There has been essentially no rain or snowfall in Arizona this year. Certainly no rain for four months in the Phoenix area. Snowpack peaked at 3% of average. So the plans for an extended Gila run were exchanged for an earlier low-water run on the Verde. The 200 CFS worked better than expected but the short five day time-frame and headwinds turned this trip into something approaching work. My general incompetence at both reading and running whitewater might have had something to do with that though.
Being an extended midweek, short-notice trip kept it a solo affair. Combine the fact I've not run this section of the Verde before and this became a paranoid venture. Justifiably so as this is not considered a first-time, solo type of river.
The NRS Bandit II is the only serious whitewater inflatable kayak I own so it was the craft. It held up very well and took large amounts of mistreatment. Light weight was the primary reason the Bandit was purchased. After having flown and portaged with it, am satisfied with this justification. Noticed this trip that the draft was greater than expected if the boat was not pumped firm. The floor pressure relief valve seemed adjusted low which could have been the problem.