Monday, November 10, 2014

Western Wanderings 2014

Below: Jenny relaxing in one of the hot springs early in the trip.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

Hot Spring 1

Below: A compilation of footage from paddling in ID and CO during June and July of 2014.  Video by Adam Goshorn

After years of unsuccessful lottery applications for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River (MFS) in Idaho, this year I was lucky enough to be invited along by friends who won a permit.  Jenny Leaderer and her husband, John Kern, invited Shawn Malone, David Dehart, and I to join them for an eight-day, self-supported run down the MFS in June of 2014.  Dave and Shawn normally prefer to run difficult whitewater in their open boats, but as the trip approached, they decided that having to stop and dump open boats loaded with eight days worth of gear sounded like more work than fun.  So, they decided to pack Shawn’s small raft with their gear and R2 the run instead.  This set-up worked well for them and they allowed Jenny, John, and I to add our camp chairs and a few beers to their raft, making our trip a little more spoiled than self-support typically allows!

Below: John and Adam enjoying typical MFS scenery. Photo by Jenny Leaderer.

JK and AG by JL 1

Below: Jenny and John scouting the best route between some big holes somewhere on the MFS.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

J and J Scouting

There are many things about the MFS that make it such a coveted and special run.  It is a free flowing river through the heart of the largest roadless area in the lower 48 states.  Also, there is almost no flat water and the entire 100+ mile run consist of quality class III-IV rapids that build in volume as the river gains multiple tributaries every day of the trip.  As if all that weren’t enough… for the first two-thirds of the trip, there are hot springs to stop and enjoy every day.  What’s not to like?

Below: Unpacking boat to camp at Sunflower Flats hot spring that provided a hot shower at river level, in addition to several cliff-top pools for soaking.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

Camp 4

 Below: The upper pools at Sunflower Flats. Photo by Dave Dehart.

JK and AG at Sunflower Flats HS by DD

Our small group of five first-timers enjoyed eight wonderful days together on the MFS.  Every bend in the river brought new things to check out and as the end approached, we wanted nothing more than for the experience to continue.  However, all good things must come to and end and after the take-out our crew parted ways.  Shawn and Dave had to head out to make their way back home to Chattanooga, while Jenny, John, and I made our way south in pursuit of more paddling in Colorado before we had to head back east.

Below: Testing the waters at the top of the eddy at Fly Camp. Photo by John Kern.


 Below: Shawn and Dave cruising R2 through Velvet Falls.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

 Rafting Velvet Falls

Over the years I have been lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time paddling in Colorado.  While our time there this year only included one run that was new to me, it was great to revisit several rivers and creeks that I had grown to love on previous trips.  We started out in the northern part of the state, in the Cache La Poudre River drainage.  With the water levels too low for Big South or Joe Wright Creek, but still higher than we wanted for the Narrows, we settled for a couple quick laps on the Upper Mish section.  None of us had previously run the section, but turned out to be quite fun at the water level we had that day and everything always seems more fun when no one knows the run and is boatscouting together!

 Below: Wildflowers with scars from an old burn in the background.  Photo by Dave Dehart

 Wildflowers by JK

 Below: One of numerous pictograph sites along the MFS.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

Rock Art 1

From the Cache La Poudre, we moved south to more familiar territory in the Arkansas River drainage, where we would spend the bulk of our remaining time in Colorado.  We did slip over to the Roaring Fork drainage for two runs on the Slaughterhouse section.  We also did a run on Castle Creek, which enters the Roaring Fork only a little ways upstream of the put in for the Slaughterhouse section.  During our time around the Arkansas drainage we set up base camp at bottom of Five-And-A-Half rapid on the Numbers section and did multiple runs putting in at Pine Creek rapid and paddling back to our camp.  We also got multiple runs on Clear Creek (a tributary of the Arkansas), one of my favorite runs in the area.  Clear Creek’s fast paced action and numerous small boofs  is enough to make any paddler smile.  However, it also has a somewhat forgiving nature (at moderatge levels) which lends itself to mad bombing… only catching the occasional eddy in the entire three-mile run!

Below: A thin sheet of falling water at Veil Falls.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

Vail Falls

Below: The last remnants of snow high atop Independence Pass which seperates the Arkansas River Drainage from the Roaring Fork Drainage.  Photo by Adam Goshorn.

