It bothers me that I hear folks saying that they get bored on a river, it seems almost as if they have become to good for… well, their own good. One of the best nuggets I ever heard while on a river came from Andrew Holcombe, “if you aren’t having fun on a river, then you aren’t trying hard enough.” Ironically enough, this came right after I witnessed him wave wheeling a Dagger Mamba over a very small wave on the Nantahala.
There is always something you can do to push yourself harder once a run becomes familiar. One of my favorites is to hop in a long boat and try to fit myself in all the sweet little class II-III slots I can. It takes what was a familiar run and introduces the added challenge of trying to predict the boats momentum. If that bores you, point that puppy upstream and see if you can attain that same rapid you just paddled down. I have witnessed people pass up days of paddling because nothing “good” was running. Sweet, more space for me and my long boat on the river.
At the end of the day I am a paddler, and that means I am going paddling, even if I have to spice it up with an alternative mode of transportation. I promise, you’ll learn a lot.