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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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outrigger canoe

We are H U M A N

This is the same post I shared on my facebook…

W E A R E H U M A N

This happened because we are human.

This happened because we are too comfortable.

This happened because we let our teammates down.

This is not her fault, it’s also not the drivers.

Boat ladders are needed.

Prop guards are needed, yes absolutely. 100%.

But so is awareness, attentiveness, teamwork, and acceptance of mistakes. Her life will never be the same, she has a long way to go. We need to do what we can to support her. We need to do what we can to help the next escort boat driver who finds themselves in this position. We need to do what we can, to control the situation.

I’m 26 years old, a girl, and I’ve been running my own escort boat for only 5 years. Hitting someone with the prop is my absolute nightmare. I’ve been paddling for 11 years. Getting hit by a prop is my absolute nightmare. There are many precautions to take, and you can take them all. But something could always go wrong. What are we going to do when something goes wrong? What’s our instinct? Get mad? No. Our instinct should be to band together, to support, to find a solution, and not place blame. This is our own fault.

A safe boat driver doesn’t mean an older driver; it doesn’t mean a male driver. It just means a safe driver. So those topics of conversation need to come to a halt. This is not on the race directors, this is not on the lead safety boat, this is not on the race. This is on us. What we need more than safer drivers, are safer paddlers. We shouldn’t have let her jump in the water, in one of the busiest spots an escort boat could be; before the race. It’s little things like that, becoming more aware of our surroundings. Knowing when the right time to jump, and the wrong time to jump. Our sport is compiled of jumping off motor boats, into canoes, and then back into motor boats. You can educate someone all you want on when to jump, where to jump, how to jump – but someone will always forget and jump wrong. Because we are human. You can give someone all the tools to be a successful escort captain, but something will fall apart or not work. Because we are human.

As a paddling community, we need to be more aware. And right now we need to band together to support each other. Crossing season isn’t over. But we can be more aware, and help prevent what we have control over.

My thoughts are with you, Aunty Faith Kalei-Imaizumi. My heart is with you Hawaii. My strength is behind the paddling community. Let’s support her together. Instead of placing blame. Let’s make sure her family knows we have her back.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/2pmggu4

 

Gorge Camping – Live Life Outside

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I’ve been back from the PNW for a week now, and I’m still trying to figure out when to go back!

While the 24 hour drive up was a ride from hell..literally. 104 degrees and no air conditioning in tIMG_6860he truck? While towing a trailer? guess were we took this Dodge 2500 hundred when we got back? That’s right – it’s blowing cold now.  Other than sizzling like fajitas on a cast iron skillet, the ride up was great! We didn’t stop, just trucked all the way through until we got to Val’s uncles house, at 4am Friday morning.

That’s when the real adventure started. Rows and rows of green trees, a small town full of super friendly people and the Colombia Gorge ready to be paddled on.

The river was completely difference than anything I’ve every paddled on. The river obviously runs towards the ocean, so the current is going opposite way of us. However, the mountains and cliffs on both the Oregon and Washington side create a tunnel, and the wind blowing on shore and push up to 20 kts! The race was epic. and hard. Epically hard. We don’t have surf like that in California and the whole time us girls are hootin’ and hollerin’ and having a great time. Our crew worked hard together and most importantly supported and trusted each other. Keeping each other honest in the canoe and then supporting each other through all 12 miles of the down wind race. There were parts of the race that got a little hairy, specifically when we had to cross over from the south side to the north side and go across the white caps. But knowing each other as well as we did, and blending together as well as we did we were able to keep calm and move forward. The short paddles we did before the race seemed like nothing compared to race day! 13708389_10154190018751655_8545151291604792409_oThe rest of weekend was spent relaxing at our campsites underneath 100 ft trees and hiking to 100 ft water falls. We camped at the Wyeth Campground which had incredibly spacious lots and an amazing camp host named Polly. There were close to 18 of us that took up 4 campsites. We were literally eating blackberries off the road, and watching the sun go down at 9pm.

Our hikes were based right off the Colombia River Highway, where there cIMG_7105lose to a dozen different waterfalls to hike to. Den Mother Deidre knew all the trails secrets!! They ranged from a 2 mile round trip, to a 10 mile round trip. Elowah falls was my favorite. A two mile round trip with cut backs and climbing (with the pug of course) that ended at a
free flowing (cold) water fall. It was gorgeous, eye opening and definitely must see if you are ever in Oregon. Another challenging hike, was Oneonta falls which was complete with climbing over a complete log jam and then walking a half a mile in 5 feet of water! And ofcourse we finished our hikes by stopping by our new favorite little Brewery, Thunder Island Brewery.  Which had an amazing view, and pretty sweet area to hang out in while we waited for the guys to finish their afternoon activities on the water.

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It may have only been a 4 day weekend up north but I love the area, and I love the people I traveled with. I love living life outside!

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Check out this video made by braddah Bronson about the trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQi8aXqp138

 

HanoHano Ocean Challenge

Despite the dreary and foggy morning…hell it was raining; the Hanohano Ocean Challenge last weekend had a GREAT turnout.  photoTONS of stand up paddlers from around southern California came to compete in the short course. The best was to see the junior paddlers for the SUP Jr. Team sponsored by Rivera out there. They are based out of Dana and is another great program for junior paddlers. NAC had kids competing in the short course as well, all in either oc1’s or oc2’s. Spencer Lujan got first in 19U oc1, Andres Zourelli coming in 2nd in 19U oc1. David Groke came in 2nd for 16U one man Austin Hwin who got 4th 16U who raced short course 1-man. Ryan Fogg and Miles both competed in 14U two-man. NAC also had a big turnout in the longer from NAC. Megan Savisaar and Daniella Carrese raced on a two-man finishing before a lot of women racers and getting 1st in 19U division, Liam Dixon and Lily Chavis racing together in the coed division on a two-man, getting first in their 19U mixed division. Liam had previously raced the short course in an Aukahi, a rudderless canoe by Kamanu Composites. Cade Sharnell (3rd in 19U) and Gunner Logan (4th 19U)  crossed the finish line both in one mans, followed by Kylie Bergan (1st 19U) and Jenny Jones (2nd 19U) both in one mans as well. There were a 103 racers in the long course, the juniors passed a lot of adults. It’s great seeing all the juniors from ALL CLUBS going out a competing against some people that are twice their age (some even more). Even though everyone is in their respectful age divisions, everyone races at the same time.

Well the next race is at the NAC, the Hal Rosoff Classic. Hopefully the kids use their home court advantage for this one…you can follow my instagram: @KelThompson as I am always posting paddling pictures and race pictures if you want more! 🙂

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