BWA Spring Clinic 2017 - Russell Fork
This past weekend was the Bluegrass Wildwater Association's annual spring clinic. The BWA gets sponsors, Canoe Kentucky, and a bunch of others, to donate gear, and allow new comers to try the wacky and wild sport of whitewater kayaking. It's a fantastic event that spreads boating and river knowledge, while helping build the local paddling community.
I went to volunteer and ended up getting a lap of the Upper Russell Fork and the Lower Russell Fork in on Saturday. Overall, the upper was a pretty tame run, with two class 3 rapids and a bunch of flatwater, none the less, it was very scenic and felt great to be back on the water.
Ratliff Hole, with onlookers.
When our crew got back from running the Upper, I ran into some people who wanted to run something. We opted for the lower because I had never ran it and off we went. The two big rapids meat grinder and pinball weren't bad at all and it was a solid run.
Following our run on the lower, it was close to dinner time. There is a surf wave right at the campsite, called ratliff hole, where most people were playing and surfing in their kayaks. The night concluded with a talent show and some shenanigans before bed.
The next day I helped pick up some trash before packing my stuff to head back to Lexington. I met a ton of new people for my first Spring Clinic and had a great time. Hopefully next year I won't have to leave so early and can paddle on both days!
It always turns into a party with a bunch of ' beaters.
My good friend Kyle was out on his raft taking professional pictures. If you'd like to take a glance they are available for purchase and perusing here:
Things to check out in the area for next time:
- This State park lies on the boarder of Kentucky and Virginia. It offers some amazing views of the Russell Fork Gorge and of the surrounding mountains. In addition, there has been a lot of rock climbing development happening here in the past couple of years. There's now 75+ sport routes and a bunch of trad routes as well. Look for a Climbing/Paddling weekend here in the future!
Until Next Time,