76 rides

Holy shit! Garborator wave came in today, the first time in over 2 years. Most people gravitated over thataways so pushbutton wasn't nearly as crowded as you'd expect on a Saturday. The line waxed and waned. Today was a half day of school which meant I was on the water by 2 and didn't get out of my gear until 6:15.

I was ripping through rides and getting back on the wave so quickly that I started to count to see how many rides I'd do.

In four hours of nonstop paddling, I got 76 rides on pushbutton today. 76 beautiful rides of spins and shove-its and violent windowshades. The wave was so low it had turned completely into a hole, a sticky hole that worked me a few times so hard my helmet came off and my noseplugs broke.

I hit a wall within the mid 50's but pushed on, knowing it was my last few hours on the Ottawa for a long time. It may even be the last few hours in my playboat at all for a while. In the end it was just me and two Airbone Athletics guys, then there were two....then it was just me. It was...glorious.

What wasn't glorious was crawling back to camp exhausted sore and sunburned to hear that dinner was going to be 3 hours late, the brownies the kids made tasted like salt and burning (seriously how do you mess up brownies) and Mid-term grades were due tomorrow. Ugh. But still....76 rides!

....and we're back

I took a few weeks off from The Wilder Coast. First I helped my sister walk down the aisle in Seattle. Then I packed up and moved from Seattle to Vermont. Then I helped my cousin walk down the aisle. Then I packed up and drove North to the Ottawa River. Somehow, summer eluded me as it always does, and I am back with the circus of New River Academy. A new year, a new group of kids, a new group of staff. This year we're smaller: 8 kids and 5 staff: me and 4 guys.

And this time, I brought a hair-dryer, and I will defend with my life my right to use it.

The last time I was on the Ottawa was last spring, and the river was at a record 22 feet. The rapids were either flushed out or deadly-huge. Now the river is 21 feet lower and a whole lot more fun. I ran the middle channel yesterday and am happy to report that I lived.

I find that when I'm at New River, the content of my writing goes way up and the quality goes way down. I'm always running off to get on my paddling gear or teach a class or clean up somebody else's dishes. I'll try not to write too terribly, however. But no promises.

One last note: we're starting off this semester with a full moon, which can't be a bad sign: