June 29th, 2008

hydrobear

Getting Paid For This?!?

Friday was one of those great days at work. Most of the day was spent paddling an inflatable kayak down the Rio Chama. Call it a fringe benefit of the job. Since water I release from our dam has an indirect benefit to the local rafting community, making releases on the weekends for recreation has become one of my major tasks. It's actually a win-win situation because I have to get water downstream and if I'm able to schedule it for the weekend, it can provide an extra benefit. The only downside is that rafters are a greedy bunch. If I give them 600 ft3/sec, they want 800. If I say I can give them 800, they will ask if I can give them 1000. The Bureau of Land Management, who administers the rafting permits, put together this trip so that us water managers could see the benefit of the releases. Of course a bad day whitewater rafting is still much better than a good day in the office. A good day whitewater rafting is just pure awesomeness!

I did this trip last year and had the dubious honor of being the only one to end up in the river. There is one little rapid that you have to take head on. There's a nasty hole with a big standing wave at the end, but if you try to skirt around the edge, your boat's nose gets pulled into the hole and you end up flipping. This year I did it right, and while I got drenched by the wave, I made it through unscathed.

So I guess I can't complain too much about a job that lets me get away with stuff like this.