Despite the end of March being a bit dark and gloomy, April brought all new adventures. I competed in my first ever Mountain Bike Enduro race, in memory of Maria. I got to spend the day, riding bikes, with the most bad ass group of women, in the woods of Cherokee. We headed to Columbus, GA for the US Freestyle Kayak Nationals and had the honor to be with Maria’s family, watching her youngest son have the best freestyle ride he has ever had in competition. I did a week of work with Anna Levesque during her Advanced Creeking Week, which always fires me up. I love watching people conquer class 3-4 creeks and that week is the week to do it. Tuck Fest in Charlotte, NC was next and I spent the weekend competing next to some great humans and even doing a slalom race. At the end of the weekend, I packed the Dagger truck up and headed straight north for Stakeout in Canada, following the snowmelt to big waves.
I had the great luck of being able to surf some huge waves, even though I only had two weeks up in Canada. I surfed Mini-bus on the Ottawa for the first time and headed to the Ruins in Ottawa City for the first time also. Despite some ups and downs, days where it may as well had been snowing, in between water levels, and ice flows creating some huge dangers on the water, Stakeout proved to be some good, clean-ish, fun. I needed some more warmth in my life, after freezing on the snow-melt for a couple of weeks, so I headed back south to work for First Descents and change some lives of young adult cancer survivors.
June- I drove to Colorado right after working for First Descents just in time to try to get acclimated for the GoPro Mountain Games. I was competing in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge for the first time and decided to do 10 events over a time of 4 days. The events included four Kayaking events, a Rock Climbing event (where I only completed one problem), a XC Mountain Bike event (which I crashed and then ate snacks on the side of the trail, while holding back tears), my first ever 5k run (almost died at 8000 feet), a family mud run, a mountain run (up the face of a steep mountain in Vail), and even a yoga class. Needless to say, after four days, I was proper broken and ready for some rest. I came away with the win in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge but did mediocre in most of my events minus an 8-Ball race win (freak accident). I turned 30 the next weekend, the weekend of the North Fork Championship and I was supposed to at least try to qualify for the race. I bowed out of the qualifier after realizing how tired I was following the GoPro Games. It’s the first race I have ever walked away from. Snowy flew into Idaho for the weekend, my first time seeing him in 6 weeks, and we got to spend the weekend together, rolling my 30th birthday in at the Dirty Shame in Crouch, Idaho. We then got to do our first overnighter together on the Secesh into the South Fork Salmon with some really good friends of ours. I rounded out my June doing two more weeks of work with First Descents and paddling some classic whitewater of Washington state.