Sunday, June 25, 2006
Coloma to Greenwood Run, SF American River, kayaking class II, June 24, 2006.
As soon as I heard the forecast for 107 degree temperatures in Davis I knew that Saturday would be a great day (necessary day?) to go boating, so BruceH and I went up to the South Fork American River (El Dorado County, California, United States).
We left a bike at the Greenwood Creek river access for shuttle, then drove 3.5 mi to put in at Marshall Gold Discovery Park and run this nice class II section of river. I paddled BobL's Dagger SuperEgo kayak and BruceH paddled his "old school" Dagger Crossfire kayak. The river was flowing at 3000 cfs. This much cold, clean whitewater provided much better boating conditions than are typical for this time of year.
Surfing at Barking Dog Rapid was breathtaking! It seemed like the water was going by at 100 mph!! The SuperEgo had just enough hull speed to stay on the wave. Whenever I started to wash out too high on the recirculation I leaned forward a little and the kayak slammed back down into the trough of the wave.
A handful of other little playspots sprinkled throughout the run provided a nice day of kayaking for this out-of-shape, out-of-practice boater. The contrast between our boats was dramatic. Lots of places where the Crossfire could play were not useful for the SuperEgo because of inadequate hullspeed. Likewise lots of little waves where the SuperEgo fit perfectly were too short for the Crossfire to do much of anything. I was a little envious of the Crossfire's hullspeed. BruceH could just cruise around wherever he wanted to go in the current and in the eddies with the greatest of ease, just as I am accustomed to doing when boating my Frankenstein kayak. I could drive the SuperEgo "tugboat" to get wherever I really wanted to go on this easy run. I was also paying careful attention to use of efficient paddle stroke mechanics, but even so I found myself just going with the current much of the time to pace myself.
After stopping for lunch we had the river pretty much to ourselves. Most of the boaters on this section of river were going all the way down to Salmon Falls, so they had to get much farther downstream before lunchtime.
Highway Rapid was very long and continuous at this flow.
This year's goslings are now almost as big as their parents. One giant family of geese must have had a dozen goslings.
Giant thunderclouds developing spectacular shapes over the Sierra made me wish that I had a camera.
We got lucky and I was able to get a ride back to Coloma, so we didn't need to use the bicycle for shuttle.
On the way home we got to Cameron Park too early for Thai food, but the Mexican restaurant was just fine as a backup. Just getting into a cool, dark place and getting rehydrated was pretty great. The grilled chicken "coco loco" special was also most excellent.
Unfortunately we timed it poorly and it was still much too hot when we got back to Davis around 6PM, but a dip in the pool while the air conditioner got started worked just fine.
Sunday is predicted to be even hotter than Saturday was, so I'm lucky that my team's soccer game is scheduled for 10 AM. We'll be finished before the temperatures get dangerously hot.
Tags: kayaking, whitewater, rivers, paddling.