Archive for the 'wildlife' Category

Jul 26 2013

Whitewater of the Sea

Whitewater Rock Garden Kayak Tours on the Mendocino Coast:

A story of creation and evolution-

We love kayaking and playing in the rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast in our whitewater kayaks.  As Liquid Fusion Kayaking evolved to teaching paddlers of all skill levels, we tossed around the idea of introducing novice paddlers to rock gardening.

kayak rock garden mendocino
Jeff boof’s a pour-over in the ocean.
Our vision was to be able to share the fun of kayaking in ocean rock gardens with those who wanted an adventure in the rock gardens and sea caves of the Mendocino Coast regardless of their kayaking skills and experience.  We wanted to create a trip that could get our students riding pour-overs and playing in the whitewater features of the ocean in a 3 hour trip.

whitewater kayak rock gardening
Cate styling it in the rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast.

We experimented with some friends to see if this would be feasible (it is great having friends that love to play and are always up for an adventure).  While we liked the comfort and performance of our “old school” decked whitewater kayaks, we recognized that our athletic and water savvy non-paddling pals needed a kayak that was more user-friendly.  Inspired by the “wash deck” kayaks of the Tsunami Rangers and our own love of the maneuverability of whitewater kayaks, we decided upon the Dagger Torrent – a sit on top whitewater kayak formerly called a Perception Torrent.

Dagger Torrent Sit on Top Whitewater Kayaks

BINGO!!!  We had a winner!!!  Stable, maneuverable, easy to adjust and fitting a wide range of sizes, the Dagger Torrent gave us a user friendly craft to for introducing students to rock gardens.

whitewater kayak ocean rock gardens mendocino
Novice Paddler Rock Gardening

In 2009, Liquid Fusion Kayaking started offering ocean rock gardening adventures for paddlers of all skill levels.  We called it “Mendocino Kayaking ROCKS!!!”  We coined it as our “Wet and Wild Adventure” to contrast with our “Dry and Mild” kayak tours.

family kayak wildlife watching tour
Dry and Mild Wildlife Watching Kayak Tours on the Noyo River

In 2010, we continued the theme of Wet and Wild but changed the name to Whitewater of the Sea to convey that this is an ADVENTURE in the ocean – kayaking and playing in the waves and whitewater of the sea.  Participants usually swim at least once in the trip – unintentionally or intentionally.

Thrills and Spills!!!

We are in our 5th year of running Whitewater of the Sea Adventures.  This year, we have evolved the trip to involve more swimming.  Last week we had a blast swimming through a sea cave.

sea cave mendocino swimming
Swimming through a Sea Cave on the Mendocino Coast

The first hour of the adventure is “training” which includes instruction in maneuvering and safety skills.  Participants quickly recognize that this isn’t your average kayak tour but a fun learning adventure.  One of our students wrote about it on YELP - “One of the best classes that I have taken on any subject ever.”

instruction class whitewater kayak rock garden
Instruction and drills in rock gardening

Students leave the adventure with a better understanding of the ocean as an ecosystem and as a playground as well as tales of thrills and spills.  Each tour is different as we cater to each group (usually 4 or less participants) and the conditions.  Wildlife moments are enjoyed as they happen from checking out gull chicks to marine mammal encounters.  Humpback and gray whales have made appearances during our tours this summer as well as harbor seals, sea lions, and river otters.  This week, we watched a Peregrine Falcon stooping (diving) some Western Gulls.

Western Gull Chicks Checking us Out!

Whitewater of the Sea is an adventure and is not intended to be a substitute for kayak instruction and training.  Novice and experienced paddlers on LFK’s Whitewater of the Sea Adventure recognize the quality of instruction that is occurring.  Jeff has masterfully taken the key skills for rock garden safety and fun and condensed them into a 3 hour course that allows students to be guided in dynamic ocean waters, to run pour-overs, and to play in the whitewater.  His teaching progression builds individual and group skills.

Jeff coaching

Of course, the more skilled and able the group – the more that the group gets to do.  A special dynamic of rock gardening with a masterful leader allows skilled boaters to share a rock gardening experience with a novice paddling friend.  It is possible to have Class II and IV on the same feature and the ability for the guide to choose the challenge level for you.

Choose your adventure level!

We have had paddlers repeat our Whitewater of the Sea Adventure to learn and experience more as well as bring friends along to introduce them to the fun of paddling and playing in ocean rock gardens.  For those that really want more – our Waves n Caves Weekends are 3 days of Whitewater of the Sea.

