Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Long Road

Rodeo on the Ottawa. Photo credit Colin Moneypenney.

With C2 Partner, "Bug" Lokken. Photo credit Jean Buckley.

The Boater-X (Good Carnage). Photo credit Jean Buckley.

One of the Slalom Races. Photo Credit Jean Buckley.

It has almost been a month since I have been home. I will admit, it is definitely nice to be back in Wisconsin, but I have had an incredible summer so far.
I was home for a few days, after FIBArk, and then I took off for Canada in the aptly named "Hippie Bus", loaded full of camping and paddling gear, ready for the Junior Olympic Whitewater Festival, in Ontario, Canada.
We arrived at the first at the Gull River, in Minden, Ontario. This was a gorgeous venue, and really challenging, because it was the site of the 1977 Whitewater World Championships. We stayed there for several days, and I competed in two Slalom races, a Boater-X, and a Freestyle event.
From there, I traveled to the Madawaska Kanu Center, near Barry's Bay, Ontario, where another Slalom Race was held, as well as a Downriver Race. It was a broader, longer course, and definitely left you feeling exhausted after your race runs.
We journeyed on to the Ottawa River, where we camped at Wilderness Tours, and spent several days running the Ottawa and competing in yet another Freestyle event.
From there, we continued on to Ottawa City, where the final Junior Olympic Slalom Race was held at the Pumphouse Whitewater Park.
When the results were calculated, and the awards ceremony occurred, I found myself lucky enough to be named the Junior Olympic Female Champion (also known as the Rivermeisterein) for the third year in a row! It was such an awesome experience, and I felt truly grateful.
After the Canadian Competitions wrapped up, I journeyed South in the Hippie Bus to West Virginia, where I spent a week with family and friends on a farm in the rolling blue mountains, Paddling, Hiking, Bouldering, all told, having a fantastic time.
I have finally gotten home now, and look forward to these next few weeks when I'll be catching up on house work, friends, AP History Homework, and begin my training for the World Championships, in La Seu D' Urgell, Spain. I'll keep you posted!

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