Exhilarating!

Women’s Whitewater Kayaking – Vail 2017

I dove head first into the photo archives and fetched out this photo from 2017, our first post-retirement road trip out west. We only went as far west as Utah and Arizona on this sally and on our way west, we overnighted in Vail, which initially was somewhat disappointing, it being in the middle of one of its shoulder seasons. But we did manage to catch a series of wonderful whitewater races there. They raced, kayaks, rubber rafts and paddle boards. There were both men’s and women’s heats, usually with three racers. The object of each race was to paddle downstream on the creek that ran through town, at the finish was a suspended pole that must first be circled and then out-of-frame to the left was a bell to be rung to win. As in this race the leader (orange kayak, green jacket) is almost around the pole when the other competitors arrive and block any further progress with the ensuing melee. The other orange kayak is the lifeguard.

I picked this picture in honor of the Winter Olympics, which are winding down this weekend. Even though the photo was shot in June, the icy waters of Gore Creek seemed to make it more reminiscent of a winter than summer sport. Yesterday, we got an ice storm. It started off as rain, tuned to sleet and then snow. Afterwards the bottom dropped out with the temperature and what was slush turned to ice. Today, I began digging us out. Really, all I did was sweep away the loose snow on top, lowering the albedo of the walks and the car. Today, is a bright sunny day and is forecasted to hit forty for a high this afternoon. I figure that by then, most of the ice will have melted and that that hasn’t would be much easier to remove then. I plan on refraining from egregiously idling to defrost the RAV4 and hopefully avoid another rodent infestation too. This activity will have to suffice for today’s exercise, even if it is not quite up to Olympic caliber, because it is still too icy to go walk about.

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