Monday, July 21, 2008


C to G Run, SF American River, California whitewater kayaking class II+, 19july2008.

Messing around in kayaks - what a cool thing to do on a summer day !!

BruceH, TaylorC, JoelH & I went up to Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park at Coloma, CA to launch our kayaks on the C to G Run on SF American River (map & guide) (El Dorado County, California, USA). Even driving shuttle was an adventure. We made a side-trip to The River Store to rent a sprayskirt because I forgot to bring an extra one for the extra kayak. One of our shuttle cars zoomed past the Greenwood take-out, but we eventually got that figured out. Then the parking lot at Greenwood was full. Lots of cars were parked off the pavement despite the sign asking people not to do that. We drove 1/4 mile down to the equestrian access parking lot and left our shuttle car there.

More photos of kayaking whitewater on C to G Run, SF American River.

I did a little playboating at Gremlin Wave-Hole, caught some eddies and made some ferries, but I was also taking it easy in the first part of the run to make sure I'd have plenty of energy for later. After a quick lunch at our traditional spot downstream from Henningson Park, we reapplied sunscreen and moved on. The surf wave above Camp Lotus gave us some good rides today. This tiny little wave rewards kayakers who use good edge control and know how to steer their kayaks with knee & hip action.

Barking Dog Rapid has a big growl and some bite !!

We got lots of combat roll practice, one brief swim and a lot of quick rejections while playboating at Barking Dog Rapid. Even with lots of energy left in the tank I wasn't able to do anything much. Entering the wave-hole with a good line and a good plan it always turned instantly into sensory overload and survival paddling. I only got munched once and then I got back upright on my second roll attempt. All of my playboating attempts were rapidly rejected. Looks like I need to spend some entire days here to finally get this awesome playspot figured out.

Kayaking whitewater in the late afternoon - sometimes mellow and sometimes not.

By the time we left Barking Dog the flow was dropping. The easy class I & II sections were really slow and gentle. Current Divider Rapid still had some good waves and currents. Taylor eddy-hopped through here like an expert. Highway Rapid had lots of rock obstructions and a big mid-stream eddy that isn't there at higher flows. The top wave at Swimmers Rapid looked great, but even the fastest kayak in our group could not get back upstream high enough to get onto the wave. Ferrying across the wavetrain was pretty challenging, but with good edge control its a whole lot easier.

On the way home we stopped for an excellent dinner at Mangolian BBQ, Cameron Park, CA. Its pretty great to assemble your own using the ingredients and sauce mix that you like and then get it hot off the grill.

More about:
American River SF - Barking Dog Park & Surf kayak freestyle playboating.
Trip Reports - Kayaking Whitewater Rivers in California.
California Whitewater River Guides - trip planning info for kayakers, rafters and canoeists.

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It can be a downer for old guys to go boating with young guys. Taylor got a hand roll on his third try. Pretty best for a beginner. I found my self thinking that if only I were strong, coordinated, and brave my 50 years of river ratting would let me boat like Taylor.

Anyway a really fun time with great companions and thanks to BruceT for putting it together. BruceH
Fun day on the river. Though Coloma to Greenwood is regarded as a beginner's run, it has lots of challenging surf spots to improve river skills.
It was a great day on the river. Thanks BruceH for the encouragement, I realized it takes a minimum amount of coordination, a lot of encouragement from everyone else and even more naive bravado- a couple times getting bit by Barking Dog gave me a new perspective on hydraulics.

It's always exciting to get on the river with you guys because while I'm just trying to stay upright, you're surfing waves backwards.

C-G is a great run: berries along the banks, plenty of surfing places and enough water after the surfing waves to roll-even on your 10th attempt.

Thanks to everyone and BruceT for getting us out there.
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