3 Days of Whitewater Ocean Rock Gardening!!!

Of course the bottom line is that our Whitewater of the Sea Adventure is a reflection of our love for the ocean – our passion for playing in her waves and whitewater, our admiration and appreciation of the wildlife that call her home, and the privilege of getting to share it with others.

Sharing the magic of the Mendocino Coast

Are you adventuresome?  Willing to Play Hard and Get WET?  Then here’s your official invitation to come play with us in our playground.

 

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Mar 20 2013

Dreamtime

Have you ever experienced one of those moments when you have to pinch yourself because it doesn’t seem real?

This morning,  Jeff and I are standing on the headlands scouting a break for surf – the sun is shining, there isn’t a breath of wind, the fog bank is sitting off-shore, and 4 foot glassy waves are spilling across the break.  We lapse further into our fantasy world, when we see a huge pod of Risso’s dolphins feasting and frolicing just outside the break. There are well over 100 dolphins launching into the air, somersaulting and belly flopping into the water.

Our existence feels surreal as we head down to the beach in anticipation of sunshine, surf, and the enchanting magic of dolphins.  Then, the fog rolls in erasing the sun and veiling the glassy faced waves that moments ago we were surfing in our minds.  It socks in so thick you can barely see across the beach, and the glassy green faces morph quickly into dumpy, wrinkled grey masses with madly frothing tresses.

As my fantasy of sunshine and surf dissipates, I tell myself “It’s training.  Get out there and get some waves.”  Slowly, I launch and start to traverse the surf zone heading north where I saw Jeff disappear into the fog.  Foam piles tumble at me as spewing lips threaten to chomp down on me.  Currents push, pull, and grab at my kayak as I work to keep her on course.

Finally, I find the rip current and catch a free ride out of the chaotic soup zone.  The rip feeds me into a quiet place in the break behind a reef where I can chill out and start reading the water.

Jeff is out in the middle – probing and hunting for green faces and spilling shoulders.  I watch and wait.  This is a tricky beach break that we only surf on small days.  The waves are variable and constantly shifting making good rides elusive.  Chances are good that if you venture out into the middle of the break to surf a wave, you will find yourself in too deep, take one on the head, or get tossed.

I am sitting in my eddy at the edge of all the chaos and confusion.  Trying to read the jumbled and bumpy water, I feel like a dyslexic student hiding in the back of the class praying that the teacher doesn’t call on me to read aloud.  I hide in the eddy trying to avoid embarrassment and punishment while the star pupil is showing off.

The sun breaks through and Jeff catches some nice long rides.  I am no longer content to sit in my eddy.  I want to be launching onto those green faces and carving up and down.  I cautiously nose out of my eddy.  A steep face rears up and I turn tail and scoot back into my eddy.  This ticks me off.  Determination sets in and out I go to accept what ever the sea has in store for me.

A wall of water starts to build and I carefully position myself to where it is walling up the steepest.  Two strokes later, I am hurling down a 6 foot wall of water and carving into a bottom turn.  I see a cone of water forming down the line as I carve up the face of the wave.  All of a sudden time seems suspended, and I feel like I am in a freeze-frame photo sequence.  At the crest, I drop back down and set my shore side rudder to subtly climb and drop, climb and drop, climb and drop across the face of the spilling wave.  The wave steepens so I race up the face then drop down to reset my angle and continue my diagonal run until the wave crumbles into a foam pile at the southern end of the beach.

I am elated as I traverse back across the surf zone thinking to myself,  “I ripped the shit out of that wave.”  Jeff is pumping both of his fists in the air.  That magical -  life is a dream – feeling has returned.

We both head back out to try our luck with the next set.  As the morning progresses,  some rides are marvelously long, others are fun steep one drop wonders that end in deep water, while others pitch and hurl us down the line and remind us of the reality that we are not in control here.  This is not a dream.

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Feb 22 2012

Whitewater River Kayaking

Rain on the North Coast of California usually happens in the winter and early spring and has us traveling inland to the rivers of the Coastal Range for whitewater river kayaking. 2012 has been a dry year so far. Yesterday we managed to get over to the Eel for a low-water run that was Jeff’s second run and my first of the season. While we love the surf and the spray of salt-water, there is nothing quite like floating downstream.

Top of Ramsey Rapid.

