Smack: Lower Big Sandy, 5/17/06
Kurtie (Q: When you are at a party, how do you tell who the pilot is? A: Just be quiet, and mind your own business. Sooner or later HE WILL TELL YOU.)
Bill Powers (brand spanking new green pickle from Fluid)
Keith Paskorello ( in a pretty new Kiwi red shoe-box)
Jen Franko ("No, really, I’ll buy a real car next time!" ... she brought her bag of Wa-Thunks)
Jeff Smacklin ("Where’s my straps?")
Swim-Jim (Jim is often good entertainment. On his last run on the Upper Yough, he stuck his head down the Toilet Bowl and yodeled for ten minutes until eight boaters pulled him out)
Steve Blokis (play-boat extradinaire’)
Mary-K (formerly the contrary "Princess Dog-Butt;" now just “Princess”)
And me, Marteen (Just for fun, I stored all of my gear out in the rain)
Mary and I rode to Little Sandy’s and then to Jenkinsburg with Kurtie. Jen was a few minutes behind, so we strapped all eight boats onto Kurtie’s Suparu and changed. Kurt, Bill, Mary and I got to ride all the way to Rockville rather than be forced to walk 3/4ths of the way like Jen’s passengers did. Somehow, all of the boats stayed on Kurtie’s car.
We all put on and warmed up on the play-wave above the bridge. Steve was tearing it up in his Stubby. I wonder why he wasn’t in his play-boat. Mary had a serious case of NBR brewing.
Princess Mary and I scouted the three ledges above Wonder Falls, then ran it down the right side of all three. This wasn’t interesting enough for Mary, so she flipped after the first one and rolled, then paddled the second two backwards. At Wonder, Mary studied the lines of those who ran the left line. Then, she ran it without scouting. I tried to stay close at the bottom. She stopped paddling four feet from the edge and closed her eyes. She almost penciled, came up four feet from the falls, flipped and rolled on the second attempt.
Princess Mary aced Zoom-Flume! Every-body else’s runs looked good.
Mary and I also scouted Little Splat before running it. She apparently didn’t like the normal left line that everybody else took as she went way right and cut back to the left just above Little Splat Rock. She found at least one of her balls (strap-ons) for that. Then, there was the lead in to portaging Splat. After the first swirly wave/flume, we took the first boney slot to the left. Mary flipped in a shallow pool halfway across. She then stuck her head in between some rocks and turtled around for a few seconds before performing a perfect upstream bottom-brace-roll. We portaged and prepared to rock-launch. Mary wasn’t liking this! We watched almost everybody else rock-launch. Jeff and Steve were on the other side as they were scouting running the horse-shoe on the right. Then it was time for me to give Mary the rock-launch. Apparently all talent and skill at doing this had long fled my body. If I offer to give you a rock-launch, run the other way! Fast! I gave Mary a gentle launch and penciled her in. She went straight in and bounced straight back nearly out of the water. Then, she flipped, rolled and paddled down a few eddies. Luckily she didn’t get pushed into the undercut left bank. Steve has been there, he he!
I believe it was before First Island that Mary got broached ... toward the end of a rapid with a five-foot drop ... finishing the drop on the left. It was kind of boney. I made the move towards the left, but Princess didn’t quite make it. She did some hard shoving and worked off the left side of the rock, then ran the final drop bow-first. Bill, however, wasn’t so lucky. He broached his giant pickle, washed off the rock backwards and up-side down, and ran the drop up-side down on his back. He ended up doing the Michael Phelps all the way to the bank, ha, ha! Then, the search was on to find his paddle, which had been ripped from his hands by Sandy. After fifteen minutes of poking and searching, it decided to float up within a couple feet of the surface in the eddy below the drop. Bill eyeballed it. Some- where in there, Princess Mary found a nice pour-over to surf. She didn’t have much of a surf because Jen bounced her out. Jen had a goooood surf though. She threw out a few Wa-Thunks and Beaver-Slaps for good measure.
Then, there was First Island. Mary and I scouted. Mary ran her mouth like a sailor or mechanic and paddled through it without incident straight down the right.
Ahhh, but then there was Second Island. I decided that we should take the right side as we had apparently had enough excite- ment. The run should consist of running down the right, going between two rocks right in front of a very big rock, and making a hard left. Mary was all set to make the left; in fact, she was too set. She was so sideways that she broached between the two rocks on the right. I jumped out of my Fun and ran across the tops of the rocks to get from my river-right eddy to her river-left location. I waved upstream boaters down to us. I jumped into the eddy formed by the closer pinning rock, then lifted her bow over the rock. This set us both free and I had a rocky swim.
This concluded the eventfulness of Mary’s first Lower Big Sandy run. After a bite to eat at Subway, Kurtie and I went for a little mountain biking excursion in the cold rain. After we were completely wet, it hailed on us for good measure. I think it was Mother Nature letting me know that Kurt doesn’t have a clue about how to watch the weather channel.