CO Pass

As the end of our time in Colorado approached, we eventually packed up our Arkansas River camp at Five-And-A-Half and headed way downstream to run the classic Royal Gorge section.  Meeting up with Adam Spillman, we had a great time enjoying the waves and holes between the towering cliff walls that are the trademark of this run.  After departing the Royal Gorge, we drove as far east as we could the same day and treated ourselves to a hotel room in eastern CO, just a little ways before the Kansas border.  After showers and a good night’s sleep, the following day we drove straight through to Chattanooga in a single 19-hour push, stopping only for gas along the way.

Below: A longer, much more inclusive video from our time on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Video by John Kern

Middle Fork of the Salmon, ID from John Kern on Vimeo.

Until next time… Adam Goshorn

Below: Flowers of the MFS.  Photos by Adam Goshorn.

Flower 1

Flower 2

Flower 3

kayak session

Monday, October 6, 2014

Alabama 2014: Winter and Spring Wrap-Up

Below, Adam Goshorn takes flight off his favorite boof in Little River Canyon, photo by Joey Jarrell


I know… I know… it is fall and yet, here I am finally putting up the last of my media from the winter and spring, but better late than never.  Unlike the spring of 2013, which was unusually wet (see video HERE), north Alabama experienced only average rainfall in the spring of 2014.  Luckily for those of us that call the region home, average rainfall is still enough to provide plenty of consistent paddling opportunities from Dec-May… albeit with a bit less variety.  We did have the opportunity to explore McWhorter Gulf in April, which had been on my wish list for years (see pictures and video HERE).  However, with that exception, this year most of the Alabama paddling season had us sticking to the classics that have large watersheds and run most consistently.

 Below, my wife Shannon Goshorn choosing a creative way shorten a portage in Little River Canyon (photo by Joey Jarrell).


 Little River Canyon is the bread and butter for the north Alabama paddling scene and keeps our addictions fed for much of the year.  With a variety of sections suitable for paddlers of every skill level and a watershed that keeps it running for about six months out of the year, it is hard to beat… being ten minutes from my house doesn’t hurt either!  My video, This is the LRC, that was posed earlier this year, showed a variety of lines on Little River Canyon at low and medium flows (if you missed it, you can find it HERE).

 Below, Pat Smith taking the boof line on Bottleneck in Little River Canyon, photo by Adam Goshorn

  Pat Smith by AG 2

Town Creek is another classic for the north Alabama paddling community.  It has a large drainage and cuts a canyon into the side of Sand Mountain as it makes its way down to Lake Guntersville.  Town Creek is known mostly for being a good introduction to creeking for the class III crowd, but that reputation really only references paddling the lower section at low flows.  If you add more water (anything around 1000 CFS or more) and/or either of the large bedrock features upstream of the normal put-in… Town Creek becomes a fun run for more advanced paddlers too.  At the put-in for the upper section is a long bedrock slide that was once the site of an old mill and develops quite a stomping hole at high water.  At the put-in for the lower is a 30-foot cascade that occasionally gets run at high water.

Below, my wife Shannon Goshorn running the mill slide on the Town Creek, photo by Adam Goshorn

  Shannon Goshorn by AG 1

South Sauty is a classic creek on Sand Mountain in north Alabama and at most levels it is considered by most to be not-too-threatening class IV.  It doesn’t run quite as consistently as Little River Canyon or Town Creek, but it has a large watershed and is probably the second most reliable run of similar difficulty in the area.  In addition to fun rapids and great scenery, South Sauty keeps everyone smiling, in part, due to its easy logistics.  Unlike many of the creeks in the region it doesn’t require hiking in, hiking out, or a lake paddle… making this fun run lap-able for those who find one run not enough to quench their thirst!

 Below, Pat Smith boofs the falls that are just a few paddle strokes below the put in (photo by Adam Goshorn).

  Pat Smith by AG 1

 Bear Creek, known locally at Teady Bear, is a tributary that enters Little River Canyon just upstream of the access at the Chairlift Trail (a.k.a. Eberhart Point).  The upper section consists mainly of large bedrock slides and takes a really big rain event to become runnable.  Lower Teddy Bear takes less water than the upper, so it runs more often.  It also has less bedrock features and instead is composed mainly of boulder rapids.  Unfortunately, I was only able to catch Lower Teddy Bear once this year and at a fairly low level… but catching it at all is pretty fortunate and we were able to follow it up with a quick lap down Johnnies Creek right before dark on the same day.

