Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mexico Part 1: Opening Days

International travel and whitewater kayaking are possibly the two most important aspects of my life, but until this trip I had never combined the two. Over our extended Thanksgiving vacation my brother and I joined Iker Dusen and Nate and Heather Herbeck for a kayaking vacation in Mexico. Upon arrival in Tlapacoyan, Mexico my brother and I met Iker, but found that Nate and Heather were paddling the Filobobos, a nearby class III-IV river. After some tacos and later realizing that it was getting dark the three of us met up with our driver Israel and drove to the take-out. We hiked as far as we safely could up the river, about three kilometers, with no sign of Nate or Heather. Unsuccessful, we drove back to Tlapacoyan to get some rest. Early the next morning Iker my brother and I put in on the Fliobobos to look for Nate and Heather. Again we were unsuccessful and went back to Tlapacoyan to form further plans. Luckily when we arrived in Tlapacoyan we found Israel, Nate and Heather alive and well. Hearing their story we found Nate and Heather took out in a small town halfway down the run because it was too dark. Apparently Nate and Heather had met a very kind family that housed, fed, and even clothed them for the night.

Our team and our truck

The next day our team went on a park n' huck mission. Our first stop was at a 30ft. waterfall on the Jalacingo River. With easy access we ran this clean drop each about four times before packing up and moving on.

Boofin a 30 footer on the Jalacingo
Our next stop was at San Pedro, a recently discovered 50ft. waterfall that had only been run by one team. A fast and narrow slide didn't allow for many strokes before the lip, but launched each of us through the air and into the pool below.

Paddle toss and tuck on San Pedro
After we all fired off San Pedro we had a quick, but action packed paddle to the take-out. The rapids between San Pedro and the take-out were all a little manky and we only ran a few of them, but as we learned the portages weren't much better. On one portage Nate seal launched in and pitoned his boat, injuring both of his ankles. As we were close to the take-out we decided to continue on. Nate had a tough time on the portages but we were able to get him safely to the take out and home to heal for a while. Our first few days in Mexico were sick and the rest of the trip only gets better...

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