When people ask how long you’ve been paddling it’s not entirely simple to nail it down. I don’t count the childhood summer camp canoeing on lakes and ponds, as everybody does that sort of stuff and most of them don’t become whitewater paddlers as a result. I date the beginning of my whitewater career to a single river trip that happened forty years ago this month.
In the spring of 1970 my senior year of high school was winding down rapidly. Classes were becoming optional, as most of us had been accepted to some college or other and we were in that dreamy twilight zone wherein our grades and conduct just didn’t matter anymore, and we had cars, money, and time on our hands.