Rather than throwing himself straight into the gnar, this year Woody wanted something a little less intense than Bakers to get his feet wet. So we loaded up the Liquid Logic RV with Jefe’s, Remixes and one lone Hero (for which I won’t hear the end of from Woody and which, in the end, proved to be the wrong choice for my 6’2 sz. 12 frame on such a long day), and headed for what Woody claims as “one of the best Colorado warm up runs”: The Piedra.
All the way to the put-in, we were praying that the Forest Service would open the lower gate as we were pulling in. As fate would have it, and as we were mostly expecting, that didn’t happen. So we sighed, shrugged it off, accepted the long paddle in and even longer shuttle at the end of the day, then drove to the top and put on.
We were greeted with 1200 cfs on the gauge (which is more like 500 at the top), just enough to pad out the nasties and make the paddle out semi-tolerable. By the time we reached the campground bridge, I was near paralyzed below the waist thanks to my poor choice of boat. After a quick lunch and blood regained in the feet, we pushed off for the lower gorge.
After blue-angeling the majority of the canyon, we stopped at Eye of the Needle (hence the 1 photo TR). After routing through sans carnage (we won’t count Drew’s carp move), we stopped at the hotsprings to warm our toes before the long, shallow paddle out. A few surfs, lots of splashers and we we’re at the takeout, where we realized we FORGOT THE BEER! So instead of getting drunk, we did the next best thing and slept while Drew and Woody ran shuttle.
All in all, ’twas a good day