"Winter is coming." John Snow and the Stark family repeated this endlessly while awaiting the coming of the Night King and the White Walkers. Winter is coming. It is coming to the West and has begun its encroachment into the lives of the many river runners throughout the intermountain west.
Like John Snow and the Starks, these river rats have begun their preparations for the upcoming winter. Most have cleaned, 303'd and rolled up their various water craft and stored them away with the beat up frames, dry boxes, coolers, oars, paddles and etc. Some have pulled out their skis and snowboards and waxed them up in preparation for the upcoming opening days at the multitude of resorts valley wide. Some have hunkered down for the winter, hiding from the cold and dark days and long nights. Others choose to head south to warmer climes in another hemisphere to never feel the sting of the winter chill.
Regardless how these sordid folk spend their winters, the lure of the river is always with them. They will revel in the knowledge that bountiful winter snows will feed the rivers and creeks that will carry them away, if only temporarily, from their real world obligations and problems. Holiday gatherings will be filled with stories of big water and big flips, slicked lines and big nights at camp followed by even bigger hangovers in the morning.
Slowly, the bug will return just like last year's flu. Once it hits, you'll never fully rid of it. Sure enough, a temporary cure will come. December marks the beginning of the river permit season. Minds will wander to far off places, or even, places closer to home. Places we haven't been before, places we've been many times before. Recreation.gov will be flooded with thousands, dare I say, millions of hopeful requests for permits to access the multitude of rivers throughout the area. Only the lucky few will receive a permit with the rest waiting on the eventual cancellations that do come.
Meanwhile, river runners will assess their boats and gear in anticipation of the upcoming season. Maybe a random pinhole will be found. Maybe a dreaded major repair that has been put off needs to addressed. Of course there are always upgrades to be made. Gear envy is real. Whatever the case may be, there is a place that can help with your needs. Here at Utah Whitewater Gear we can outfit you and your boat with almost everything on your wish list. We can find that pinhole. We can repair that gasher from that unfortunate line choice. Questions? We will try our best to answer them. From fully outfitted gear rigs to the solo paddle raft. Hard shell kayaks, packrafts and duckies, we carry them all. If we don't have it in stock, we can order it. Please take a minute, or an hour to peruse the website. Even better, drop by the shop in Midvale to look at the latest offerings or just to shoot the sh*t. We are here for your every whim. Until then, remember, there are no bad days on the river. See you soon!