Last week I was invited back for a second year to speak to kids about different river careers at Billinghurst Middle School in Reno, NV. I open my presentation with a kayaking video, then put on an informational slideshow, and close it with another video of kayaking. I also like to ask trivia questions to make sure the kids are paying attention, and give out Jackson Kayak Promotional DVD’s for correct answers. It’s amazing how many kids remember how much a topped out Grand Canyon guide can make on a 16 day trip! After I pass out JK stickers, I invite everyone up to check out the boats and gear. I put on the same presentation 5 times to different groups of kids everytime, so I spoke to over 100 kids! I know I had fun and I hope all the kids did too.
This week I was asked to talk to local highschool students in a Health Occupations class about being an athlete with diabetes. I was nervous at first because they were highschool students and so much bigger than me, but I loosened up and had a good time. The students asked lots of questions and I had fun showing them how I check my sugar and insert a catheter for my insulin site. I showed them one of of my videos so they could see what I do, then asked trivia questions and gave out Jackson DVD’s for correct answers. The kids looked very interested in what I had to say and I think they learned a lot and had fun doing it. They are hopin to raise $10,000 for Juvenial Diabetes reseach and I hope they beat their goal!
This Christmas I decided I wanted to do a fundraiser for one of my favorite charities, American Whitewater! I decided making earrings would be a fun way to make holiday gifts and sold them throughout Carson City, Reno, and all over the country! I tried to only use natural rocks and wood to emphasize the river, so I used lots of turquoise, obsidian, jasper, jades and wood beads. On Christmas Eve, I sent AW a donation of $420 from the sale of earrings, and since then, I have raised over $100 more to donate this month! I am having so much fun doing this that I plan on taking them on the road with me this summer and selling them at river events for American Whitewater. Thanks to everyone who purchased earrings, and glad they made it through the mail safely- hope you enjoy them. Drop me a line if you see anything your interested in.
Just click the link below to watch my video!
It has been an incredible year for me! I accomplished most of my goals for 2010 including completing my loop and competing in the Junior Olympics where I won 5 gold medals and I became the Cub Cadet National Slalom Champion. I also run more class 4 rivers and worked hard to support American Whitewater and Outdoor Nation as a good ambassador.
2010 Whitewater Accomplishments
Kern River Festival, 1st. in Jr. Women’s Slalom, 2nd. in Women’s Extreme Creek Race, 2nd. in Women’s Extreme Slalom Race, 1st. in Women’s Triple Crown
Cache Creek, 1st in Jr. Slalom
Reno River Festival. 2nd. in Jr. Freestyle
Truckee River Race, 1st. in Jr. Slalom
Auburn River Festival, 1st. Jr. Freestyle, 1st. Jr. Slalom
Yampa River Festival, 1st in Jr. open Freestyle, 2nd. in Jr Freestyle, 2nd. in Jr. Women’s Slalom
Teva Mountain Games, 12th in Women’s Freestyle, only cadet competitor
Lyons River Festival, 2nd in Cadet Slalom, 2nd in Cadet Freestyle
FibArk River Festival, 1st Cadet. Freestyle, 1st. Cadet. Slalom
American River Festival, 1st Cadet Freestyle, 1st Cadet Slalom
Mokelumne River Festival, 1st Cadet Down River Race, 1st Cadet Slalom
Age Group National Slalom Championship., 1st Cub-Cadet
Junior Olympics, 5 Gold Medals and 2 first places (non-sanctioned event) in Women’s Cub Cadet Category, 1st. Slalom, 1st. Sprint Slalom, 1st. Boatercross, 1st. Down River Sprint, 1st. Down River Race, 1st. C2 Slalom, 1st. Freestyle.
I was able to travel all over the nation this year and ran several new class 4 rivers including The Tellico, Youghiogheny, Cheat, New River, and the Ocoee, as well as the Nantahala and the Potomac rivers in the east, and Pauley Creek, Brush Creek, the Kaweaha, and the NF of the American, as well as my first over night self support kayak trip on class 4 Deer Creek. in the west.
