Just wanted to say hi!

Hello folks… I just found this board yesterday, and I wanted to say hello! I’m a grad-student in Colorado (transplanted from Oregon) and I got an Alpacka just last year. I’ve taken it on one big trek to AK so far (plus a smattering of smaller local jaunts), and I’m really glad to find this Forum! I have future plans with it, and it’ll be nice to chat with folks who know what they’re doing. As y’all might imagine, in nearly any other backpacking/trekking Forum when you ask about an Alpacka Raft, folks say something to the effect of “I know one guy that has one. Lemme see… Oh wait, I guess that’s you. Aren’t those things expensive?” :neutral_face: 'Tis a niche market, I s’pose.

I see there’s a lot of whitewater folks here… I’ve taken mine down a few small Class 2-3 runs around here (which is fun! :mrgreen:), but my primary interest is taking somewhat long, remote treks over little-used (usually self-designed) routes that would otherwise be impossible/difficult without amphibious transport. I’m a rain forest junkie, so most my plans involve the PNW, coastal BC & SE Alaska. My last trip was 16 days solo in the Russell Fjord Wilderness outside Yakutat… it was my first big jaunt with an Alpacka, and I’m already in love! :slight_smile: I got to find some nice solitude (11 days straight w/ no signs of people) and explore some country that not many “regular” backpackers get a chance to.

Anyhoo, I could talk for awhile, but I hope that’s a decent-enough introduction. I’m glad to see lots of well-seasoned faces here (a number of you I’ve heard about over the years), and I hope to pick your brains when the time arises! In the meantime, happy rafting, and I’ll poke my head in when things get slow around work.

Best to y’all,

  • Mike

Mike,

Welcome to the forum for packrafting junkies. Yes we are a special breed, but our tribe is growing. I enjoyed all your pictures and trip report. I look forward to seeing/hearing more.

All the best,

Forrest

Mike,

Where in Colorado do you go to school? I’m at the Air Force Academy until the end of May and then will be hiking and packrafting around the state this summer.

Sara

Sara,

I’m at CU-Boulder (working on my PhD). It’s a bit of a change from Oregon (where I taught for several years before), but I’m getting used to things here in CO. More & more, when I’m driving around the area, I eye the rivers to see if (maybe) they’d be a good packrafting put-in. 'Tis a wonderful little obsession, to be sure.

Unfortunately, my time is hardly my own these days (I have a 2-year-old and my new daughter is due in under a month!), but if you’re heading somewhere in the area, lemme know! I’d love to get out & share this little sport with another person in the area. Talk to you later,

  • Mike

Welcome to the forums, Mike. I think I’ve seen a website with some of your pics on the web before, and I love them. If you’re in CO now, you’re near the new Alpacka fabrication shop: Alpacka is setting up to build boats itself (no more outsourcer QC mess!) near Durango. Good boating, -Andrew

Sweet! Thanks Shaggy… I didn’t know that. My raft is an older one sans spray-deck, so I was considering getting that attached at some point. That’ll make it a little easier.

In the meantime, I’m just waiting for the high-water to hit here around Boulder. Boulder Creek is a blast when it’s running high… I can bike to the head of the canyon and raft straight down it to within 100-ft of my back door. Once I get a drysuit I’ll look at taking it out in colder conditions, but not 'till then.

Thanks again, and I look forward to stopping by here often when there’s chatter going on.

  • Mike