Archive for June, 2024

A Beaver Creek Float with the Family

Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

The family and I did the classic Beaver Creek float and hike. Jokingly I suggested to my daughter Lizzy that she write a blog post about it for me. Amazingly, she agreed – enjoy!

In a story that was told during one of the Dark Winter Nights productions it was stated that something truly was terrifying because Jay Cable started screaming, and he never screams. 

I can say that this is factually false. My dad screams more than probably anybody else I know. Multiple times I have had to tell him to not scream unless he is actually seriously injured because otherwise, nearby people will come running to witness the terrible injury, which would be embarrassing for both him and me. 

Note: The dark winter nights episode Lizzy is refering to can be found here:
(Also, I never scream. -JC)

The beaver creek trip I went on this summer, luckily, did not include very much screaming, except for a few moments. The weather was fairly perfect, with almost no bugs.

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The packrafting was definitely not hot, but also not the frigid hail-filled adventure a previous beaver creek trip was. We had one day of packrafting, then stayed at a cabin for the night, then crossed the creek again to get to the trail on the other side. I was boating in a tricolor boat and took joy in paddling far ahead from the rest of the group so that I had to be shouted at to wait. 

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Lizzy, in the “tricolor boat”..
Lizzy, in her natural habitat..
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The wildlife from the creek was quite impressive. We saw multiple eagles and ospreys, plus a porcupine and a moose. Bank swallows were also a continual presence later during the boating. 

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Summer cabin life..
Lizzy, the young author of this screed, appreciating the aroma of her well aged socks..

The short journey away from the cabin on the second day turned out to be an unexpected source of adventure. I got across perfectly fine in my boat, which I then deflated and rolled up to go in my dad’s backpack. However, there was a shriek from the middle of the creek as my dad was crossing. Apparently he had a thermos of coffee in the boat which had a poor lid, or a lid he had forgotten to actually screw on. Whatever the cause, he was soon sitting in a pool of coffee that had filled the inside of his raft. 

When he got out of the boat the seat of his pants was soaked. There was also a very strong odor of coffee as he walked past. He quickly changed into different pants and underwear. However, he then asked the family to wash both in the creek. I refused and ran in the opposite direction. Finally, he was forced to wash his own clothing, and then changed into dry shorts. 

It wouldn’t really have mattered if he had kept the original shorts on. He had told us that there would be a creek crossing after the first, but that it would be shallow and that we would just walk across. It was not shallow. It was thigh deep on my dad, waist deep on me. I told my dad he had to come back and take my backpack for me. I had assumed, on a day we wouldn’t be boating, that I wouldn’t need to seal everything into a dry sack. Apparently, on all hiking trips it is best to assume that you are going swimming. 

The trail on the first day of hiking wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. The brush, unfortunately, in some locations was densest beside and in the trail. The brush would grow specifically in the trail because water would flow down it. Specifically the two miles after the trail shelter, or before the trail shelter from our perspective, are very brushy. 

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When we reached camp I entertained myself by reading the two books I brought, both of which I finished during the trip. I was very appreciative of the large supply of camp chairs in the trail shelter. 

The third day, while being the shortest, was somewhat frustrating for me. My wet feet and poor shoes generated blisters. I was also carrying the largest kayak paddles, which stuck out from the top of my pack and caught on all the brush. 

Why, what big paddles you have Lizzy!

My spirits improved near the end of the hike, and I was pleased with myself once I reached the parking lot and took my shoes off. I also have an appreciation now for my hatred of coffee. I will never end up with coffee packraft crotch.