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Normally I just sit back and read this forum like the newspaper, but occasionally something piques my interest enough to get me to post. Usually, I've found this group to be best used just to find out info or to get a little dose of entertainment from around the states/globe. This little thread is actually pretty interesting (even if it might be a bunch of lies) so I guess I'll join in.

I'm barely 26 (but already lost half my hair), stand about 6'2'' tall, hover about 195 pounds, speak with a slight southern Missouri drawl, have been amazed at God's creation every day of my life, am unmarried, and was single up til last Valentine's Day. I like to backpack, hike, climb, bicycle, and do just about anything that's adventurous and is going to keep me away from the nondescript everyday life of Suburban Amreica. I've been messing about with boats since I can remember; starting with toys, moving along to tubing down our farm's creek, class I-II canoeing down most of the streams in Southern Missouri, and finally messing about with an old fiberglass kayak that belonged to my best friend's dad.

Then one fateful day I got on a commercial rafting trip down the Arkansas River (Brown's Canyon, CO), and decided that whitewater was a whole lot more fun than flatwater. Shortly afterward, I started browsing this newsgroup and ended up responding to a FOR SALE add, drove 4 hours down to the Buffalo River in Northern Arkansas, and bought a Dagger Freefall from a guy named Billy Herring. That was about 6 years ago.

With that boat, I (with the help of William Nealy, i.e. KAYAK) basically taught myself to kayak on streams such as Marble Creek and the Saint Francis (supposedly class III and IV streams). I loved it, but was only able to get out about 5 times a year from 1992"-1"996. I guess I had a decent on-side roll, could easily read water, and felt fine going downriver on class III, but I really didn't have the chance to practice at becoming a "real" kayaker.

Then, in 1996, I graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla and ended up heading to Eugene, Oregon for a Ph.D. program in Physical Chemistry. Well in the intervening 2 1/2 years, I've gotten rid of my Freefall, had an RPM, traded it for a Hammer, and have since acquired a Kix and a Glide. Given a locale that actually enabled everyday boating, I've managed to acquire about 100"-1"50 days a year on the local creeks and rivers. Mostly I like class IV-V creeking (I've managed to get down just about every IV-V creek in an hours drive of Eugene), but big scenic rivers are fun too. I doubt I'll ever have much fun hanging out all day at a playhole, but that doesn't keep me from trying every once in awhile when the water levels get to low to do anything else. Some peoply call me an advanced boater, a few even call me an expert (I don't think I'd agree with them though); I don't much care, since what others think doesn't make a damn bit of difference as to how or what I'll run. The are lots of things I can do, some I can't, and quite a few I just won't.

I plan to continue kayaking every week, get my Ph.D. in another couple of years, move away from Oregon, and tour parts unknown. Maybe Nepal, South America, etc. Till then, I've still got about 100 worthwhile rivers and creeks in Oregon waiting for my first descent. Eventually I may end up back at the family farm in Dent County, Missouri, but God only knows at this point.

That's enough of a bio for the time being, especially since I doubt you'd like to read any more! :)


(o o) ------------oOOo-(_)-oOOo---------------------------------------------------

\ || _ ( ) . o / \ || Get out and paddle a kayak! \ \ oo \ / \ <\__,\ || and if the river's not running... \ | <_ , \ |

"> | || then start praying for some rain! \.__./ \ |

' | || \---// \ |

\ || Steve Stuckmeyer \ // \ / |

\|| Physical Chemistry Graduate Student \' | |

Richmond Laboratory |\ \ / University of Oregon ~W~~~ ~W~W~ ~W~~ || __o -"\<