The snow has been falling for quite some time now and has laid a nice white blanket upon the mountains. With the snow comes the anticipation of what will happen in the following months. The river permit application deadline has come and gone and I, like most other boaters, am anxiously awaiting the spring runoff and the knowledge of whether I’ll be lucky.

As the days are getting longer, I have begun to check the recent snow pack data and I am watching the real time stream flows fluctuate with current weather patterns with greater regularity. I am trying to gauge when the run-off will happen, and when my friends and I can attempt some secret local rivers. I am beginning to notice that others around me are also curious and eager for spring to arrive. My co-worker Ethan is hoping for a bout of warm weather so the rivers will rise just a little so he can go boating this weekend. I would be 'all in on this but I am a little selfish and want just a little more snow for good measure.

On my way home from work I often have a few minutes to think about gear that should be repaired or replaced before spring and equipment that would be a nice addition to my river / camping gear. That dry top that has needed a new neck gasket since August and my faithful old rescue bag, that has seen every river mile I have, should be replaced. While slowly getting ready for the season keeps me excited about boating, the anticipation of finding out if I will draw a permit really drives me bonkers. Until the day that the magical envelope arrives in my mailbox, I will be satisfied knowing that there is still a chance and that everyone else is in the same raft.

A word to the wise, evaluate your equipment this month and get it repaired or replaced right away.