Off River I spoke to 150 middle school students about river careers on Career Day in Reno, Nv. and to 100 4th and 5th graders in Sacramento, Ca. about getting outside and enjoying the outdoors, but especially kayaking!
Goals for 2011
I hope to continue competing and defend my Jr. Olympic and National titles and learn more freestyle tricks including Cartwheels, Backloops and Spacegodzillas. I also hope to run as many rivers as possible and be a good ambassador for AW and Outdoor Nation.
I was asked to speak at Career Day at Billinghurst Middle School in Reno, NV, by my friend and fellow paddler School Counselor Val Licon. My job was to talk about different jobs you can have on the river. My friends Colin Kemp, Hilde Schweitzer and Darin McQuoid all helped me by giving me information on different kinds of river jobs including raft guides, kayak instructors, store owner/managers and photographers/cinematographers. I spoke to over 150 kids between 6th and 8th grade. I made a slide show/video show to show the kids as well as brought in a few kayaks for the kids to sit in and then passed out Jackson Kayak stickers at the end. I think it went very well and I hope all the kids enjoyed the presentation!
Click on the link to see the climb!
In October I made the decision to climb a 5.7 route up Half Dome called Snake Dike. It is an 8 pitch climb with a final hike up to the top of Half Dome and it is estimated to take about 4 hours to hike up to, 4 to climb, and another 4 to hike out. We started out by waking up at 2:30 am and leaving by 3:30 to start hiking up, My Dad, our friend Brett and my Mom all started the hike, but my Mom turned around after a few hours so she could take care of the dogs in our van. She carried extra food and water and my pack to Nevada Falls and then my dad carried my pack. We got a little lost on our hike and didn’t get to the base of the climb until 10 am, and there were 8 people getting ready to climb it ahead of us! We managed to finally get on the rock at 12 and started climbing. It took a long time because we kept catching up to the climbers ahead of us and having to wait until they cleared the route, but the views were incredible! We didn’t get to the top of Half Dome until about 7″30 pm and took a break to take our harnesses off and eat a little food. Dad called Mom and she started hiking up again with extra water and sleeping bags just in case we bonked on the way down. I have to admit I was pretty tired and Dad actually carried me for about an hour on the hike down. We met up with Mom at about 11:30 pm and still had to hike down Vernal Falls. We didn’t get back to camp until 1 am and Mom made some lentil soup and then we all crashed! We woke up the next morning at about 8 and were refreshed and happy, but we had to pack up camp and leave. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back! While in Yosemite, I also saw a bear, a bobcat and a California King Snake. I also got to meet one of the worlds greatest climbers- Ron Kauk! I watched a movie he was in and bought his book and he signed it for me and told me to email him so we could climb. It was super cool!
I spent the last few days in one of my favorite sport climbing area, Clark’s Canyon by Mammoth, Ca. We met our friends Cullen and Melissa Jones and their 3 week old baby boy Cavery for a great day of climbing. My favorite climb was “No More Mr. Nice Guys.” It was a 5.8 70 meter climb that I could be lowered off, but my Dad had to rappel to a second set of bolts to lower himself all the way down. It was a lot of fun hanging out in the shady rocks and climbing the mostly short routes. It was also super cool our friends brought their little baby out to enjoy the air while they took turns climbing. I can’t wait to go again!
I had a perfect weekend! I spent Saturday kayaking Chili Bar on the American and had a blast surfing Maya, then on Sunday I spent the day climbing at Phantom Spires by Kyburz, Ca. I love this area because the hike in is short and the climbing is great. I climbed my favorite lie back and Mom and Dad played a lot on a 5.10b crack. We also had a lot of inter-action with a rattle snake that was sunning itself along our route. I named him fatty because he was the fattest snake I’ve ever seen!