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Wow - This thread exploded on me! Decided I couldn't read everyone elses posts before I posted or I might miss out on the door prizes to the first 200 people...

I'm Bud Chavez, and, as you might guess, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio (birthplace of Doris Day and Charles Manson, hangout of Larry Flint). I'm 43 years old, I think. I've started paddleing in Boy Scouts on the local flatwater rivers but I am primarly a WW paddler now. Although I did some whitewater previously, I consider the start of my whitewater career to be 1982 when I realized one was supposed to stay in the boat through the rapids, so I signed up for the local Sierra Club's kayak school. I proposed to my wife later that same year when I realized she wasn't learning to kayak just to humor me.

Cincinnati is equally inconvenient to many whitewater rivers, so I consider myself lucky to have averaged 25-35 ww trips a year since then. I have seen many paddlers start up, get better than me, then drop out in that time. Even my wife doesn't paddle much anymore, but she realizes how important it is to me and supports my continued paddling.

I primarily paddle class III to IV stuff, although I occasionally nudge into tougher stuff. I am a control freak though - If I don't feel totally in control on a river, I'm not having fun. If I'm not having fun, why do it? That has kept me from getting in too far over my head.

Favorite rivers: Upper Cranberry (WV), Upper White's Creek (TN), Lower Big Sandy (WV), Upper Yough (MD)

Run I want to do again the most: South Sauty (AL)

Most difficult run: Little River canyon - Suicide section @ 1 ft (AL)

"Home" rivers - White Oak creek (OH), Big South Fork of Cumberland (TN), Lower Gauley (WV)

I also like getting on new runs regardless of the difficulty.