Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cali Goods, Part 1

So I got to head to California after an awesome trip to Colorado this year to not only do some awesome creeking but see one of my good friends, John Grace get married to the most awesomest woman ever. Toby McDermott and I loaded up my trusty Subaru and headed west into the sunset.
I think at this point I was almost sleeping and Toby woke me up from my slumber to see this amazing view... over the Oklahoma flatlands...
We took I-40 West the whole way, somewhere around 2300 miles later we found ourselves at the put in to the main Keweah. Everything was still pumping so Hospital Rock and the East Keweah were out of question, but there is nothing wrong with running some big water class 4 after an epic 40 hour drive.
We added to that drive by going further north and heading to the Whiskey Flat Bridge, the takeout to the Secret Stash on Big Kimshew. We had heard the flows were right and that it was going to drop out pretty soon so we rallied to get on it.
This was the end result of our load onto Jason Hales truck. Which also included 8 people. We ended up having a crew of 11 on the river with us.
People in California are so smart!! They all use Werner Paddles!!
Since the day was pretty much just full of mad bombing and making sure that we made it off the river before sundown there aren't many pictures of kayaking. Sadly. This is the Island Drop its the first (of very few) portage.

Since we were looking from above these were the only rapids that you could see on the drive up to the put in. To scale, that slot on the left was somewhere between 8 feet and 10 feet high. You roll around the corner and head right where you are sent off your first very nice 20 footer of the day. There was much more where that came from.
The only time that we really stopped was to hang out at Frenchies Forty. We ate some food and rehydrated. We were planning on going straight into the Secret Stash after we finished the run and we knew there were some big rapids in there.
Jason Hale, our fearless leader.
Myself, stoked at the end of the trip. Happy to be with such an awesome crew of people and stoked to have just run some of the biggest rapids of my life, blind. "You can only run a rapid blind once."

Big Kimshew into the Secret Stash is like starting on a micro creek way up in there and then you end on a full on river with some massive holes and some really rowdy lines to be made. There is no other river that I have ever been on that has given me this much bang for my buck. Super sick run.

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