Monday, July 16, 2007


C to G Run, SF American River, kayaking class II+, 15july2007

California whitewater - what could be better than messing around in boats??!!

BruceH & I packed up the shuttle bike, made a really leisurely 11 AM departure and drove up to the Coloma to Lotus Run on SF American River (El Dorado County, California, USA). The gauge said the river was running at 1600 cfs, but it was noticeably different from the 1600 cfs flows we have had on other trips there this spring. I think the flows were a bit lower than we had on previous trips and many of the playspots were more fun at this flow.

Once we got away from the big crowd at put-in we had a pretty uncrowded river trip the rest of the day. We surfed a few places in the long rapid leading down to Gremlin wave-hole (does this rapid have a name?) and then played a little at Gremlin. I got a few good rides there, but Gremlin was growling at me the whole time!

Our lunchtime entertainment was two guys board surfing a rapid using a rope tethered to a big rock on the shore. The first wild blackberries of the season tasted great!

The surf wave just above Camp Lotus was really great at today's flow. Just a bit easier to get on and stay on, it made the surfing really smooth and mellow. There was a big crowd of hot dogs at Barking Dog Rapid so we watched for a few minutes but didn't stop to surf there. We continued surfing, ferrying, eddying down the river and saw just a few other boaters after Barking Dog. We caught up to some other boaters at the Greenwood Creek take-out, so we were fortunate again to get a ride and avoid biking the shuttle.

For dinner on the way home we tried our best to go somewhere else for variety, but the place we picked turned out to be closed on Sunday. Then we quickly reverted to our real plan A and went back to Thai Style Dining in Cameron Park, CA. Mmm mmm good!!

More about: Trip Reports - Kayaking Whitewater Rivers in California.

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Today was another beautiful and mellow trip down the South Fork of the American River. The river was surprisingly empty except for Merganser ducks. Luckily BruceT did not roll because these toothed ducks go for the nose. (only half true). I found once again the advantage of wearing a pink helmet (long story). Many of the few people we met on the river recognized the helmet (not the wearer) and offered rides. River people are wonderfully nice people. BruceH
When that merganzer resurfaced after diving for fish it did seem a little shocked to be so close to you & your kayak.
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