Kayaking – Better than Ever by Jessie Stone | Jun 12, 2020 | JAdventures Main Banner, River Running, Rockstar 4.0, Whitewater, Whitewater Feature, WW Disciplines | 4 comments There has been so much change afoot lately that it’s hard to find steady ground to plant your feet on during this time. Things that felt sure before corona arrived have no solidity now. With the tumultuous turn of events over the last few months and the last week, finding something that supplies joy, hope, and gratitude in daily life is indeed a life saver. I may sound like a broken record but for me, it’s been the simple act of getting in my kayak – wherever and however I can! Not only does paddling take me out of whatever may be distracting me from enjoying daily life, but it also reminds me of the simple beauty that is around me all the time – it’s up to me whether I choose to see it or not but it is always there! Though I have probably paddled the Saanen river 40 times this Spring, every trip down is new and different and a wonderful adventure in its own way. During a few of those trips, I have gone with other people which has also been really fun to share but being alone has been great. Solitude on the river provides reflective and meditative time and provides the place and space to think about big things or nothing but what I am doing at the moment. It may sound strange that paddling the same stretch of river over and over can be so joyous but it really really is. I am so grateful that I can get on moving water and that it is nearby! And touch wood, I am healthy enough to do it, really enjoy it and play! It has been a great pleasure to paddle the river at so many different levels and to explore all the nooks and crannies of this small and intimate river and its gorges. The multitude of trips over this time period has allowed me to see nature unfold over the course of Spring – slowly changing color and opening up – something I never would have chosen to do if it had been a normal Spring. Even the insane hatches of flies that are certainly the most delicious food for many creatures that inhabit the canyon are a small miracle to behold even if they are blinding as you paddle down – getting stuck in every available orifice! A dandelion growing out of a crevice in a boulder in the middle of the river, a bird’s nest tucked into one of the canyon walls, and the ever changing light on the water as the days approach summer solstice. There are always opportunities to run rapids differently, especially at different water levels, and there are always places to play and work on tricks. In fact, this river run captures everything my perfect river run has: an easy shuttle with a short trail run to warm up, a good river stretch with a variety of rapids, incredible beauty with a truly remote feeling, and plenty of play! During this challenging time, kayaking has been the thing that has helped replenish my spirit and given me hope for the future. Since moving water feels so alive and indeed supports so much life, it continues to affirm life. I realize I may be preaching to the converted here, but if you are feeling down and disoriented, get yourself in a boat and go paddling! Any water will help as will any paddling. There is no replacement for touching nature if you need some support and reassurance right now, so even if you can’t get to water – just go outside and go for a walk – nature is waiting for you! 4 Comments Frank J Perruccio on June 13, 2020 at 6:08 pm So right you are. There are so many runs that I’ve had the good fortune to run many many times, both solo and with others. Rivers are always fluid, no matter how many times you run them, you can always discover many new things. I’ve always found that familiarity with a run allows me to relax and totally immerse myself in my play. Living on the banks of The Farmington River, with Boat Eater rapid literally in my back yard, started it all for me. The convenience of ending the run in my yard, and riding my bike back to the put in to get my car, began my being comfortable paddling solo. For decades, I had the good fortune to to live near river sections that were short, and diverse, enough to play all day long, then carry my boat back to my car. Paddling T-Ville on The Farmington, and Great Falls on the Potomac never got old and never required a shuttle or anyone else to paddle with. I remember spending whole warm summer weeks on the Upper Kenebec, in Maine, with many days of not seeing anyone else on the river. Paddling 6 or seven days a week was a lifestyle that I’ll always cherish. By the way, if you are the Jessie Stone, daughter of Ken Stone, we have definately hung out at T-Ville. Thanks for writing this great article, and bringing back so many memories. Here’s to hopeing to SYOTR again someday. Frank J Perruccio, aka, Surf Dog Reply Jessie Stone on June 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm HI Frank, Thanks for all your appreciation and sharing what sounds like dreamy times on the river too! I look forward to seeing you at T’Ville when I get back to the states!! Happy paddling in the meantime! All the best, Jessie Reply Jean Wilson on June 25, 2020 at 4:29 pm Your essay speaks to me, Jessie! Thank you for expressing so wonderfully the joy, beauty, peace and restorative powers of paddling, water and nature. Your JK fishing teammate, Jean Wilson Reply Jessie Stone on June 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm Thanks Jean! Glad to know the language of the river speaks to so many of us – its a wonderful connector and uniter! Happy paddling and fishing! Best wishes, Jessie Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.