The waters of the Animas River have turned from shallow and clear to swift and muddy, which means the parking lot at Santa Rita Park has been jammed with perma-grinned kayakers eager to get their boats wet for the first time this season. Neither the chilly water temps nor the threat of early evening darkness has kept paddlers off the river this past week. With the San Juan snowpack well above average, local boaters can barely contain their enthusiasm over what promises to be as epic a boating season as the ski season that preceded it. So, as spring turns into summer, so too, the Animas River turns from a mild tributary into a raging torrent packed with neoprene clad adrenaline junkies.

Warren Starrett plays nice and shares the wave at Corner Pocket as he and his boat get airborne
Monday afternoon.

Arlo Grammatica, left, and Jared Johnson hang out in the eddy as Jared Leon loops below the
park on the Animas River late last week.

Jason Frank, of Colorado Timberline
Academy, gets a boat properly outfitted
for a student last week.
Taylor Graham, 11, carries his boat up
the bike path at Santa Rita Park last
Dana Scalf waves to the paparazzi on
the shore during an afternoon of
Anna Pierotti, left, works her way into
a crowded eddy late last week.

Mark Galaezzi digs in to stay on top of the pillow and on the wave at Corner Pocket on
Monday afternoon.

A slalom boater leaves his eddy on river left and heads downstream as the sun begins
to set behind Smelter Mountain.





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