 Below, Jesse Carter picking his way down Teddy Bear Creek at a low level, photo by Adam Goshorn

  Jesse Carter by AG 1

All told the spring of 2014 was another fine example of why I choose to make my home here on Lookout Mountain in north Alabama.  Even in a year such as 2014 that wasn’t very extraordinary at all, there is still a high quality paddling season to be had at a time of year when much of the northern hemisphere is iced-in and only dreaming of paddling.  All of the runs described here (as well as a plethora of others) are all included in the new, soon-to-be released, guidebook: Whitewater of the Southern Appalachians, by Kirk Eddlemon.  I’m proud to be a contributing writer and photographer as well as featured in several photographs by other people.  If you haven’t already be sure to check out the Facebook page for this book ( where you can see sample pages and get information about it’s availability, which should be sometime this winter… its going to be awesome!   Below is a compilation of footage from boating around north Alabama in the spring of 2014 that was left over after my other video projects… edited to some classic Hackensaw Boys bluegrass!  Enjoy!

Alabama Shamrock 2014 from Adam Goshorn on Vimeo.

 Until next time…

 Adam Goshorn

 Below, Ky Hart boofing his way into Watfall Rapid on Bear Creek, photo by Adam Goshorn

  Ky Hart by AG 1

kayak session

Saturday, June 14, 2014

This is the LRC

With a large watershed and a streambed that channelizes well at lower levels, Little River Canyon (LRC) can have enough water for paddling after local rain any time of the year.  However, it is almost always above the minimum water level (for at least some section of the canyon) from Dec-May, making it a staple for local paddlers and a destination for boaters from everywhere.  Of the runs of similar difficulty in the southeastern United States, only the Russell Fork and the Green are runnable more days per year and no other natural flowing river of similar difficulty runs as often.  This video was filmed during the relatively dry Spring of 2014, but still showcases a variety of lines at low and medium water levels.

This is home.  This is the LRC.

This is the LRC from Adam Goshorn on Vimeo.

Until next time...


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Exploring McWhorter Gulf

Below: Pat Smith running an early slide on the tributary where were put, before getting to McWhorter proper.  Photo by Ben Trister

Below: Jesse Carter on one of the other many early slides. Photo by Adam Goshorn

Below: Adam Goshorn on the last of the bedrock slides before the streambed changed to boulders and the bottom dropped out! Photo by Ben Trister.

  AG Edge of the World by BT

McWhorter Gulf and its watershed are contained entirely within the boundaries of Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area and speaking in terms of geographic place-names, it flows southeast off of Pigeon Mountain in Walker County Georgia.  However, geologically speaking, PigeonMountain is really just a peninsula off of LookoutMountain.  Its geology is identical and as a whole, along with SandMountain to the west, both are dissected remnants of the southernmost extension of the Appalachian Plateau.  Putting all those semantics aside, the important thing for paddlers is that this peninsula, whatever name you want to call it, has the same characteristics that have created so many quality, runnable waterways all over LookoutMountain and SandMountain.

 Below: Adam Goshorn and Jesse Carter scouting early in the steep section. Photo by Ben Trister.

  AG and JC by BT 1

 Below: Ben Trister running a chunky drop early in the steep section.  Photo by Adam Goshorn

Below: There is much more to the steepest section than what is shown below, but these two photos below, shown together start to give you an idea of just how stacked it really is. Photos by Ben Trister.

  Steep Section Composite

Below: Adam Goshorn and Jesse Carter scouting a cool 10-footer.  Photo by Ben Trister

 I have been involved in a number of runs that were probably first descents; creeks that I honestly believe that our group was the first to descend in boats.  However, I always prefer to add some qualifiers, such as, “possible” first descent or first “known” descent because the reality is, there is no way to know with absolute certainty.  Perhaps we were actually the first or perhaps just the first to document anything about our descent, after all there have been many generations of boaters who all had the same itch to explore.  As of this writing, we have asked a lot of the usual suspects and have yet to find anyone else who has run McWhorterGulf or knows anything about anyone else running it.  However, maybe the pictures and video from our run will bring someone out of the woodwork who has knowledge of a previous run.  For now, I will say that April 7, 2014 was possibly the first descent of McWhorterGulf.  Paddlers included Jesse Carter, Pat Smith, Ben Trister, and myself, Adam Goshorn.

