This past weekend (4/16-4/19) myself and Justin Patt decided to rally the night mish to the Kaweah from Santa Cruz. We got there late and camped at the Hideaway, anticipating meeting Taylor Robertson, Jason Holman, and Eric Disque in the morning.
When we arose in the morning and found nobody at the camp site but the two of us and a bunch of RV'ers. We were puzzled and went to pay our nights stay and head to Chucks Drop. After talkin' to Dave the camp host we found out that some of my Huckin Huge and Columbia River Gorge boys were in town so we set out to fire up the E. Fork. We blazed trails to meet them at putin and caught up to them just in time.
We put on with me, Jpatt, Cody Howard, Erik Boomer, Dan, and Scott. A rapid or two in Jpatt broke his (his fathers) second Nomad in two weeks. He hiked out and got the car to be road support with Ryan Scott. We boogied through the upper stuff and through the upper Skyhook gorge and Double Drop. Photos by: Erik Boomer
Then on to good ol' Triple Drop. We had it the lowest flow I have every seen in there. Just about 600 on the Three Rivers gauge and this is probably the lowest I would want to see it at. Everything is still good but the run out gets a little manky. Here are some shots of Triple from the side. Photos by: Erik Boomer
And these photo's were taken from a couple thousand feet on the road by Mr. Justin Patt. Such an amazing canyon.
After Triple we were on a rally mission to get out. Crusied on through the boogie and the second portage lookin to try and get off the water for a run on Hospital Rock. We got down to Driftwood falls or Fugly Falls and both Dan and Scott got fired up and gave er'. Both lines weren't great but they were ok at the bottom, so they were good enough. This drop looks much better with more water but props to the boys for gettin' fired up.
The group finished out the bottom portion fine with much anticipation for burgers and beer at the Gateway. After a good meal Jpatt and myself looked onward to rally to Kernfest 09' while the rest of the boys were lookin to get into the 2nd decent of the UM Kaweah, for more info on that check www.huckinhuge.com and www.georgehits.com
After the 3 hr drive from the Kaweah we arrived at the Brush Creek take out to sleep and wait for our good friend Keith "Chiseki" McConnaughay from World Class to come down from Santa Cruz to paddle with us for the weekend. We met up with Chiseki in the early afternoon and decided just to run laps on Brush to get ready for the race. After 3 laps we called it good and chilled for the rest of the afternoon.
The most chilling news was about to hit without warning. This same day a group of paddlers went and did Dy Meadow Creek. After the confluence of the Kern, Joe Burnham swam above Carson Falls. The group got a rope to him but he couldn't hold on after the long day of paddling. He drifted into the rapid and disappeared. Macy Burnham was quick to get through the falls and do all he could in search of his father. Macy is a very accomplished paddler and good friend, I give my deepest respects and condolences to him and his family.
This brought a realization to the weekend for everyone that was in the Kernville area. We choose to live our lives to the fullest everyday, as Macy's father did at age 63, simply to be sure that we are living for something greater than ourselves and that is why our sport is special.
The next morning everyone was still shaken by the previous days tragedy but got in some practice laps before the race down Brush Creek. JP and Chiseki opted to be shore support during the race cheering racers on and drinking tall cans (rednecks). The race went well with Eric Giddins winning the Men's Downriver Race, Tanya Faux winning the Women's Downriver Race, and some junior winning the junior class. I placed 7th with a time of 3:25.03.
A quality shot provided by JPatt showin Shasta Boyz reppin' the dirty 530 after the race.
The evening concluded with bootie drinking, burgers, chile fries, beers, and guaranteed disaster with such a high concentration of boaters in one area. First and only necessary example. I locked my keys in the Subi and we got to meet the local tow trucker (and his wife of corse riding shotgun) after Keith (not Chiseki) was nice enough to lace us up with his AAA card.
Some good tree lickin' before Bic made smores in the Subi, ghetto fab.
On Sunday we arose with the sun and got a couple Brush laps in before the hot ride home. We were all stoked to have made the journey and felt fortunate to enjoy some of the endless bounty that our state provides. After a 5 hr. drive home we arrived in Santa Cruz to finish off the weekend with some relaxation, but the knowledge that Chiseki and I both procrastinated our homework till Monday set in. Monday, we could of chose a better day.
Hopefully all the boaters out there had fantastic weekends and I will have a video post of the trip up by the end of this weekend fo sho. Thanks for the support and I will have more to say soon. Later kiddies'.