Saturday, March 22, 2008


Gorge Run, American River SF, kayaking class III, 22mar2008

Whitewater kayaking on a great spring day in California.

MelodyS & I met Roberto, Danny & UrsS at Salmon Falls and loaded into Urs' truck for the shuttle to Greenwood River Access. The Gorge Run on SF American River was running at 1700 cfs (El Dorado County, California, USA). While getting dressed my full drysuit seemed like too much on a warm sunny day, but I was glad to have it once I got into the cold water of the river.

We surfed and floated through the class II section. At one especially good eddy line Melody, Roberto and Urs put on an exhibition of stern squirts.

More photos from this whitewater river kayak trip. It was nice to have a fully-charged camera battery this time!

We had a nice leisurely lunch at the usual spot on river-left a little ways above Fowlers Rock Rapid. Redbuds and some other flowers were blooming. We saw lots of ducks & geese, and the geese were back in their normal quiet state of calm.

The Gorge is a great whitewater run on a lovely spring day.

At today's flow the line to the left of Fowlers Rock was runnable without too much rock scraping and Urs ran part of the rapid over there. I made my intended line at Satans Cesspool Rapid, again running right along the top of the curling wave in the middle of the rapid. In fact, I made pretty good lines everywhere except at Bouncing Rock Rapid. There I missed my line and my attempts to power back onto my planned route got me into the corner of the hole together with Roberto. His boat smacked me, but fortunately it hit mostly the padding of my pfd so there was no problem.

Doing the shorter run from Greenwood put-in was good for me in my present state of fitness. I got in a little surfing, had enough energy to get to take-out in good form and had only a couple of brief moments of emergency bracing. I was running very careful lines though, mostly avoiding the biggest waves and not catching too many eddies.

Today I did a little test of the old dogma that cotton kills!! Cotton does soak up more water and cools you off more than synthetic fabrics do if exposed to the wind when wet. But sealed up under my drysuit my cheap old cotton t-shirt and sweatshirt seemed to work just fine. They also didn't pick up that wonderful stench that we are all so familiar with on our polypro garments.

Lake Folsom was at a level of 407 feet so we could paddle the last set of whitewater rapids after Surprise Rapid and floated the river current all the way to Salmon Falls take-out.

More about:
Gorge Run American River SF - California Whitewater River Guides.
Whitewater River Trips - Reports on Kayaking in California.

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Danny just moved to California and it was great to see him in a kayak for his first time in two years and introduce him to his new local run. I'm sure he'll get to know it real well raft guiding this summer! Welcome to California Danny!

Great photos Bruce. They really show what a beautiful sunny spring day it was!
I agree. Welcome Danny to whitewater California. I hope to see you & Roberto again on the river soon.
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