Exploring McWhorter Gulf from Adam Goshorn on Vimeo.

 Until Next Time…

 -Adam Goshorn

 Below: Adam Goshorn on some of the last good rapids before the take-out. Photos by Ben Trister.AG by BT 1

AG by BT 2

kayak session

Monday, May 5, 2014

Team Pyranha 2013 Wrap Up!

For me 2013 was another great year of paddling close to home and on the road.  I'm proud to continue to receive support from some of the most core companies in the industry, including Pyranha Kayaks.  Below is the 2013 Team Pyranha USA compilation video, with contributions from lots of folks on the team (myself included) and put together into this sweet edit by Paul Butler.  Enjoy...

Team Pyranha 'Merica 2013 from Paul Butler on Vimeo.

Until Next Time...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mexico 2013 Part IV: Back to SLP

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the El Salto Section of the Rio Valles, photo by Adam Goshorn
MB Salto 6 by AG

We had been enjoying our time in Veracruz (see Mexico 2013 Part III HERE), but water levels continued to be too high for many of runs we would have been paddling in a normal year.  There were a few paddlers around who had done some recent, high-water descents on some of the other sections of the Rio Alseseca.  However, the idea of going into the steeper and deeper canyons of the Rio Alseseca or those of the Rio Jalacingo at such high levels was unappealing to me... especially after getting beat down on our high-water day on the Roadside Section, which is easier and the proximity of the road provides an escape route.  We only had a few more days in Mexico before we had to head home anyway, so we decided to head back to San Luis Potosi immediately, which would allow us a couple more days of boating in that region before the long drive home.  The drive back to San Luis Potosi from Veracruz was significantly faster than the drive down and we were able to set up camp at Aldea Huesteca with enough time to go into town for dinner.  

Below: Matt Beauchamp running a juicy rapid in the 4th canyon of the Rio Santa Maria, photos by Adam Goshorn
MB Santa Maria 3 by AG

When we arrived back at the campground that night, we heard that our friend Julian Schafer had been asking about us.  Julian is a German paddler who Matt and I had met in Veracruz during our trip the previous year.  In 2012, Julian had quickly become friends with our whole group and ended up paddling with us almost every day our of two-week stay at Aventurec.  This year, he had been living in Cd. Valles and working as a raft guide, but due to a shoulder injury (on the Rio Minas Viejas) was now recovering rather than padding.  We were able to get in touch with him that night and Julian and his girlfriend Karenn ended up coming along with us the following day to run shuttle with Shannon while Matt, Evan, and I paddled the classic 3rd and 4th canyons of the Rio Santa Maria.  The watershed of the Rio Santa Maria is amazing!  There are fifteen known whitewater sections on eight different rivers, all part of the same watershed.  The Rio Santa Maria itself has five distinct canyons that contain beautiful turquoise water and class III-V rapids.  As usual, the Rio Santa Maria did not disappoint us and Matt, Evan, and I had an awesome day making our way through the 3rd and 4th canyons at a healthy flow, eventually reaching the take-out at the base of Cascada de Tamul.  Cascada de Tamul is a 250-foot waterfall created by the Rio Gallines plunging into the narrow canyon of the Rio Santa Maria.  I’ve been told that at very low flows it is possible to paddle through the falls at the confluence., but most of the time it is impossible.  So, groups take-out at the base of falls, climb ladders in a steep gully near the falls, and hike upstream to a small parking area at the end of a long dirt road… not the easiest take-out.  Shannon, Julian and Karenn had hiked in to the base of the falls to meet us and after hanging out for a bit (and the mandatory photo op) we all hiked out with one thing at the forefront of our mind… finding dinner!

