Putting in on below Big Banana Falls Photo- Dylan McKinney
Between my first two semesters as a Civil and Infrastructure Engineering student in Fairfax, VA I decided to meet up with Dylan McKinney and Ryan McAvoy in Mexico city and hop on a bus to Tlapacoyan in hopes of falling off some waterfalls. We were very lucky to arrive with near perfect water levels. There I would paddle 12 out of my 14 days in the muddy Mexican jungle. I was very excited being able to get 4 runs on Truchas, a 80 foot repel into a spectacular gorge where the only exit was running a 20 ft ski jump into a perfect 50 footer. I managed a couple runs on the Big Banana section and the Roadside sections of the Alsesecca as well as a run down the Upper Jalacingo. I was also incredibly stoked to accompany Dane Jackson in successfully falling off 60 ft Tomata One 7 times in one day, bringing my total tally up to 9 laps on Tomata during my 14 day stay in Mexico.
Styling Triple Drop Photo- Seth Ashworth
Though it was a relatively cold and rainy 2 weeks in Mexico, the East Coast crew definitely brought the heat. It was really exciting to be down there and paddle with the likes of Team Thunderdome and the DC crew as well as the Jackson Clan, a couple of Mexicans and a handful of random west coasters. It’s amazing to be supported in stepping up my C-1 waterfall running and creeking skills by all my friends, parents and sponsors. Each paddling trip gets me even more excited for the next one! But for now Enjoy this short edit I made of my trip to the not-so-steamy-but-very-moist rivers of Mexico!
Day 3: We started to gel as a group. I have a feeling our late night party in Yonton’s hotel room the night before putting on the river may have set the tone. The Truth serum brought out the camaraderie in all of us. It takes a little luck, social flexibility, and empathy for those in your group to come together as easily as ours did. It seemed the 3rd day was when everyone felt as though they could deal. Packing the boats was coming a little more easily. The cold was cold, for lack of a better word, but manageable. There were still nerves in some of the group about the whitewater but those were more known fears than the big questions that people had before the beginning of the trip. By day 3 most of us had used the groover so that was behind us.
This trip just about didn’t happen for several of us this year. Snow storms were moving across the country in many different regions which delayed, canceled, and forced lots of scrambling to make it to the Put In in time for check in with the Park Rangers. Chuck had to buy a first class ticket to make the date. Tom luckily ran into a counter agent who was from Flagstaff and knew all about the desire to make it to the river. She managed to get him to the Flag airport just in time to meet the shuttle headed directly to the put in. Woody had electrical problems on the road which left him a day later than he wanted to be but it all worked out we arrived at the Motel 6 in Flag got ourselves organized and loaded the rig headed for Lee’s Ferry.