Our first kayak festival – Kootenay Paddling Festival

lee's travels 1 - 067When we started looking at the calendar and trying to put together the pieces of the summer plan, one of our goals was to hit the Kootenay Paddling Festival in Crescent Valley, hosted by the amazing Chris and Andrea Ryman of Endless Adventures. It seemed like the perfect fit for our first festival experience – a fun, laid back group of people coupled with great class III paddling options and somewhere that feels really safe for Hunter to spread his wings.

It was a weekend of extremes – lower than usual water levels (end of June water  levels that looked more like early August levels) and temperatures over 40c each day. Shade was at a premium and we spent as much time in, on and under the water as possible.

We rolled into Crescent Valley on Wednesday in time to catch the club paddle that night and never really stopped paddling until we left the next Tuesday morning. Many runs on the lower Slocan River with Hunter being able to comfortably navigate his own way down by day two, so he was then allowed to head off with various groups (other than his parents) which pleased him a lot. A fun day spent on Wilson Creek and all paddling made better by doing it with friends, new and old. We even got in a float on the middle Slocan where Hunter got to SUP down half and then row an oar rig raft down the last half – junior guide in training!

The campground and shop are located right across the road from the lower Slocan River put-in, which is also a family friendly beach area for swimming in the river. Gas station, grocery store and restaurants are all within 2 blocks so there is no real need to travel far. The local rail trail for biking and walking runs right beside the campground so there are options if you don’t feel like paddling.

lee's travels 1 - 074As always, Hunter found his place in the community. He quickly became a shop helper and was moving boats, blowing up inner tubes and even helping customers. He just loves being part of something! He is looking forward to heading back in August for 2-3 weeks and splitting his time between the river and the shop.

We definitely recommend the Kootenay Paddle Festival to anyone looking for a fun, family oriented opportunity to learn to paddle, improve their paddling skills or challenge yourself to stretch to the next level.

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