Colorado family of 14 kayaking throughout the U.S.
Ryan Summerlin October 28, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Kid after kid emerges from the van, wrestling and cackling through a downpour and pouncing on every puddle they can find. It’s like a circus act.
Within minutes, half the circus is dry-suited and helmeted, lugging bright kayaks to the edge of the Colorado River, where the mayhem continues in a game called “King of the Wave.”
Dan Kellogg bursts into the play hole as Grady, Kady, Brody, Kenny and Dally giddily joust their father off the foaming wave. Mom Susie – due to give birth any day to her 12th child- watches from the shore, chuckling as she corrals six more Kelloggs – ages 22 months to 10.
Laughter reigns when the Kelloggs play. Yet they are serious about their play. So much so that they are about to embark on a paddling session unlike any other. Packing a 35-foot RV, the 14-strong Kelloggs will soon hit the road, traveling the country in search of river waves as they vie to be the country’s top clan of river rats. They are selling their home of 11 years – where seven Kellogg kids have lived since birth – and moving full time in a rig where early sleepers get the bunks, leaving everyone else scrambling for a table or floor space.
“Is that crazy? Are we crazy? We have to be a little bit, right?” says Susie, with a grin that endures even as the very rowdy Rowdy, 5, wallows hip-deep in a curbside stream of rainwater, soaking his jeans and sneakers. “You’re going to get cold, Rowdy. Is that really what you want to do?”
Really, it is.
Every Kellogg, from 18-year-old Kerry to 22-month-old Elly, has grown to love the water. And they are all 100 percent behind the idea of life on the road. Even though it means no more marathon Medal of Honor sessions or paintball wars in the backyard of their end-of-the-road Glenwood home. An RV in a hundred Walmart parking lots will become their new home, the river their backyard, their next day as wide open as the starry sky above.
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