Sunday, May 11, 2008

Brush Creek Race, Dry Meadows Creek,1st Decent Fulda Creek, and more...

On April 18th myself and Justin Patt met up in Santa Cruz to drive south to reap the goods. After a 5+ hour drive we reached Kernville and crashed out to get into some business the next day. We woke up around 9am and met a fellow kayaker by the name Nathan who hailed from Kirkwood. We decided to check out Brush Creek (A tributary into the Kern)since JPatt had only seen it once at extremely low flows and I had never seen it, and we both planned to race it the next day.
The creek was very fun with clean class IV slides, tea cups, and a interesting crack drop called "Searchucker". After a run on that we were still very hungry to do some creekin'so JPatt and Nathan talked of Dry Meadows Creek. It sounded great with 6 or so waterfalls and a mellow hike in. So we refered to the white water bible and checked out the directions. It could of been because it was so close to 420 or that we just wanted to get on the water real bad, but we drove past Johsondale and put on way to high.

At first we didn't know if we were even in the right drainage but we committed ourselves to a 8+ mile hike out through red ant covered bushes and unknown terrain. JP had done it once but hiked up from the bottom to the tea cups so we were flyin blind. After a mile or so we came upon Camp Whitset where a large amount of construction churned up ton of silt and turn the creek chocolate brown. As we pushed further we found a 10 footer and little did we know that it would be one of the highlights for the day. Since I wasn't confident walking down a drainage we didn't know, in a direction we were some what guessing, I said I thought we should maybe throw in the towel.

JP volunteered to run ahead and check to see where the teacups were downstream. He found the mile section we were supposed to run and since it was near dark we decided just to finish our hike down to the Kern just in time to run the couple miles out in the dark. Apparently there are rapids on the Kern and we ran a pretty big on in the dark named Carson Falls. Probably the most excitement of the day and we finished out the day with great excitement for dry clothes and food.
Waking up the next morning Justin and myself were beat. We got a couple practice runs in but it was clear that we were both pretty beat. Justin beat me by 5 sec and took 23rd, while I was right behind him in 24th. Great event and another adventure for the record books.

The weekend after our wonderful hike, I spoke with Charlie Center and he said he had a adventure lined up for us. I met him at Camp Lotus to check the topos before heading out. It was going to be a long day with 3.6 miles on Fulda creek, 7 miles on the North Fork of the North Fork of the American, and 14 on Giant Gap, dropping over 3500 feet. We began the day getting up at 5:45am meeting the crew (Alex Wolfgram, Ben Wartburg, myself, Justin Patt, Charlie Center, & Chris Zawacki). We started hiking to put in at 7am and started the day with log portages and some fun waterfalls.
To make this story a bit shorter, it took us 7hrs to go the 3 miles on Fulda and reached the North Fork of the North Fork at 2pm. From there we had another large portage and some very serious boat scouting. We got to the Giant Gap put in at 8ish and decided to stash out boats and hike out 2 miles to the road. Justin and I were freezing at an outhouse while Chuck and Ben made the barge to get a ride out. We got back to Coloma around 2am for some quick food and a much needed sleep.

The video has footage from Fulda, Brush, our Dry Meadow Creek hike, and a little footage from the 08' Nordie race...enjoy.

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