Date: 2009-07-25 10am
Run: The Numbers to Buena Vista Park (Arkansas River)
Temperature: Warm at first, then rainy
Buddies: Fino, Chadwick Shoults
Description: A fun run down from Numbers to Buena Vista. This was Chadwick’s first time down The Numbers, and he did really well. At this flow, The Numbers becomes much more “creeky” than at the previous flow of 1800 or 2000. I thought #1, #5, and #6 were the best rapids. #1 was way less pushy than at higher flows, but there were a lot more rocks and boily eddies to maneuver around. #2 was fun and not too bad. #3 and the supposed #3.5 were still a bit of a mystery as to which was which. After #2 there is a decent-sized drop, which we thought might be #3, followed by a longer, wavy drop which we thought might be #3.5. I don’t really know if there is a #3.5, maybe the longer one was actually just #3. I guess I’ll have to go with a guide sometime and figure that out. #4 was good, I went down the chute on the right side, just to the left of where the irrigation channel starts on river-right. Fino and Chadwick went down the left side, which was a bit bumpier, but didn’t look too bad. #5 was good, it’s much easier at this flow. After the initial drop-in, you just have to make you way around a few rocks and small holes and it’s over. #6 was a surprise, I had forgotten about this one – it might have actually been the best rapid of the day. This is where the “photogs” hang out for the commercial trips. The lead in is a little tricky with some holes and rocks, and then there’s a sizable hole near the bottom. Cheez had a little trouble in the hole area, but made it out fine. The rest of the run was fun. After the railroad bridge, I guess we went through #7, but I’m not sure which one it was. The rest of Fractions was fun, but then the river kind of died. Frog Rock seemed much different at this flow. You can clearly see the nasty pin spot on the right, but the left side was cake. House Rock was the last rapid of the day. I went down the left side and slipped between two pointy rocks. Fino and Cheez went down the right. Chadwick kind of slammed into the wall and had to roll. He then proceeded to give the finger to House Rock, his life-long nemesis. The rest of the run got a bit painful, a lot of flat water and those annoying waves that splash you just enough to be annoying.
Overall, it was a great run, but I think at this flow, it’s best to just get out at Railroad Bridge and skip Fractions/Frog Rock. The river really peters out, and it becomes a bit too long for one sitting. However, low flow is a great time to take a first-timer down the numbers, so they can get a good feel for what it might look like when the flows come up.
Carnage: I made it completely clean, which was nice. Chadwick had a few rolls, but not bad at all for a first time!