Below: Shannon Goshorn at the base of Cascada de Tamul, photo by Matt Beauchamp

The day after we paddled the Rio Santa Maria, we broke down our camp and drove about an hour north to paddle the El Salto section of the Rio Valles.  The  El Salto section starts just downstream of a powerhouse and therefore almost always has boatable flows, making it an ideal run to get on when other things in the area are getting low (although its even better at high water!).   The three- mile run starts out in a man-made channel which is the outflow of the power plant.  This channel creates a quarter-mile section of fast continuous water that leads into a couple of strong holes as it re-enters the natural streambed at a rapid called El Nemo.  The rest of the run is an endless number of travertine ledges ranging from five to twenty feet.  The run goes quickly, so we made two laps and then checked into the resort at the take-out.  Wanting to have real beds for our final night, we were willing to spend a bit more for the nicer accommodations, hoping that a good night’s sleep would prepare us for the long drive home the following day.  However, I couldn’t help thinking about how a single night at this resort cost almost as much as our five-night stay at Aventurec (what a bargain).  The next morning we packed everything into the truck, ate a delicious breakfast at the resort, and our 27-hour drive back to Alabama was underway.  The drive is never fun, but we completed it without a hitch, arriving home exhausted and completely satisfied with another successful adventure south of the border.

Below: Evan Alfano on the El Salto Section of the Rio Valles, photo by Adam Goshorn
EA Salto 1 by AG

Below:  Here is the video I edited from our trip.  It is not in chronological order and is not sorted by river either.  It’s just a sampling of everything from the whole trip, mixed together for variety.  Be sure to stay tuned after the credits for a bit of carnage too!  Enjoy! 

Until Next Time…

Adam Goshorn

kayak session

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mexico 2013 Part III: Veracruz

Below: Must be going the right way, photo by Evan Alfano
Veracruz sign by EA

Below: Adam Goshorn on the Rio Alseseca , photo by Shannon Goshorn
AG Alseseca by SG 5

The day after we paddled the second canyon of the Rio Verde with Team Previa (see: Mexico 2013 part II HERE); we woke up early and broke down our camp at Aldea Huseteca.  Eager to get on the road south towards Veracruz, we skipped breakfast, planning to find something to eat along the way.  It was raining lightly as we departed our campsite and the rain continued throughout the day, slowing traffic everywhere and lengthening our already long drive to Tlapacoyan.  While driving through a small town, the name of which I have already forgotten, we did eventually find an awesome place for breakfast.  We spotted fresh bread and pastries in a storefront window along the main road.  A couple of blocks later we found a spot to park and backtracked on foot.  The storefront was indeed a bakery, but was also a café with a counter and table-service in the back.  No one spoke any English, but like so many times before we used a combination of our limited Spanish and pointing at meals being consumed at other tables to place our orders.  We didn’t think we had all ordered the same thing, but when our meals appeared they were identical.  We each received a big platter containing a slab of flank steak, a pile of eggs, fried potatoes, and a serving of beans.  A couple stacks of tortillas also appeared; ready to be loaded with the contents of our plates.  We ate to our hearts content and bought a few pastries on our way out the door, beyond pleased with our random breakfast stop.

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the Rio Alseseca, photos by Adam Goshorn
MB Alseseca 10 by AG

MB Alseseca 12 by AG

Back on the road again, we slogged on through the rain.  We passed through two state police checkpoints where the officers first asked… then insisted, that we buy them a cup of coffee.  Their exaggerated shivering was effective charades in communicating to us that they were cold from standing in the rain… despite if being about 70 degrees outside.  We complied, not too put-off by the ten peso price tag, after all the current exchange rate put ten pesos roughly equal to $0.75 USD.  It was a small price to pay to not get hassled any further and to move through their checkpoint as quickly as possible.  Soon we were winding along the Emerald Coast, catching glimpses of the beach and its waves on our left.  Had it not been a rainy, foggy day, it would have been quite a beautiful spot.  Eventually we turned right, leaving the coast behind and heading back into the mountains towards our destination, the small city of Tlapacoyan.

