For me 2007 was a fantastic year. I was blessed with lots of the most amazing gnar that the Rockies has to offer - SSV, Inner Crystal Gorge, Embudo, Escalante, Lake Creek, N.F. Crystal, and NSV all dropped the most amazing memories into my life. I even got several laps including my first no portage descent on the Big South, which we all must revere as the best run in Colorado. However, two magical days last summer I spent in grand-fulfillment of my creek boating dreams.
As a newbie cutting my teeth over the years, I spent nights conjuring up a creek with the most amazing alpine scenery. It was accessorized with romantic camping and asked that a hike be paid as the price of acceptance. She had crisp crystal clear water flowing smoothly over perfect boofs. There were waterfalls and clean lines to grease, but as a true test to the soul of each creeker she had rapids where I had to just huck in and play the dealt cards. Of course, as any huckster will tell you, the dream was encapsulated from the outside world in slick vertical rock walls. The walls kept things simplest between just the sliding water, cool sunshine, smiles on my bros faces, and rhythmic movement of air in my lungs. Little could I have known that a weekend last June would be the one to bring fruit to all the years of hard knocks. The mile long stretch of perfection leaving the Weminuche Wilderness area known as Vallecito Creek is truly the mythical creek of dreams.
Absolutely, there may be places with easier access or bigger vistas or longer whitewater, but there's just something about her. And so through the last winter even after finding amazing runs in Washington, Ecuador, and New Mexico, all I could thing about was Vallecito like a happy yearning for the women I've loved through the years. As such, I have a few pictures of memories to share with y'all.
Dan Steeves dropped Entrance to start it off and let everyone know how it's done.
Here is the clean part of the Trashcan as you can tell with Joel's smooth line. The dirty part is just upstream and makes you check your ego at the Entrance pool before proceeding around this blind corner...
It may look like boofing into a pile of rocks, but when done right she's sensuous despite her name.
When the man who's very soul may be intertwined with Vallecito offers beta, the lads will gather around to listen. If you ever need a guide down Valle, I highly recommend the esteemed Dr. Brad.
The sheer intimacy of the place is mind shattering.
Frontrange posse routin' through. The 303 is coming to your neighborhood.
Thanks to the Durango boys who have kept her beautifully unclogged over times present and past.
This season, I have a take-out toast for everyone from me which is, "Here's to all you paddlers finding the flows you dream of at night."