myself had the opportunity to get on the lower 1 to 1.25 miles of Upper Snowbird and the upper 2 miles of Lower Snowbird. It was some good class IVish exploratory creeking as there was very little beta on the creek other then some info from a friend who had hiked into the creek. We had the opportunity to name some of the drops which was fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get way out into the woods and experience a very pretty creek with some good action to it. After that it was about 2 and we headed on out to Lower Santeelah as we figured most other stuff had dropped out. So we got a bit more class IV in before calling it a day. The next day I headed with Ben Hineman over to the North Fork of the French Broad which is also a solid IV and we caught it at what we were told was a bit over medium which was an amazing level. Boxcar falls is a great drop which can offer a great boof or stern squirt at the end, and Submarine is a nice drop as well with a hole that flushes into a cave which offered up a good boof on the right as well. I leave you with some pics from "Middle" Snowbird. Sadly however Tyler Caldwell was unable to attend all this due to finals. Also Tyler Caldwell and I recently got up and hit up high water Cheoah which is oh so good. So heres a little video as well with some pictures of the goods. Have a good one, Peace Paul
I made it down to Kentucky for the last Russell Fork release of the season. I flew from New Hampshire to Tennessee on Friday, ran the Russell Fork 6 times in 2 days, and flew back Sunday night. It was a quick trip, guerrilla style. The race was not the impetus for the trip, but it was a good time. I came in under 11 minutes. Not a great time anymore-but respectable. The competitive edge of Southern creek racing has pushed the sport to a new level. It is exciting to watch as I fade to the middle of the pack. Stephen Kimmel took this picture of me getting my race on in Liquidlogics Hungee. Full results here.
Dear friends and followers, today I got a hold of the mechanic that's taking care of the Dolphin. The bill for getting the dolphin ready is a bit unexpected, Well, kind of unexpected. The mechanic started by asking me if I was sure I wanted to take the Dolphin to South America. Of course I said, he looked at me, strait into my eyes and started talking a language a never heard of. I thought for a second he was possessed by a demon, but soon after that I realized he was just mentioning different parts of the Dolphin that needed to be replaced. After a few moments of discussing the situation we agreed that only half of it will do. At least for now. there for, with the Dolphin being done and us being some what packed, we believe is time to party. This is the last chance to say "hasta la vista," or at lease for a wile.
We are hosting a little Party-Fundraising for Paddling Latin America. The gathering is happening this Friday in McCall, Idaho at Joe's place, 279 Buckcamp Ln, McCall, at around 7sh. Everyone is invited, my friends, your friends, the friends of those friends, and anyone that call himself a friend. There will be "refreshments," appetizers and lots of great people. Now, fill free to bring more people, "refreshments," more appetizers or anything you thing we may need in this expedition.
We'll be departing on our adventure the very next day. We would love to see you there.
This Friday, December 4th of 2009, don't forget.