Sunday, July 08, 2007


Rumsey Run, Cache Creek, kayaking class II+, July 7, 2007

Best whitewater river in Yolo County !!

The Cache Creek Rumsey Run (Yolo County, California, USA) was flowing at a lively 900 cfs, based on an estimate at Dreamflows. (The CDEC gauge for this run has been unreliable.) See my whitewater guide for the Rumsey Run.

BruceH & I packed up the shuttle bike, had a cup of coffee and made a leisurely 10 AM departure from Davis, CA. We drove up to Cache Creek and locked up the bike at take-out. Just then TomO and Galen drove up and asked about teaming up on the shuttle. Such a deal, I really didn't really want to bike the shuttle. We got to the put-in at Bear Creek just as the throngs of inflatable boaters were getting ready to launch. We'll have to leave home a bit later next time! We did a little surfing upstream from put-in. When we started downstream the crowds were gone and we had a pretty uncrowded river experience all day.

We did some surfing on the nice ledge just below the Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park Upper Site (coordinates N 38.92296 W 122.32796 - see Rumsey Run topo at Acme Mapper). At this flow there was a wave-hole on river-right for short boats and a pretty nice long boat surfing wave out in the middle of the river, so two boats could surf at once. I took a couple of short movie clips there with my Olympus 720SW waterproof camera. I couldn't see much in the viewfinder in the camera, so I didn't get the camera out any more the rest of the day. Later on I realized that I was boating with my driving glasses, so now I've learned that the polarized sunglasses that I normally use for boating are important for photography on the river.

Note: youtube will try to take you to other people's kayaking videos after viewing one of mine. If you want to view more of my videos just make a favorite or bookmark, or open a new tab in your web browser to BRT Kayaking Channel.

Even when the river is kind of brown its interesting to note that the white water is still really white!!

After so many training trips recently it was amazingly mellow to boat with an experienced group. At Mother rapid we just lined up and went for it. Easy, simple, no problem!

Cookies at take-out were great, but it was also necessary to stop at the corner store in Guinda, CA for the greatest fruit popsicles. Mmm, mmm, good! We stopped for a very nice dinner at Chuy's Taqueria in Winters, CA. Then we took the scenic route via Stevenson Road bridge to get back home to Davis, CA.

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

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The ladies in the popsicle store were discussing what a lucky day store 7/7/07 was. But any day on the river when one returns with all vital parts intact is a wonderful day. Meeting Galen and Tom was great, particularly since they saved a very hot bike shuttle. One sometimes meets some really creepie people at the interface to the wilderness, but never has one of them been in a kayak or on the end of a rock climber's rope. Every time I have paddled this year has either been solitary or I have met interesting and nice people.

The water was the perfect temperature to roll over periodically to cool off. The 900 cfs on the web seemed a much lower 900 than the last several weeks. There was plenty of water, but the waves in the larger rapids were much smaller and mother did not shove one to river left. There were a few people along the shore and a wrapped raft from the commercial trip. I hope that the commercial trip encouraged a few people to love the river. Judging by the wounds, there are several who will not be back. The chaparral was lovely with gray digger pines set against the golden grass. Along the cliffs zosanaria stood out like fire and button bushes were in bloom at the base. We are so lucky to have an area like this close to SF and Sacramento.

A random thought in watching the performance of my new Crossfire kayak (in contrast to my old Dancer kayak) is how unforgiving physics is. One good stroke would take me to a wave while my short boat friends fought with 5 hard strokes for the same result. On the other hand the Crossfire just did not do steep waves and with the slightest wrong angle one was off the wave and headed down stream. Also the Crossfire is graceful but makes wide turns. It would be nice if a designer figured out how to make a long short boat although I should settle for a short long boat.

A great day on the river, great scenery in the dry coastal hills, a wonderful drive through interesting farm land (even past Miss Prune’s experimental orchard) and dinner at a mellow taqueria - a pretty hard day to beat.

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