The media has many people envisioning whitewater kayaking as paddling over death-defying waterfalls or hairy first descents of big water rivers in little traveled parts of the world. We don’t have any of these death-defying trips in our plans but respect the courage and skills that it takes for this type of boating.

What we like about whitewater kayaking is the adventure of journeying through a river canyon. We like the technical aspect of running rapids – water reading, precision boat control, and composure under pressure (like when you capsize in turbulent 45 degree water or miss your line and quickly have to find a new one).

Hell hole

We also like the planning, preparation and training for emergencies that might occur on our trips in the wilderness. On our trips, we are the only solution to problems that might occur so a toolbox (drybags) of items packed into our tiny boats is a must. First aid materials, extra paddles, throw ropes, carabiners, webbing, extra food, and emergency supplies are typical items that we carry and practice using.

Most of all, we enjoy the landscape and wildlife that one only sees while paddling on the river. Yesterday, we saw and heard lots of American Dippers. These are small birds that like us enjoy swift moving fresh water. They are known to walk on the bottom of creeks, streams, and rivers in search of insects and aquatic invertebrates.

Yesterday, we also were privileged to see several bald eagles including several dining on the carcasses of spawning salmon.

It is a pretty special feeling to be floating down the river and see black tail deer casually watch us go by. Perhaps they are unalarmed because they know that we are only passing through or just accept us as part of the movement of the river. Other unexpected wildlife sitings are another perk of floating down river.

This little piggie . . .

As we finalize our spring calendar, our thoughts keep returning to the river. In addition to teaching whitewater kayaking classes on the river, our hearts long for a multi-day whitewater trip. Last year we blocked out 2 weeks in April to paddle and enjoy the Eel River. We have a similar window of time this year before we get busy with the summer season. Where will we go? The only plan now is to go with the flow – down river.

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Nov 26 2011

CAR – Crab, Abalone, Rocks

A storm out of the Aleutian Islands is heading our way. The marine forecast for the next couple of days are for gale force winds, combined seas in the 15-20 foot range and rain. As the storm brewed and winds started to pick up, we figured that we better get out and stock up on food and play. Our whitewater paddling buddy Nick joined us for the adventure.

A 10 knot southerly breeze had started with some gusting in the 15-20 knot range. The texture on the water was definitely showing the effect of southern winds with occasional whitecaps on the outer waters. Our plan was to paddle our sea kayaks out of the Noyo Bay, drop our crab pots, play in some rock gardens, abalone dive, and then pull our pots and head for home.

Of course, we could have dropped our crab pots in the protected areas of Noyo Bay, but instead had to charge out to where things get interesting. I think that Jeff wants to simulate the drama of Deadliest Catch on our crabbing missions. We are definitely getting a lot of towing practice on our sea kayak crabbing adventures.

We dropped our pots and off we went in search of adventure and abalone. First we paddled into a favorite spot and had to stop and admire the US Coast Guard plane doing maneuvers out at sea. This is not an everyday occurrence on the Mendocino Coast, and it was fun to watch.

The area where we were going to play and dive was really gusty with the southerly winds so we modified plans and tucked into a more protected area. Despite the small swell, Nick and I had some fun rides while Jeff took photos and prepared to dive for abalone.

Both Nick and I regretted that we didn’t bring our dive gear. Jeff plucked his abs easily but lingered in the water for a bit marveling at the beauty of the vibrant underwater colors of sea life.

Eventually the fish got out of the water and we strategized how to pull our crab pots in the windy conditions. I was going to pull the pots as Jeff used a tow to keep me from drifting into the kelp and onto a reef. Nick was going to stabilize my boat and help with strapping the pots onto my boat.

I was excited to get to pull the pots and be the first to see our catch of the day. I was a little apprehensive though as the last time we pulled a pot in this area there was a giant octopus on it (feeling crabby). The first pot that I pulled didn’t feel heavy so I knew that there wasn’t a giant octopus on it. It also didn’t feel heavy with crabs. There were 3 crabs in it though. One was a nice sized dungeness crab. Into the cockpit of my boat he went.

When we pulled the next pot, I was excited to see 2 crabs. One didn’t look right though. He was a beautiful dark red color and had latched his claws onto the bars of the trap. It was a rock crab. It took some finagling to get him to let go and out of the trap. After I got him to let go of the cage, he latched on to my finger. OUCH!!! Fortunately I was wearing my gloves and he didn’t break the skin. I got him off and happily sent him on his way back into the drink.

