First Descents Take Two Day 2


Well we’ve hit the river twice so far and the vibe couldn’t be more different from last year. Yesterday we put into Lake MacDonald and reinforced the skills we had learned- paddle techniques, wet exits even rolling. Pretty much everyone nailed at least one roll- even me. We played two quick games of Sharks and Minnows, had lunch of coldcuts and fruit then it was back into the boats to paddle down the creek. It was a mellow afternoon and a good thing too. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. The gentle rock of my boat on the water nearly sent me to sleep at one point.

It was a sweet day watching everyone get back on the water. For most it’s been a year, for others, a couple. Some campers were doing FD for a third time. It was Tails’ 6th camp this year alone. When he’s done this summer, the blind camper will have 14 FD camps under his belt.

We had just popped out of the suburbans. Time to unload and dress!


My boat. They call me Scoop. Everyone at camp gets a nickname from the moment they arrive. In FD 1 we didn’t know real names until we were back at home and the email list was distributed. This time we take it amongst ourselves to learn everyone’s real name on Day 1.

My new womens Immersion drysuit fom NRS. Looking forward to testing it this week. It’s a Medium (I’m 120, 5’6″). Feels a bit big but the staffers say it’s the right size for me.

‘Burping’ the suit to get all of the air out. It’s kind of cool feeling like a giant ballon that’s deflating.

Time for the wet suit where you roll over and pull your sprayskirt. This technique will be used a lot by me this week.

But I did get my Eskimo roll!


Brad Ludden, the man who started it all is on the far left. Without his desire to share the river with cancer survivors none of us would be here this week.


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