Below: Adam Goshorn on the Rio Alseseca, photos by Evan Alfano
AG Alseseca by EA 1

AG Alseseca by EA 3

Over the past few years the state of Veracruz and the especially the area around Tlapocoyan have become the most well known destination for paddling in Mexico.  Its popularity is due in part to the many great whitewater runs that are in relatively close proximity to each other, but it’s not just the richness of the whitewater that have made it so popular.  In large part, the boom in paddling in the region is due to ease of logistics because of the services provided by a family-owned company called Aventurec.  Unlike most of Mexico, where paddlers are pretty much on their own to figure out logistics, Aventurec makes paddling around Tlapacoyan downright simple!  Aventurec a eco tourism company that has rafting, horseback riding, zip lines, a campground, hostel, rental cabañas, a restaurant (with meal plans!), a bar (that allows tabs!), and can provide shuttle services for kayakers.  Pretty much anything a nomadic group of paddlers could need or want is all right there and coordinated by people who know the area like no outsider ever could.  There is also usually a variety of different paddling groups from around North America and Europe staying at Aventurec, creating a great vibe every night at the bar and around the campfire.
Below: Evan Alfano on the Rio Alseseca, photo by Adam Goshorn
EA Alseseca 10 by AG

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the Rio Alseseca, photo by Evan Alfano
MB Alseseca 11 by EA

We arrived at Aventurec late in the afternoon and secured accommodations for the rest of the week; a hostel room for Evan and Matt and a cabaña for Shannon and me.  We were also able to start on their meal plan (highly recommended!), beginning with dinner that night.  While we ate, we met a Canadian paddler, Patrick Levesque, who had also just arrived and made plans to head to the classic Roadside Section of the Rio Alseseca with him the next day.  The Roadside is the easiest section of the Rio Alseseca and was also the first section of the river to be explored by paddlers.  In a year with average rainfall, by December the Rio Alseseca is at a nice low-ish flow… perfect for the harder sections like the Big Banana and makes the Roadside a low volume bedrock run that is mostly class IV.  In other words, it is usually the perfect warm-up run for the area.  However, this was not an average year.

Below: Patrick Levesque on the Rio Alseseca, photo by Evan Alfano
PL Alseseca 6 by EA

Below: Evan Alfano on the Rio Alseseca, photo by Shannon Goshorn
EA Alseseca 2 by SG

Hurricanes had caused severe flooding throughout Veracruz and the surrounding states in September of 2013 and frequent rainfall continued throughout the fall.  The result was the high water season extending into December, and unbeknownst to us at the time, it would continue into January as well.  When we got to the put-in, the Roadside Section was quite a bit higher than when we paddled it the previous year, perhaps as much a vertical foot higher in some rapids.  The higher water really padded out some of the rapids that were boney the previous year, but also created some severe holes and resulted in several portages and beat downs.  No one even considered running S-Turn and Matt was the only person to run Sticky Hole and Typewriter.  He had an awesome line at Sticky Hole, easily cleaning it, but took quite a beating at Typewriter.  At one drop, that I don’t even think has a name, I took the worst beating I’ve had in years.  I was surfed, cartwheeled, and power-shaded a few times before I swam and then I was recirculated a few more times out of my boat.  When I finally resurfaced, coughing up water, I was done with battling holes at what was obviously too high a water level.  After sticking around to set safety for Matt at Typewriter, I walked up to the road and followed it to the truck, skipping the last half-mile of the run.  Matt, Evan, and Patrick arrived back at the truck a short time later with more tales of high water epicness, which included Evan’s GoPro being ripped off his helmet and lost to a watery grave.  No other groups ran the Roadside Section the day we did, but over the next few days other groups did paddle it at progressively lower levels and still returned to Aventurec each night with tales of beatings and swims.  I have to admit, there stories were a bit of solace after the rough day we had out there.

Below: The view of the Zapotitlon Section from the hike in… still a long way to go, photo by Patrick Levesque
Voyage au Mexique, région de Tlapacoyan, Veracrux - décembre 2013

Below: Adam Goshorn hiking into the Zapotitlon Section, photo by Patrick Levesque
Voyage au Mexique, région de Tlapacoyan, Veracrux - décembre 2013