Back to shore we paddled – happy that we had 3 abalone, a crab, and a fun day on the water.

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Nov 16 2011

Feeling Crabby?

We are working on planning our 2012 calendar and updating the Liquid Fusion Kayaking website. Lots of time on the computer has me feeling a bit crabby so I figured a good cure for crabbiness might be a little kayak crabbing .

We decided to put our new Dagger Alchemy sea kayaks to the task. Mostly because they are very stable. We also wanted to get a feel for their outfitting and performance (review of the Dagger Alchemy will be in a future post).


Saturday before our Mushroom Paddle, we paddled out into Noyo Bay and dropped our crab pots. It was a gorgeous morning with calm seas and the full moon setting to the west.


Quickly we dropped our pots and headed to the woods to gather mushroom specimens for my mushroom identification and ecology lesson.


After the mushroom paddle, we paddled out to pick up our pots. Wind and seas had picked up considerably. Also, quite a few more pots were dropped in the vicinity of ours. I was glad that I had my towline. As Jeff pulled up our pots, the wind and currents were blowing him into the lines of the other crab traps so I had to use an anchor tow to keep him from drifting into harms way.

Jeff was stoked as we pulled up the first pot because it was quite heavy. We both envisioned a pot full of tasty Dungeness crabs. As the pot neared the surface, we were dismayed to see a Giant Pacific Octopus wrapped around the top. The tentacles on this guy must have been 5 feet long. It took some coaxing and prodding to get him back into the sea.

Obviously, the octopus was as interested in the contents of the trap as we were. Inside the trap were 8 Dungeness crabs. Four of the crabs ended up being too small so we put them back. Jeff stuffed the 4 keepers inside the cockpit of his boat – No, they didn’t pinch him.


Off to the next pot we went. This pot was heavy too but we were cautiously optimistic about its contents. By darned if there were no crabs in it but 2 large slobs. Slobs is a term that crab fisherman use for Sunflower Starfish which are notorious for getting into pots and devouring crabs.

We stowed our pots and happily surfed the swells back to the beach. We would be having fresh crab and Chanterelle pizza for dinner.

Special thanks to Jimmy Callian for tagging along with us and taking photos (and keeping us laughing).

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Jun 06 2011

Black Oystercatcher Survey

It was raining so we took Friday afternoon off to help out the Audubon Society with a black oystercatcher survey. I guess most people take a sunny afternoon off to go to the beach or something, but we live life a little out of the box.

The black oystercatcher is a species of concern. They are coastal birds that are almost prehistoric looking with their jet black bodies and bright red bills, pink legs, and glowing yellow eyes. They live on coastal rocks and feed on mollusks like mussels. With lots of rocky reefs and coastal rocks, the Mendocino Coast is a prime habitat for them. The California Audubon Society decided to organize a citizens in science project to survey the oystercatchers with special attention paid to nesting behaviors.


Of course kayaking is our favorite way to explore coastal rocks so we loaded up our sea kayaks and took them to Noyo Beach. Our survey area was Noyo Bay and the area just to the north and south to the southern headlands of Hare Creek. We had unbelievably calm ocean conditions. It was fun to meander through the rocky passages that are often inaccessible due to waves exploding through them. We had binoculars, our waterproof tablets, waterproof camera, and GPS.


We found 4 nesting pairs of oystercatchers in our survey. We knew of 2 of the pairs from watching them over previous years. We also saw quite a few Western gulls and pelagic cormorants sitting on nests in our survey area. We saw a common raven nest with 3 young as well as a couple of common ravens raid a couple of cormorant nests. The ravens swooped in and scared the brooding parent off the nest and rifled through the contents of the nest.


We haven’t been out in our sea kayaks much so this was a great way to get some of the rust off our long boat skills. We used our greenland paddles because they are stealthy and quiet for wildlife watching. Of course we had to surf a couple of waves at Hare Creek and ride a couple of pour-overs and slots. I took advantage of the south swell for a fantastic ride over a wash rock with a gorgeous cascading backside (Of course – Jeff didn’t have a camera). Here’s Jeff coming over Nick’s Nightmare.


And Jeff blasting through Angie’s Angst.


After our paddle, we drove up to Pomo Bluffs with our spotting scope to scope out several of the nests that we had seen. From on top of the headlands, we had a better vantage point to see the oystercatchers in their nests.


The Mendocino Coast Audubon had local birders covering most of the coastline during the 4 day survey period. It is great to see people rally to help out with these citizen science projects. We were happy to be able to help out with a portion.

