Monday, September 04, 2006
Coloma to Greenwood Run, SF American River, kayaking Sept 3, 2006
Our first attempt to get going was not successful, so we returned to Davis for a more suitable shuttle vehicle. We loaded our boats and bike for shuttle into Carolyn's truck and had better success on the second try.
We went to put-in at Marshall Gold Discovery St Pk. The first people we asked were just running a shuttle down to Greenwood Ck River Access and offered us a ride back, so we got lucky and managed to avoid using the bike for shuttle again.
There were a couple of good surf spots and lots of great eddies to catch in the long rapid leading down to more good surfing and swimming at Gremlin wave. We had good runs and no scares this time at Old Scary Rapid, then got a few blackberries along the shore.
We had lunch at Camp Lotus with the sound of Barking Dog Rapid growling off in the distance.
Down at Barking Dog Rapid we all were impressed by two kids on boogie boards who were going into the wave-hole together and surfing around each other with the greatest of ease. And there was a kayaker who was doing 360s and making it look easy. Of course its not at all easy! I got a few good surfs there, but I felt just a little sluggish so soon after lunch. The entry from river-right was pretty easy, but every moment in the wave hole was a dynamic, high speed ride that required constant adjustments in paddling, edge control, and shifting my weight forward and back. Even in a short kayak like the SuperEgo I had to be very careful not to let the bow of the boat get buried in the wave. On my second good ride I did pearl out of the wave-hole, but I was able to brace and stay upright. Some day I need to spend a lot more time there to get better acquainted with this awesome playspot, but today I was happy to ride it a little and leave without getting dunked.
TaylorC had an epic roll session just below Barking Dog Rapid, finally making it up on his fourth try under very difficult circumstances. CarolynD made all of her rolls today. It became a really nice day of eddy hopping and surfing as we explored our way down the river. We even helped another group rescue two of their swimmers below Current Divider Rapid.
On just his fourth river trip TaylorC is really learning fast, so I had fun showing him some challenging lines through the rapids and interesting eddies to catch. TaylorC also got to lead our group in many places and it was interesting to watch him find his own way down a river that he had run just once before.
We had pushed pretty hard all day, so we were all running on empty by the time we got to the end of the run. We did a good job of eddy hopping at Highway Rapid, but then just bounced down the middle of Swimmers Rapid without stopping to play. Taylor pushed his gas tank way beyond empty with a final bit of roll practice at Greenwood Creek take-out. Then we had just enough energy to hike the boats up the trail to the parking lot.
Our traditional dinner stop on the way home, Thai Style Dining in Cameron Park, was almost full on this holiday weekend, but we got seated right away. We hardly had time to review the days photos on the view screen of Taylor's camera when our food was served. Medium hot seasoning was just right.
More about: Kayaking Trip Reports.
Tags: kayaking, whitewater, rivers, paddling.