Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sequoia National Park

After an epic two days on the Middle Fork of the Feather river (put on at 4.30pm on the first day, paddled for 2 hours then found a mean campsite, finished the run in 10 hours the next day including a one an a half hour break when Christy broke his boat and I had to weld it up with a cigarette lighter and a metal spoon) I decided we should head down to the town of Three Rivers for a few days to hang out in the national park and do some paddling on the Kaweah river.

Sunrise from Moro rock.

Martina and Lulu checking out the sunrise

We arrived at the put in of the Hospital rock section on the Kaweah river quite late in the afternoon but after a hot day of driving were all keen as to get on the river. I was the only one who'd paddled the river before and that was a good two years ago and Lulu and Martina had never seen the section before. Due to our late put on we didn't have that much time to scout as we didn't want to run out of light so most of the river I was trying my best to remember the rapids and tell the girls the right places to go then dropping off things and signalling for them to follow if it was sweet. This was a little bit intimidating at first but good fun in the end because middle Kaweah is a super nice section and pretty easy to read and run.

Extreme little squirrel

The Giant Forest, here you can find 5 out of the 10 biggest trees in the world including the largest tree in the world by biomass General Sherman

Doing a little parallel parking in Nemo

Baby bear!!!

Lulu appeasing the river gods

When we were just about to head back to Coloma we got a call from Ben Jackson that pretty much all the kiwis were heading our way so we decided to stay for a few more days. It was pretty lucky that we did because we met some Americans at the campground who invited us to join them in watching the solar eclipse. Someone had the clever idea of looking at it through welding masks so we didn't burn our eyeballs and it was pretty amazing to watch the moon slowly move across the face of the sun.

Solar eclipse

Apart from big trees the Sequoia National Park is home to heaps of American black bear or Ursus Americanus. We went bear hunting and got to see a little cub following its mum around while she taught it how to forage for food and also a really cool looking cinnamon coloured bear.

Cinnamon bear

Wine and cheese society meeting at Moro rock

Photographing the photographer photographing the other photographer

Chris the American showing how to bootyscull for consecutive swims


More booty sculling

 and more booty sculling

Epic times as always in a cool National Park. We were a little bit sad to leave Three Rivers and head back to Coloma to figure out the next challenge. Fitting 4 kayaks and 4 girls not to mention a load of gear into a two door, 1985 Tercel, then driving almost 1000 miles across a lot of desert to reach our next destination Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the Yampa River Festival.

Monday, May 14, 2012


After 12 hours on a plane Shilo, Lulu and I arrived at San Francisco airport to blue skies and sunshine yeyah!!! We found Christy, Martina and Chris waiting for us in the arrival lounge and as between us we had 6 kayaks (as if its not bad enough trying to take one kayak on the airplane Lulu had decided to bring two!!!) and six people we sent Lulu and Martina on the train to Auburn and managed to squeeze all our boats onto the roof of Nicole's car (shot Nicole we love you!!!). 

Nicoles car has never looked better!

Our first day in Califonia we jumped on Kyberz for a sweet warm up run, so awesome to be back in summer again!!!

What a bunch of posers!

The next day we decided to step it up a little and got on the South Silver at a good flow. Had a mean day hanging out with a great crew running laps on Autobahn and the Tea Cup rapids. Harmony and Shilo came along for the mish too and helped us out heaps with shuttle running and photos and even ice cold beer at the take out!

 Martina on the teacup rapids (photo by Shilo Gibson)

Nick looking styly as always in the SCUD (photo by Shilo Gibson)

The look on peoples faces when we told them they had to run autobahn blind (a rule for first timers on the South Silver) was priceless! Everyone styled it though with Lou Urwin and Lou Jull competing for the freestyle prize in the hole at the bottom (winner=Lou Urwin)

Me stoking to be back in California!!! (photo by Shilo Gibson) 

Not sure what Lou is doing here but a cool photo by Shilo 

Photo of the photographer (photo by Shilo Gibson) 

Kaitiaki crew (photo by Shilo) 

Christy picking up Cali style boating easy as (photo by Shilo Gibson)

Josh looking super styly on Sky Scraper (photo by Shilo Gibson)

How does he know when to boof??? (photo by Shilo) 

Josh on offramp (yeh Shilo took all these photos) 

Nick Wimsett showing us the way down (photo Shilo)

Tyler playing hide and seek on Plastic Surgery (photo by Shilo) 

I love California!!!! (photo by Shilo) 

Awesome day, awesome crew! (photo by Lou's tripod, set up by Shilo) 

 Bunch of posers at the takeout

A photo not taken by Shilo, I took this one! 

Our lovely lovely Photographer/Shuttle bunnys/providers of cold beer/generally awesome people Harmony and Shilo

Thanks for a mean day everyone!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kaitiaki Adventures

For the last two New Zealand summers I've been hanging out in Rotorua working for Kaitiaki Adventures. Pretty sweet deal really, get to spend most days on the river, plenty of activities to do after work, mountain biking, surfing, climbing and most recently parcore! Having a boss who doesn't mind if you disappear off to the northern hemisphere for 5 months of the year and will give you time off at a moments notice to go on a creeking mission to the south island is pretty good too. Heres some work photos from this summer, enjoy.

 Whose guiding this thing? Taking the trainees down (photo by Dale Thomas)

Coolest bunch of Thai kids (who couldn't swim!) (photo by Jaxon Paraki Webber) 

New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma skin cancer in the world, Raana handing out the sunscreen so everyone can stay safe out there

Jamie running over the safety kayaker (photo: Dale Thomas) 

 The Kaitiaki touch rugby team... Rotorua Touch Association WINNERS!!!!!

So beautiful in there, its hard to believe its all plastic... (photo by Jaxon Paraki Webber)

Geni "if we both start giggling something bad is about to happen" (photo: Dale Thomas)

Crazy sledgers surfing it up in the bottom hole 


It is always a race... Beating your TL onto the boat is always a good moment (photo: Dale Thomas)

Whats going on here? (photo: Dale Thomas) 

Draxon super safety sledger 

Tutea Falls (photo by Jaxon Paraki Webber)

The millenium to sidesurf line, alway fun guiding with Geni (photo: Dale Thomas) 

Swim that way... Me showing Jordie a flipping good time (photo: Dale Thomas) 

 Man overboard! (photo by Dale Thomas)

 Killa looking a bit shady (photo by Christy Hammond)

Wetsuits are great attire for volleyball in the rain! 

Hana man, kind of like Super Man! 

Geni showing off! 

Crazy sledge monkeys 

Helping the dirtbag kayakers out with their shuttle 

Insurance photo (photo: Dale Thomas) 

Killa helping me out at work 

Joelle claiming it (photo by Dale Thomas)

Wade styling it as per usual   

 Rollercoaster on the Wairoa

Mixing it up a little bit, spot of golf anyone? (photo by Jaxon Paraki Webber)

So thats what I do for work, its a tough job having fun all the time but someones got to do it!!!