We drove through dusk heading south on highway 49. After both Dinky and W.C. I was very tired so naturally I tried to catch up on some sleep in the teva Toureg. Contrary to popular belief the luxurious leather interior is not comfortable. After an hour or so of sitting in the back seat sweating we found Ben's van in Bear Valley. We woke him up and made plans to met in the coffee shop the next morning. After another night of sleeping in the dirt on guard for bears (because Rush swore he heard a bear in the woods)We met Ben, checked the level, and drove to the Putin. As we pulled up to the river we saw a few friends (Cheese, his brother, Dave, and Andre) They did the run the day before us and told us we had a long day ahead of us. It turned out to be way more manky than I thought with quite a few portages. Rush ran the 40 foot gorilla on crack (Portage #24), and Astrostar. #24 did not go well he gutted it down the middle disappeared and popped out the bottom upside down after taking a huge shot to the elbow. That was not the only carnage of the day, for those who have run the H.K. before, remember the rapid with a few boofs into a juicy pillow going off a 8 footer? Yeah I decide I wanted to plug the pillow, do a kick flip of the 8 foot ledge, almost tag the wall in mid air, and go into a nice down time. It all was fine I just rolled up past the hole and paddled out, but it made for some good video. The rest of the run went fine, there were tons of boofs and moves to make all the way to the take out. The description says this run is a classic, I disagree but still think this run is a great class V day on the water. Some picture by Ian Garcia enjoy. Ben and Rush blue angling the S#%* on the north fork of the Stan.Rush sticking the crux of Astrostar
After completing this run we drove to Coloma and had a quality CC night. This next day we got our stuff together said goodbye to some friends and took off for Lane house to start our drive home. I wanted to stay for Upper Cherry, and we almost did, but After a day of cliff jumping in South Lake we called our trip good took off for home.
With the end of this trip and a season of boating in Cali we completed a Sierra triple Crown (Royal Gorge, Dinky Waterfalls, West Cherry) and did some epic boating all of which were new runs to me. This has been my first season of kayaking in California and now I know why everyone is so crazy about it. Here is the list of the rivers I did in the 7 weeks I spent in Cali over this spring and summer:Kaweah, NF Kaweah, Merced, SF American, NF american, Webber, Traverse, South Sliver, Sacramento, South Yuba, Paully, Lavenzola, Slab, Dinky, W Chery, Cherry, NF Stanisalus, and a few others.
It was a great experience, I met a lot of cool people ,and had tons of good times. California is my new favorite place to kayak in the world over Chile, Africa, new Zealand, all those places. I hope to spend next summer there adding to my list. "California Gallery coming soon" Later E.G.