The main act was Nathan James, a one-man blues act that completely bluesed us away. If you closed your eyes you’d swear there were three–or sometimes four–members to the band. If Nathan comes to your town, go see him.
Down in the shop Cataract got a facelift. After a few decades of a grey or tan deck, she has gone back to a more traditional Litton-esque design in proper dory colors.
In my typical nonsensical manner I decided to make a pair of sassafras oars for my upcoming trip, starting three days before the trip. I finished them a few minutes before heading of the warehouse.
We headed north with one of Cataract’s clones, Thunder River, born in my shop four years ago.
Our group of Scottish and Australian kayakers set a challenge–for us to haul and them to drink: well over three thousand beers.
Morning fog, figurative and literal.
Willie and Bownsie surfing the wave at Redneck Rapid. Moments after this photo, on a whim, I made an attempt to push Cataract out onto the wave. To my amazement and terror, she slid right on out onto the face of the wave and surfed the shit out of it. Once off the wave, and once I stopped shaking, I giggled for the rest of the day. And I won surf of the trip.
Thunder River in Harding Rapid.
How does it do this?
The band is warming up.
RJ is too, displaying his unparalleled steak cooking technique.
Monsoon dances in the sky.
Gearing up for Jane’s birthday party. It’s an ABBA disco theme.
The river was at the perfect level to slide the dories through the narrows up into Havasu.
Happy dories at Tequila Beach after sweet left runs at Lava Falls.
I’m sorry to report that the team failed to finish their beer. Here’s one last try at breakfast on our last day.
The rapid at 221 that appeared after a flash flood two years ago, and was subsequently washed away by a dam-release flood flow that fall, reappeared this summer. It is amazing that that very same drainage should get two such catastrophic floods in such a short time.
Here is what it looked like in 2016:
Back in Flagstaff we are having a two week festivity called Colorado River Days. Three Fretwater boats got to go downtown for a Tiny Boat Concert.
Last night I hosted a historic boat lecture and tour at the shop. After hours, the amazing Peter McLaughlin and Chris Brashear joined Lora Colten for an impromptu jam. Here they are playing Peter’s ode to Glen and Bessie Hyde: Too Thick to Drink, Too Thin to Plow. What an incredible honor.
I will close with an art piece that my phone took all on its own. I have no idea what it is, but I hope my talented telephone continues its creativity.
John Wesley Who?