Tuesday, May 08, 2007

 

Shirttail Run, NF American River, kayaking class II+

Kayaking whitewater on a pristine, free-flowing California river

Fortunately the Aquatic Appreciation Day holiday fell on Monday May 7 this time, so of course we decided to celebrate by getting out and kayaking on the river. BruceH, CarolynD & I liked it so much on last weekend's trip that we recruited BobL and KimF and then went right back to the Shirttail Run on NF American River (Placer County, California, United States). There is no telling how much longer this free-flowing river will have runnable flows in this drought year, so we decided to enjoy it while we could. We'd have to drive a long way to find another river with such clean, cold, beautiful whitewater !!

Unfortunately the road to the Upper Lake Clementine take-out was locked (maybe its only open on weekend days?). Parking was wide open at the usual Ponderosa Way take-out and Yankee Jim's Road put-in. Drive-by scouting of Carolyn's nemesis, Rapid 3 1/2, from high up on the shuttle road showed that the right side channel was still runnable. We didn't see any other boaters on the river all day, but we did see a few setting shuttle to run the section upstream from us.

I kayaked in BobL's Dagger SuperEgo playboat, BruceH boated his Dagger Crossfire, Carolyn had her trusty Dagger RPM, BobL was in his Wave Sport Z kayak and KimF kayaked in a Wave Sport Easy G kayak. Three flat-bottom kayaks and two displacement hull kayaks made up a diverse fleet.

At 850cfs (vs. the 1200 cfs we ran last weekend) it was interesting to see how some sections of whitewater mellowed out while others were the same or possibly even greater in wave action. And with two big-time surfers added to the group there was a whole lot more playboating being done this time. KimF demonstrated his mastery of the sternsquirt, while BobL and KimF were the spinmeisters.







Additional pictures of this whitewater river trip.
Pictures were taken with an Olympus 720SW camera.

Spring wildflowers were still going strong. We saw more "red-headed eagles" along the road to put-in this time. Maybe they are not so rare after all. We saw a river otter!! We also saw a pair of merganzers with their chicks. I don't know if I've ever seen a male merganzer before. I just assumed that males and females of that species looked alike, but apparently males go off on their own most of the year when we are seeing only the female merganzers along the rivers.

BruceH & I stopped at The Burrito Shop in Auburn CA for dinner on the way home. My Thai burrito was spicy hot with a touch of sweetness. Mmm, mmm, good !!

More about:
Shirttail Run, American River NF Guide Page.
Whitewater Kayaking Trip Reports.

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Comments:
really enjoyed it today, muscles are quivering, joints hurt, so must have had fun.
BruceH
 
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