Every year since I was really little, my family has paddled the Shoshone section of the Colorado River on New Years Day. Last year was my sister, Maddy’s, first trip down when she was 10. This year I paddled it at 9. Everyone says it’s not really a kids paddle, but with good gear and all safety precautions, it’s awesome!
I was the youngest paddler to ever paddle on New Year’s Day, and I bet that’s because it’s usually really cold. Most Kids Paddle in the summer, it’s definitely when I prefer to paddle! Sometimes, in Colorado January 1st is freezing other times it’s warm.
It was only 8 degrees last year, and not many people were there. This year it was way warmer at 40 degrees. We didn’t even ice up like everyone did last year! No icicles on our helmets or anything like last year. And so this year there were some other kids and almost 100 paddlers. But even 40 degrees on the river is still cold!
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This year we had a big group on the river. For an icy paddle, we are always a big group, but every year we get even bigger. This year my dad, my brothers, Grady, Brody, Kenny, Dally and Cardy all paddled as well as my sisters Kady and Maddy.
And then our friends from Idaho, Kris & Andie Henthorn and their 2 kids, Luke and Aksel brought their Aire Cataraft! It was really fun. Brody brought his big speaker and we set it up in the raft and paddled down with our music blaring. It was like a big party and I had so much fun I didn’t really think about being cold.
Whitewater Kayaking is a Family
Everyone on the river is cool too. We all look out for each other. In fact, my brother, Kenny, helped someone who swam out of their kayak.
The guy flipped over on a little hole, he tried to roll and then flushed up on a rock and around it. He tried one more roll and when he flipped back over, Kenny had almost caught up to him to hand of God him, but he swam. Kenny rescued his boat and pushed it to the eddy for the guy.
My Favorite Part
When we got to the takeout there was chili and hot chocolate and that was awesome, my favorite part.
Then we hopped in our kayaks and went kayak sledding down the ramp to the takeout. We went so fast down that ramp that we almost got thrown back in the river! Then, Luke and Brody and Kady ran back up for a second run in the raft while we loaded our kayaks.
The newspaper was there and they took photos and asked us questions.
Shoshone is one of my favorite runs when the water is higher. The highest I have run it is at 5,000 CFS. When it is at those levels, there are big holes and big water. My dad says it’s a great Kid Paddle because it is short, and in between sections are big areas of flat water.
My brothers and dad have run Shoshone all the way to 15,000 CFS. They say that the waves are so big, that you see everything when you are on top of the wave, and nothing when you ride it down. There are also no eddies at this level. Cardy swam at 11,000 CFS once!!!
In the winter it is really low, so it’s pretty easy, you just have to watch out for holes that the ice forms. Still, it is fun.
While we have no snow and boarding conditions are pretty bad, we are going to run Shoshone a bunch and try taking harder lines, but not too hard because swimming in the winter is no fun.