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Jun 01 2011

Plastics

Published by under birds,surf,video,wildlife

Have you ever thought about how much plastic we use?

YouTube Preview Image

And where it ends up?

Plastic seems to have become a necessity in our lives. Many of us have discontinued using single use plastic bottles and carry cloth bags to the grocery store. Unfortunately, this is only a start. As I write this, I look at all the plastic shtuff around my desk and all the plastic kayaks on our kayak rack.

Plastic seems to have become a necessary evil in our lives today, but I think that we need to start decreasing our dependence of it and be more conscientious of recycling and proper disposal.

Any thoughts or ideas? Please share, discuss, ect.
Let’s work together to increase awareness and start working toward solutions!!!

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May 18 2011

Low Water Run on the Eel

The To-Do list is HUGE at the moment as we get ready for Fort Bragg and Mendocino’s summer visitors. But after spending a rainy Monday in the office, we had to get out and paddle.

Of course an inch or more of rain in Mendocino County often means WHITEWATER!!! So we packed up our whitewater kayaks and headed to the Eel River for what would probably be our last run on the Eel until next winter.


In winter in Mendocino County, the ground is usually very saturated with water. When we get a couple of inches of rain, a lot of it runs-off quickly into our local rivers. However, after having a couple of dry weeks in the spring, the vegetation and ground are thirsty and soak up spring rain showers. This results in less flow in the river than we would anticipate in the winter.


When we got to the put-in, the water level was very low – just runnable. It was fun to see the river at this level. The flow was slow so there was plenty of time to make moves as long as you weren’t trying to dig your paddle into rocks. There wasn’t quite enough water in the eddies to get a good purchase with a paddle to use the eddy to feed onto a surf wave. The guys definitely tried resulting in lots of clunking sounds of paddles on rocks, but they were successful and caught a few good waves.

I sat back and took photos and video of their antics as I enjoyed the greenery of spring and the intermittent showers. It was very exciting to see a wood duck with her brood of 11 ducklings (unfortunately I had technical issues with my camera and missed the shot).

A couple of the rapids were really boney at low water and others were really fun. My favorite was the trailer rapid which at normal flows is fast and furious with a couple of nasty hydraulics to avoid. At low water, the characteristic jumble of split rocks at the bottom was visible but was otherwise a completely different rapid. Where the nasty hydraulics usually churn were giant eddies. Instead of taking the freeway line past these monsters, we could zig-zag and eddy-hop along as we negotiated the elevation drop.


Maybe we will get another good spring rain for some more local whitewater boating, but if not we won’t be kicking ourselves for missing the last run on the Eel of the year.

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May 10 2011

Middle Fork of the Eel River

Our Mountains to the Sea Paddle went too quickly and we weren’t ready to head home yet. A detour on the way back to Fort Bragg to visit some good friends in Round Valley and the Middle Fork of the Eel River beckoned us.

The Middle Fork of the Eel River has been a whitewater kayaking destination of ours since last spring. Our friends had told us about it and I was curious about it after reading The River Stops Here – a fascinating tale of water history and politics.

Located in northeastern Mendocino County, the Middle Fork is the largest tributary of the Eel River. It drains the Yollo Bolly Mountains of Mendocino National Forest. This huge drainage flows mightily after rain storms but also flows a good bit of the spring due to snow melt.


Typically paddlers will do the 32 mile Middle Fork of the Eel River as an overnight trip. The first 24 miles is rated class II. The last 8 miles has rapids that range from class III to V depending upon the flow. With a fast current of 3500 cfs and the option to pull-out at mile 26, we decided to do the run in a day.

The evening before our run, our friend offered to show us the river from the air in his Cessna. What a treat!!!

From the air, he pointed out highlights and landmarks of the river as well as insight into the wildlife that we might see.


Our day paddling the Middle Fork was spectacular. Lots of snow melt water kept us moving along in the flat stretches and made for some boiling eddylines. The rocky gorge was one of our favorite sections with fun wave trains.


The scenery was gorgeous with all the wildflowers and greenery of spring and intriguing with a few unexpected sights like this wrapped canoe.


We got to see lots of wildlife including several bears, a mamma bear and her 2 cubs, a coyote, wild pigs, wild horses, black-tailed deer, kestrels, and hawks. We couldn’t believe how big some of the deer were. Of course, I enjoyed the common mergansers swimming in the class II rapids and was really excited to see a double-crested cormorant swimming and diving in a rapid.


