Every year I go to Colorado for the GoPro Games and maybe one other event. This year I did that but I also took the time to see one of my favorite families in Fort Collins, the Staffords. I met Evan Stafford a few years ago at CKS Paddlefest and it was like I had met my missing brother. We suddenly were the closest of friends and I spent a few days with his awesome wife and his two amazing daughters at their house in Ft. Collins. His daughters took to me like white on rice and they were unconditional with their love. Either way, it was like I found a missing family that I knew I needed.
This year, after team trials I started the drive back east, but not before stopping off in Ft. Collins, for some Stafford love and a sweet run on high water Poudre. I landed in the front yard and the girls ran out of the house like lightning to greet me. Evan had briefed the girls that we were going to go paddling for a while but would be back for dinner so they were ready for us to leave, even though they didn’t really want us to leave. I can understand why parents slow down on their paddling after they have kids, it’s hard to leave them, they are so darn cute!!
Either way, we got on the road and even though I only see Evan once or twice a year, we get straight into things talking about how our year has been, no awkward silence needed. We geared up and headed to swollen river for what Evan called “every kayakers dream river”. He described it as fluffy, wavey, and bouncy. It was all of those and more. This run was my type of kayaking. Big water class IV with low consequences and lots of massive waves to bust through. I was truly in heaven. The group was awesome and the paddle was even better.
At the end of the day, I was contemplating staying an extra day because the whitewater was so awesome and I wanted to stay with the girls. Sadly, I couldn't stay an extra day and in the morning I woke up to the girls climbing in bed with me and had an awesome cuddle session.