I never thought this would ever happen. Not for me, at least. I first heard about Bull Lake Creek as one of the most arduous class V+ kayak expeditions on the continent. This is the domain of elite expedition kayakers; clearly it was way out of my wheelhouse. Then I picked up packrafting.
John Baker training for BLC on Vallecito Creek at 1.95 ft
In the last couple of years, I've found myself paddling the 10-lb inflatable Alpackalypse on more and more challenging runs. The capabilities of the boat continually impressed me on Vallecito, our local steep creek, and inspired me to take it for a spin in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Thor Tingey taking the torture factor out of Black Canyon of the Gunnison
When packrafting turned the famously torturous portage into a pleasant trot across a talus slope, I began to think bigger. I'd gotten a quick taste of the Wind River Range while hiking with Susan the previous summer. Se…