It was a long day on the water. One of the highlights of the paddle was the Class IV rapid that we encountered before taking out. The rapid is called Skinny Chutes and was anything but skinny at this flow. It looked very different from the photos that we saw on CA Creeks.


It was a challenging rapid with moves to make and hazards to avoid. We scouted it and enjoyed running it (read my account of it on my woman on water blog). The trip took us exactly the 6 hours that we had estimated. Just as we were pulling off our paddling clothes and enjoying a TOB, our friend’s mom arrived to pick us up.

Another GREAT day on the Eel River.

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Apr 05 2011

Cache Creek Wilderness Run

For the first time in 4 years, the Cache Creek Wilderness Run has been predictably running at a level that is fun for a day trip. When one of our paddling friends emailed about doing it on a day our calendar was clear, we jumped on the opportunity.


Clear Lake is over its capacity so they have been releasing over 3,000 cfs from the dam for the past week. Combined with flow from the North Fork, we estimated that our flow was approximately 3800 cfs.

As we met at the put-in, what to wear was the debate of the day. Being that we were embarking on an 18 mile wilderness run that hasn’t been run (to our knowledge) in several years and that only 2 of the 4 of us had run it over 4 years ago, we weren’t sure what to expect. Down trees and landslides can occur and greatly change the character of a run. We knew the flow was going to be swift with the dam release and looking at the flow coming down the creek at the take-out. Prudence would have us dressing for the worst case scenario and potential immersion. Most of the group opted for drysuits, but I went with my drytop and farmer jane. Eighty degrees and sunny are not my usual boating conditions so if I got hot, I wanted to be able to get wet.


This run is described as a class II(III) by American Whitewater and California Creeks. It is fun to look at the photos on the CA Creeks site which are at low water and over 3000 cfs lower than what we were running it. During our run, the “Big Rock” in Bill Tuthill’s CA Creeks write-up was not visible creating a pour-over and large hydraulic.

As we launched, we were apprehensive about the possibility of down trees and strainer hazards in the muddy waters. The flow on the North Fork moved us along at a comfortable pace as we cautiously boat scouted blind turns and brushy channels.


We enjoyed the sweet sounds of western meadow larks singing and a slight warm breeze that rippled through the budding willows and alders. The landscape of steep open hillsides was quite different from the mossy forests of our typical Mendocino County wilderness runs.


Evidence of volcanic activity was evident in the geology. At one point, the creek cut through a bank of ashfall.

As we bobbed along the North Fork, we continuously scanned the trees and skies for bald eagles. We saw 2 driving to the put-in and hoped to see some more. At one point, the creek bank was not the usual rocks and trees but was built of old automobiles. The vegetation has grown around and through the cars. It is novel, but probably not the most environmentally conscious way for the property owner to stabilize the creek bank.


The character of the run changed significantly when we hit the main branch of Cache Creek (changed to the tune of about 3500 more cfs). The creek was definitely moving along at a good clip and above its regular channel and flowing through the trees and brush at its edges. Few eddies existed along its edges as did opportunities for landing. There was quite a bit of squirrelly water where water flowed over submerged rocks and where channels converged. The squirrelly waters of one of these convergences grabbed one of my edges and gave me a quick dunk.


All 4 of us enjoyed watching for birds. A pair of accipters had us debating between cooper’s or sharp shinned hawks. We were delighted with siting of over 1/2 dozen bald eagles (like the photograph below, some were juveniles and weren’t so bald).


The highlight of the day was seeing a bear and her cub. Unfortunately, I don’t think that we were the highlight of their day as they appeared alarmed by our presence and galloped up the hillside.

The rapids on the run were quite rapid. The bigger ones were mostly giant wave trains with an occasional hydraulic to keep one on their toes. At this flow, we were flying along but one would expect that some might be fun to play on at a lower flow.


Not many wave surfing opportunities. Jeff happened to catch a photo of this wave as we breezed past it.

Knowing that it was an 18 mile run and not knowing what hazards we would come across on the river, we had expected it to be a long paddle. It ended up being the fastest 18 miles any of us had done on a river – we did it in 3 1/2 hours with a lunch break and a stretch break.

They are still releasing 3000 cfs from Clear Lake into Cache Creek and it is still runnable. A boating buddy of ours asked if we wanted to run it with him this week – we declined. We had a great day on the river and enjoyed the run but are looking forward to exploring some other local runs.

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