|National Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships at Sun Valley (courtesy USA Cycling)|
For this week's outdoor tip, I'm highlighting several must-see events coming up in the next 10 days, and suggesting some side trip activities that you can enjoy as well.
On Thursday night, June 28, the new Boise River Whitewater Park will be dedicated from 5-7 p.m., with a few speeches and paddling demonstrations. In this video from KTVB-TV Channel 7, you can watch Emily Dickerson from Idaho River Sports kayak on the main play wave.
Idaho River Sports will be having a paddler's-only raffle for all participants who register and then show up with their boats and SUPs to paddle at the event. No purchase is necessary. IRS is hosting a reception after the dedication is over. There will be free food and Payette Brewing will be serving beer. It's supposed to be a warm evening. Should be a perfect spot to hang out with some of your paddling friends.
The new wave-shaper gizmo that the Boise Parks & Recreation Department had installed in the Boise River is just the first phase of the whitewater park. A second phase for flatwater paddlers will involve tying together Quinn's Pond with two other ponds located nearby as part of the new Esther Simplot Park. That will allow people to peacefully canoe or kayak in the ponds and waterways and paddle a full circuit between the ponds. Given how popular Quinn's Pond has become, when they tie together the other ponds, it will become even more popular, and it will create an extensive stillwater paddling experience for canoeing and flatwater enthusiasts that doesn't really exist anywhere in the valley today.
I'm looking forward to that.
Next weekend, Kelly's Whitewater Park in Cascade will host the Ford USACK National Championship, which is a kayak freestyle event. The preliminary heats run on Saturday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to noon for the championships. The nation's best freestyle paddlers will be there. It should be quite a hoot to watch them do cartwheels, spins and flips in the middle of a frothing play wave. It's easy to watch because there's a new pathway along the Payette River called The Strand. At 5 p.m. on July 7, Muzzie and Billy Braun will play a free concert, and that will be followed by fireworks. That all sounds like heaps of fun.
If you'd like to get some exercise while you're hanging out in Cascade, check out some of these hiking and biking destinations, including Eagle's Nest Loop, an advanced 13-mile mountain bike ride or the Crown Point Trail, a 6-mile out-and-back beautiful trail along Lake Cascade (great for families and kids). You can go biking and swimming on the same trip. I've heard that the Boise National Forest has built a new trail in the Stolle Meadows area, near Warm Lake, but I have yet to hike it or ride it. Check with the Cascade Ranger District for more details, 382-7400.
If you're more inclined toward mountain biking than paddle sports, the National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships will be held July 5-8 in Sun Valley. The Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce puts on a number of recreational rides for us average joe's leading up to the event as part of Ride Sun Valley, and that's a great way to try out some new trails that you may have not experienced before in the Wood River Valley. Check out the whole schedule ... things start happening on Saturday, June 30, and continue through the following week.
In case you haven't heard, you could compete for the Sun Valley All Mountain crown between Saturday and Tuesday, by winning the Galena Grinder xc race, the Super Duper Downhill at Bald Mountain, and the Fat Tire Criterium. Whew! Whoever wins that one is a real stud!
Here's one date to remember ... July 28th is the date for the 4 Summit Challenge in Cascade, a bike race and recreational ride from Cascade to Landmark and back. The ride features approximately 7,500 vertical feet of climbing and descending over 75 miles. Need an incentive to train? There you have it! There's also a family fun ride (less than 10 miles).
Have fun! I'm heading out on the Main Salmon for a week of vacation. You'll hear all about it after I get back.