Have Forklift, Will Play

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Okay, so maybe the summer/fall season is just a little too long for boaters out in Northwest Colorado. How else can you explain this unorthodox use of a forklift in these shots recently sent into PL from photographer and kayaker Clay Rogers?

“What else are you going to do when the river isn’t running anymore?” says Rogers, who got his friend’s son, Luke Farney, 14, to seal launch off the lift into Roger’s homemade trout pond in Steamboat Springs. “The tele-loader is a piece of equipment we have to build our house, and the kids have been all getting together to swim and practice kayaking in the pond all summer.”

Put two plus two together, and the result is the biggest drop in the region, one that can be adjustable to diferent heights.

“I must admit it was my idea to launch the kayaks off the forks,” says Rogers, a long-time surf photographer and avid kayaker. “I was dropping some rocks out in the middle of the pond and my kids wanted to jump off of it into the pond. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head. The next day two of them, Luke and Kai, began hucking themselves off the pallet with their kayaks. Then we started raising it a little.”

“I think it started because Luke had to show off for the girls,” he adds.

Not to be shown up, at least one of the girls, Sarah White, joined in the airborne action as well.

But don’t expect Rogers to bring his traveling seal launch to a venue near you. “Gas prices make it a little too spendy,” he says.

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