The evening after our high water day on the Roadside Section of the Rio Alseseca, we decided on a low-stress plan for the next day.  Hiking into the upper Rio Bobos near Zapotitlon provides paddlers with around nine miles of read-and-run class IV boulder gardens in a beautiful canyon.  We had done the run the previous year at low water and were looking forward to repeating it at a better level.  After a long drive to the trailhead, the hike into the Zapotitlon is down a rocky switch-backed path that takes paddlers from the top of the canyon down to the grassy valley floor and eventually the river.  Even with the recent rain, the trail was much dryer and less slick than on our 2012 trip and we knocked out the hike fairly quickly.  Despite the high water level we had experienced the previous day on the Rio Alseseca, level on the Rio Bobos were only a little higher than when we had run it 2012.  We had a very fun day and upon reaching the take-out we spent some time enjoying some beers at small café at the take-out, which apparently specialized in preparing large crayfish, caught from the river.  The proprietor of the café, a very nice lady, showed off some live crayfish awaiting their fate in a bucket and also showed us some fresh from a boiling pot she was preparing for her customers.  

Below: Adam Goshorn on the Zapotitlon Section, photo by Patrick Levesque
AG Zap 1 by PL

Below: A tributary joins the Zapotitlon Section via a 200” waterfall on river left, photo by Patrick Levesque
Voyage au Mexique, région de Tlapacoyan, Veracrux - décembre 2013

Back at Aventurec there was a lot of discussion of what we should do next.  The water levels still seemed too high for the Rio Alseseca.  There was no recent information on the water level of the Rio Jalacingo, although with the levels of the Rio Alseseca it seemed logical to assume it was high as well.  So, after much indecisiveness, we finally decided to undertake all three sections of the upper Rio Bobos (Pimiento, Tatempa, and Zapotitlon) as a single long day.  We had originally planned to do these sections as an overnighter, but eventually decided we didn’t want to devote two days of the trip to something that we could probably do in a single day.  We made arrangements with Aventurec for a driver and a 6:00 AM departure and went to bed early in anticipation of the long day ahead.  Matt, Evan, Patrick, and I were joined by Brett Barton for what turned out to be one of the most rewarding days of the trip.  Departing at 6:00 AM the drive to the put in was long and at times scary.  At one point we drove through muddy, rutted out tracks across a massive landslide… white knuckles all around and a sigh of relieve on the other side!  Once on the river we were treated to some high quality paddling with very few portages, amazing canyons, and countless waterfalls streaming off the walls.  We made steady downstream progress all day, but were beginning to get worried about running out of daylight when we reached the Zapotitlon put-in late in the afternoon.  With nine more miles to paddle we shifted into overdrive and bombed the whole section that usually takes half a day in a mere two hours.

Below: Morning Sunshine, photo by Evan Alfano
Sun 2 by EA

Below: The view upstream from the put-in for the Pimiento Section, photo by Patrick Levesque
Voyage au Mexique, région de Tlapacoyan, Veracrux - décembre 2013

One of my goals for the trip was to make sure Shannon got to paddle and wasn’t just along for the ride.  We had done a good job of getting her on some runs during our time in San Luis Potosi, but so far in Varacruz she had spent our whole time there hanging out, while we paddled runs that were above her comfort level.  I decided I would spend the next day paddling with her on the classic rafting section of the Rio Bobos, known as the Filo Bobos.  By morning, Evan and Matt also decided that a relaxing day would be nice after our very long run the previous day, so all four of us hopped on board one of the rafting buses leaving Aventurec and had a great day paddling a run that was new to all of us.  Back at Aventurec that night, we began once again to debate what our next move should be…

Below: Matt Beauchamp boofing on the Pimiento Section, photo by Patrick Levesque
MB Pimiento 1 by PL

Below: Adam Goshorn boofing on the Pimiento Section, photo by Patrick Levesque
AG Pimiento 1 by PL

Stay tuned for the fourth and final chapter in this trip report, which will include our crew returning to San Luis Potosi and running a couple more classic there and more excitingly… the video compilation from the whole trip!

Until next time…

-Adam Goshorn

Below: Scouting on the Rio Alseseca, photo by Evan Alfano
AG Alseseca Scouting 1 by EA

Below: A nice pic of Adam Goshorn right before he got destroyed by the hole at this drop, photo by Evan Alfano
AG Alseseca by EA 5

Below: The road to the put-in for the Pimiento Section where it crosses a recent landslide, photo by Patrick Levesque
Voyage au Mexique, région de Tlapacoyan, Veracrux - décembre 2013

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the Rio Alseseca, photo by Adam Goshorn
MB Alseseca 5 by EA

kayak session