I somehow managed to forget to post Alan L’s trip reports. They went out to the Club on the elist but for more permanent offerings I am now posting them to the website:
POST Labor Day Trip Saturday, Sep 5, 2015 (one day) –
Middle Fork of the American River – Greenwood Bridge to Mammoth Bar (6.6 miles – class 2 – intermediate)
John D(solo KC1);
Vince G(solo KC1);
Fred F(solo K1);
Don J/Karen J (tandem OC);
Alan L/Kate N(tandem OC)
Participants arrived at Raley’s supermarket parking lot at 11:00 a.m. (Auburn, CA) and ran shuttle to Mammoth Bar; and then on to the launch below Greenwood Bridge (site). Participants met and had lunch at Ruck-a-Chucky campground and waited for the river to come up, which it did at approximately 1:45 p.m. (1,000 cfs from Oxbow Powerhouse Dam upstream). The group paddled through a beautiful and scenic area, punctuated with numerous mostly unnamed class 2 rapids with large boulders requiring skill in boat handling from all participants (Cherokee Bar)— further downstream the largest standing waves were big, but not big enough to swamp an open canoe (Maine Bar and Poverty Bar)—just very quick and wet. The last major rapid (Kennebec Bar) over a ledge extending across the river was the only one which was scouted; by three of the participants—Alan, Kate, and Fred; who watched Don/Karen, then Vince, followed by John – all of whom chose an open passage, and passed through without difficulty. Alan/Kate then followed on down and over the ledge staying to the left of the big boulder at the right side, with Fred F closing the show by taking the far right chute—a difficult route! Everyone had fun, and no one was injured, nor was any equipment damaged or lost. There was much camaraderie throughout the day, and John D, and Vince G made their unique solo canoes available to those who wanted to try padding something different. After dining at a local restaurant, the group parted ways and all headed on back to the Bay Area/Sacramento.
Alan and Kate did camp at Folsom Lake (25% capacity, with the remnants of Folsom Lake off in the distance, totally removed from any access points by 100’s of vertical feet now dry, and no boats were out there on Folsom Lake—please hope for much needed ran and soon; and, on Sunday, Alan and Kate hiked to Hawkver Limestone Cave from the Quarry Trail parking access on the Middle Fork of the American River, and then on to the Murderer’s Bar rapid to see what a Class 5 rapid looks like from the shore, the Sunday dam release eventually reached this point around 5:00 p.m.)
Event: Lower American River – River Bend Park to Watt Avenue
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015.
Present: (3 solo) John A, John D, Fred F
(2 tandem) Alan L/Kate N, Eric F/Amy S & A (almost 7).
We got onto the water at 11:00 a.m., and upon reaching “Clay Banks”, John A led the way down for all but Kate and I who took a side route into the ponds and just below Clay Banks rapid. And then Kate and I waded back into the ponds for more exploration, with Eric F, Amy S, A7, and Fred F joining us through the traverse route into the ponds to the main flow at Arden for some moving water excitement. John A and John D went on to Grist Mill from Clay Banks and waited for us to join them for lunch, before all proceeded to Watt Avenue Bridge, where we disembarked from the American River at 3:30 p.m. Today, I was surprised to see the water level had been increased to 2,700 cfs for our Saturday run, which seemed just adequate for the ponds, and “Clay Banks”–any with less and it would not have been possible.
With 2750 cfs running, everyone made it down safely From River Bend Park to Watt Avenue.
January 3-4, 2015: Day 1: Russian River Monte Rio to Jenner;
Day 2: Cloverdale to Geyserville
7 Participants: Fred F, Roy and Sally B, Vince G and Shauna C, Alan L and Kate N.
Due to access issues at the confluence of the Wheatfield branch and South Fork of the Gualala River, with signs posted for “Private Property” and resulting parking issues, the January 3-4 trip was moved to the Russian River Watershed Area. The float plan to do Austin Creek on Day 1, and camp at Cassini Ranch at the Confluence with the Russian River at Duncans Mills was contingent on more rain to charge Austin Creek. Without enough rain for Austin Creek, a contingency plan was proposed on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Austin Creek Bridge at Duncans Mills, when all seven participants assembled there to examine the flow on Austin Creek. The contingency plan was to launch at the bridge at Monte Rio, and paddle to Jenner. Cassini Ranch staff allowed an early check-in (normally 2:00 p.m.) so our Saturday overnight camp was set up early before embarking out onto the Russian River at Monte Rio. We embarked at 11:00 a.m., and I was pleased to see the current moving at about 3 miles an hour at the Monte Rio bridge, not launching out onto the flat water. The group stopped for lunch at the sand bar at the east end of Cassini Ranch. Fred F and Kate and Alan did paddle up Austin Creek as far as the SR-116 Highway bridge, just to see the crystal clear water of Austin Creek joining the green water flowing on the Russian River. With clear weather and virtually no wind at all, the POST-sponsored group reached Jenner around 3:30 p.m. After retrieving our vehicles from Monte Rio, dinner was prepared and served–Fresh Salad, Fresh Bristol Farms Sourdough Bread, Roasted Chicken, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and a fresh baked big Apple Pie. Although Alan’s eyeglasses went to the ground in the dark on Saturday evening after dinner, and were located early the next morning next to the table by Vince. Day 2 started early with a crackling fire in the fire ring, and a breakfast by Fred F. The breakfast of Eggs Californiano, and Pancakes with fresh Berries, hot maple syrup, and hot coffee prepared us for the day ahead. We got the camp taken apart, and proceeded to Geyserville to examine the take-out access at the bridge over the Upper Russian River, the water was flowing deep and moving right along, around 450 cfs. We proceeded to the Cloverdale River Park, and launched at 11:00 a.m. onto clearer water–not the brownish water associated with high flows on the Upper Russian. The river course was chiefly class 1 1/2 moving water with class 2 brush most of the way, with some pools which were interspersed between the brushy drops, turns, blind corners, and swift water sections. One spot was lined by everyone, as there was no clear channel and the water was churning into a particularly brush-choked drop on river right. Before reaching the Asti Summer Bridge Abutments, Roy and Sally set up a lunch table and everyone had sandwiches, fresh fruit, ‘fiddle-faddle’, fruit juice, and cookies. About one mile beyond the Asti summer bridge abutments, we all saw on river left a Boston Whaler motorboat who started up his outboard motor. How the Boston Whaler got there is a big question–it may have been stuck there for several weeks since the recent rains in December, as there was no boat access for anything of that size anywhere at the flows we experienced below the Cloverdale River Park. Slightly further on, the river course split into three channels, the right being choked with brush, the center being too shallow for anything but lining, and the left seemingly open, but leading to a sharp right corner and five-foot drop over 10 yards down a swift chute. Vince led the way with Shauna, and Fred F followed, leaving Roy and Sally in the pool above the chute, blowing whistles thinking that Alan and Kate were caught somewhere. Alan and Kate had taken the center option and lined their canoe, per Alan–to avoid a boat pile up down there on river left. After walking back up to see how Roy and Sally were going to manage this little bit of trouble, it was decided that Vince and Roy would take Roy and Sally’s ‘tripping’ canoe down the Class 2 drop, and that Sally would walk down with us, as we knew the way through all of the brush to the bottom of the rapid. The last two hours on the water were marked by bright sunlight glare which made visibility difficult when paddling along the sunlit glare. All seven participants reached the bridge at Geyserville at about 4:00 p.m.