27 October 2006

Drive North and Hope for the Best

Well I've been out paddling again today. This trip was organised last night by text after 8pm so it was a bit of a rush to get anything organised properly. All I really knew was that I was getting picked up at a quarter-to-nine the next day, today, Friday, and we were going to paddle some grade three.

So I got picked up just after a quarter-to-nine and we headed south to someone else's house I have only paddled with on a few occasions. Here boats were transferred and we headed south again before hitting the motorway and heading north. Then after a couple of miles, it was probably more as we got on the M6 at the Tickle Trout, we turned off for Forton Services and met up with some other paddlers, that I have paddled with on more than a few occasions. Here I transferred cars for a different group of people to chat with, and my kit stayed on/in the car it had been on for the last part of the journey, and we headed north again after some discussions on where we would paddle.

A couple of us, me included, wanted to do a pirate run on the Upper Lune, which isn't suppose to be paddled until the 1st November. However, the two drivers weren't so keen so we decided not to as it could have been their cars that were vandilised. It may have been a nice idea though breaking access and showing the snobbish landowners we will paddle no matter what. Anyway I digress.

We're on the M6 heading north to paddle the Rothay now, that river I did only a couple of days ago with my dad.
We turned off at the junction for Kendal and headed over to Ambleside. About half way to Ambleside I get a phone call from the other car. They've got through to the climbing wall at Keswick and they said there was some water in the river up there, the Greta. So we drive straight through Ambleside, have a look-see at the Rothay, which is much higher than when I did it on Tuesday, and carry onto the Greta at Keswick.

When we got to the Greta it didn't look promising. The little white marker placed on the bridge at Thelkeld wasn't even touching the water. If we were a couple of days late we couldn't have legally paddled the river. Anyway we were still in October so we could paddle it when we wanted and we were going to paddle it now we were there so we all got changed. A shuttle was sorted and we got on the water.

Once on the water we headed downstream and that was that really. I can't really say much more apart from that the Greta at Keswick is a really nice playful grade two/three run lasting for about five miles. On the way down the river there were countless eddies to make, some harder than other, and loads of little waves to play on and even some holes that were worth pumping the Happy Thruster up for. We got off the water three hours later and headed for the shining lights of Preston once we'd all changed.

I'd better go and get some stuff sorted out now as I've got my Level 2 Assessment tomorrow at the Burrs Country Park and a coaching session tonight at the local pool with the Deputy-Head of my old high school, which will be a bit weird with the role reversal thing that will be going on.

As always,
Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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