Decades ago, 7-year-old Pat Keller walked up to Shane introduced himself, and proceeded to explain that he was going to be a kayak instructor and travel around the world to paddle. He’s met and exceeded that declaration in so many ways: waterfall huckmeister, blistering-fast racer, cutting-edge downriver freestyler, epic adventurer, and innovative design advisor. Born and raised around whitewater, Pat has a totally unique art and style as a paddler and regularly visualizes completely new paddling possibilities. Pat’s gonna leap out of bed in the morning with out-of-the-box ideas for a kayak and a way to use it that no one has even imagined, and the Liquidlogic team has the tools to bring them to life.
Day 4: Lava Chuar to Rattlesnake Camp is only 9 or 10 miles on the river so it wasn’t the paddling that was daunting. We got to camp early so we could take part in the yearly tradition of “Mike Hikes”. He pointed up to a peak that looked to be beyond not just the first wall behind camp but over another and then one more. That was a daunting visual. I was thinking to myself, really?
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.