I have to give credit where credit is due; I would not be the unbelievable paddler I am today without my parental unit supporting me every step of the way. In the beginning, that support manifested itself as many forms of transportation. Slalom races on the weekends, driving to Tariffville Gorge nearly every day after school, and making innumerable trips up to Zoar Outdoor during the summer. I’ll admit, it was a pretty demanding job considering how little it paid.
The morning of the competition I woke up and immediately felt more in touch with my body and less of the road-trip hypnosis that I was feeling on my practice day. The morning was cold; just above freezing, and it was entertaining to listen to the paddlers native to south complain about the weather, even though it felt balmy to me compared to what I had been training in all winter in Connecticut. For most of the morning I watched the Jr. Women, C1, and Jr. Men take their prelim rides, and tried to use their performance to stay in the right frame of mind.
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Every year, for one day, we get to one of Vermont’s hidden gems - the West River. The West River is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure - it has a little bit more adventure than the Zoar Gap and is a little mellower than the Dryway.