Monday, July 26, 2010

Tatlow Fest 2010

The 2010 Tatlowfest was held on July 9 -11 at the lovely Tatlow falls site on the Bulkley River. Boaters made the trek from Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, Quick, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Prince George to enjoy some of the whitewater in the Bulkley Valley and help out with upgrades to the Tatlow Falls site.

The paddling focus this year was beginner/intermediate, so weekend runs were on the Suskwa River (class II-III) and the Telkwa (class II). Of course there was lots of playboating on Tatlow Falls as well, as shown above. Levels for the rivers were low, but still super good times.

The Sunday afternoon workbee down at Tatlow falls was needed to complete some badly needed site upgrades. The enthusiasm and energy everyone showed was stunning and more was accomplished in four hours than we had planned for two years. We now have new benches (shown below), new no slip'r trip steps to the outhouse and beach, upgrades to trails, new concrete picnic table pads, and some much needed bank stabilization along the water. For materials, thanks to Kevin and Ben at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and to Smithers Lumber. We followed our work up with the necessary beverages, surfing and a good sweat in our new (Thank you Timm Johns!) on-site sauna.

Our thoughts over the weekend were with Rod Leighton who is beginning an uncertain journey forward after a recent mountain biking accident that injured his spinal cord. Along with the rest of his full life, Rod is a staple member in our local paddling community and has been enormously generous to the BVKC as we worked to regain access to Tatlow Falls in 2009/2010. He has donated time, effort, humour,finances, muscle and class to everything we've been working on. Rod was down mowing the Tatlow lawn just a week prior to his accident. Much of the energy of the weekend was focused on hope and optimism for Rod. We heaved rocks and paddled with smiles.

Thanks to those who helped with the river trips, and to everyone who came out to join us for the weekend. You made it great! For more pictures of all the work and paddling and lots of the great people that came out, check here: PICTURES.

Tlell Glover
Bulkley Valley Kayak Club President

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