I was heading over to Leavenworth with my friend Betsy yesterday when I happened to see kayaks on the side of the road by the Tye River. Seeing as I'm in withdrawal from not having boated for nearly a month after messing up my back (can finally sneeze without having to hold on to furniture though, so not complaining) we pulled over and it turned out that Rob McKibbin was thinking of running Log Choke Falls, so I took video from the top. Then Sam Grafton ran it too - here's the video of him and Rob, with Rob going first in the red boat.
I know Rob has run this once before, but other than that I think the only other person was Tao Berman like ten years ago. Jon Dufay and Scott Waidelich (Fish) were at the bottom, here's Scott's video of Rob's run from that angle:
I seriously think I had a few years taken off my life from watching Sam's entry to the falls. Turns out it's much harder to watch your friends run really difficult stuff than I would have imagined. And of course it doesn't help when they do it upside down....
But everything turned out OK. Here's Fish's video of Rob and Jon doing Paranoia on that same run, with Sam giving his two cents about Log Choke at the end. I'm probably not the first person to say this, but I really think Jon Dufay needs to be renamed Jon Boofay.
Looking back on this in 2021, everything takes on a sad new angle now that Sam is gone after an accident on Ernie's Canyon on the Snoqualmie River in 2018 - including the words to the song that I chose for that first video just to cover up the sounds of my complete freak-out when I saw him go over Log Choke Falls upside down. I was so happy to see him roll up at the bottom.
A sad fact about whitewater kayaking is that it brings to it some of the best kind of people, so when it takes, it takes away some of the best kind of people.