Professor Paddle: Packrafting The Queets this weekend?
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The NZA
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  Quote The NZA Replybullet Topic: Packrafting The Queets this weekend?
    Posted: 23 May 2012 at 11:24am
So I think i will be hiking my Alpacka up the Queets early Saturday morning to Sunday, and riding it out all day Monday. Anyone care to join me? I may also use a bike shuttle so I can paddle it down all the way to 101. I have done the lower 10 miles before, in March, but this time I am hoping to get 16 miles in or so. This is what it looked like in March: https://vimeo.com/38137399
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 23 May 2012 at 5:15pm
I'd like one too, but there are too many other types of paddle craft ahead of it on my list.
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jwcook
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  Quote jwcook Replybullet Posted: 23 May 2012 at 5:30pm
Buy me one and I'll go Nat! After I graduate this fall I'll pick an Alpacka up.
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The NZA
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  Quote The NZA Replybullet Posted: 30 May 2012 at 12:49am
Charles Bukowski once said: "you don't choose writing, writing chooses you." I think pack rafts are the same way. I got a pack raft before ever stepping in a hard shell kayak because the minute I found out what they were I realized that I already had a lifestyle within which an Alpacka could be seamlessly integrated. And basically I chose the boat that would be the most useful in an Apocalypse ... the boat I could sneak onto the Death Star, paddle through the septic system loaded down with a nuclear device, plant it, jack a TIE fighter and get the fu*k out of there before James Earl Jones could even say "LU-". My main motivation was not so much the rush of kayaking, but the rush of freedom in the wilderness and the possibilities opened up by being able to carry a raft, a shelter, and food for a week (or three) on my pack. Shooting rapids was just a bonus.

This is reaffirmed by this weekend when, while hiking up the Queets, I ran into a couple who had actually watched the above video and decided that   the Queets was definitely the place to go to get a taste of OP pack rafting. It turns out I am internet famous in the SW Olympics. And this couple had my same crazy-ass passion about Alpackas: why the fu*k would you not want to buy these things that you can do anything with? Needless to say, we spent the weekend together and did a lot of rafting and talking about amazing Alpackas and our own moral superiority. I made it to the end of the "trail" (it stops being a trail in the traditional sense by mile 10, even though it officially ends at mile 16) and shot back to camp that was at mile 6. I think that the whole river in that section, at about 3500 cfs is about a class II+bears (I saw 2 from the river and 5 on the trail, including a mom and a cub); maybe class II- without the bears. There is a lot of wood all over, and it's across the channel in a few places. But it's a pretty amazing place ... and we did not see another soul all weekend. So you can't surf in an Alpacka, and you can't really roll (maybe in calm water with leg straps, but it'd be tricky). But if you are even thinking about getting a pack raft, do it. It's worth it. 
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Scott_H
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  Quote Scott_H Replybullet Posted: 30 May 2012 at 10:16am
Sounds like a great trip - post up some pics if you have them!
 
 
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The NZA
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  Quote The NZA Replybullet Posted: 30 May 2012 at 12:23pm
Hoping to get some pics soon. The couple I met had a camera (mine broke) and go-pros, so hoping they will get some footage to me. 
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 31 May 2012 at 3:51pm
Sweet, NZA!! Looking forward to pics.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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