Lois and John took us out for a lesson on the Boardman yesterday, from Shumsky to Beitner. It was a wonderful experience. They are such good and dedicated teachers. We learned about how to read the current and use it, the reasons to lean downstream and not upstream, and how to identify and turn into and peel out of eddies. We practiced ferrying (and learned the reasons not to ferry unnecessarily when with a group). We learned about dealing with different kinds of obstructions and even practiced the correct way to handle hitting a rock sideways with John in the cold water in his waders ensuring it all ended well. And at the end of the trip John went back into the water to demonstrate an alternative way to exit the kayak when he saw Patty having trouble because of her fake knee.
While these things may be second nature to most club members, the day was extremely valuable to us beginners, and provided us with confidence and knowledge needed to work our way toward more adventurous river trips. And what a pleasant experience and stretch of river it was. We recommend it highly.
By Gary Faria and Patty Mallon
Note from Lois: Gary and Patty were superb students, and didn't even complain when I raised my voice! And we finished up the lesson with a delightful lunch at North Peak Brewery - we had earned it!