For more than a decade I have been traveling to Mexico most winters to enjoy the warm water and great paddling in the states of San Luis Potosi and Veracruz. This year, Mexico was not in my travel plans and I had committed to a trip to the Dominican Republic for much of December. However, it turned out that my work schedule created the possibility of being off-work for the whole week of the Thanksgiving holiday, which created an opportunity for a quick trip to San Luis Potosi that I couldn't resist.
Below: Vitaly Prikhodko running a picturesque drop on the Salto section of the Rio Valles in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Photo by Adam Goshorn
Below: John Kern on the Rio Tampaon, which is really the 5th canyon of the Rio Santa Maria, but the river changes names after the confluence with the Rio Gallines at Cascada de Tamul. Photo by Adam Goshorn.
Although the state of Veracruz has been getting much more attention from kayakers in recent years, the state of San Luis Potosi is closer (for those driving from the United States) and offers up some of the most beautiful and fun class III-IV paddling anywhere. With our limited time window and desire to keep the trip as cheap as possible (because we where driving, closer is inherently cheaper), San Luis Potosi was the obvious choice. Vitaly Prikhodko and Judd James had both been talking to me about wanting to get a trip together to go down there, but they had never been able to go. Both of them only had enough time off from work for a shorter trip than what I usually planned for, so they had never been able to join me in the past. With the two of them chomping at the bit to get down there, soon as I knew I could be off work for the whole week, I knew we already had the basis for a crew in place!
Below: Vitaly Prikhodko seal launching back into the Rio Tampaon after portaging a section where the whole river goes underground, through a cave for a distance of about 200 feet. Photo by Adam Goshorn.
Below: Adam Goshorn on the final drop of the Cascadas Micos section of the Rio Valles. Photo by John Kern.
For paddlers driving to Mexico from the United States, the ideal situation is to have around six people and to take two vehicles. Traveling in a two vehicle convoy and having a bigger group in general adds a margin of safety to the trip and allows for running shuttle, as needed. In hopes of reaching the magical number of six people, I contacted a few more friends and suddenly we had two vehicles and a crew of seven ready to go! John Kern, Jenny Leaderer, Jerrod Jones, and Claire Zollondz agreed to joined Vitaly, Judd, and I for the trip. We would have six paddlers and although she doesn't paddle, my friend Claire agreed to come along to help us with shuttles.
Below: Everyday awesomeness! Photo by John Kern.
Below: Vitaly Prikhodko running the largest drop of the Salto section of the Rio Valles. Photo by Adam Goshorn.
With the crew in place, we rendezvoused at Jerrod's house in Fort Payne, Alabama on Saturday morning before the week of the Thanksgiving holiday. We loaded up and knocked out the 27-hour drive to San Luis Potosi straight through, only making stops for food and fuel. We arrived at the Aldea Huesteca campground Sunday afternoon, quickly set up our tents, and headed up for a quick run on the Cascadas Micos section of the Rio Valles. Over the rest of the week we had a great time paddling multiple sections of multiple rivers in the area, with extra laps on the short and sweet sections of the Rio Valles, the Cascadas Micos and the Salto sections.
Below: Here is a little completion video I put together from our trip. Be sure to set the quality to 720HD to get the best resolution.
Until Next Time,
Below: If you want to see more footage, check out John Kern's video from our trip here.
Mexico 2015 from John Kern on Vimeo.
Below: Myself doing some 'slip-n-slide' on the water-park that is the Cascadas Micos section of the Rio Valles. Photo by John Kern.