Sunday, July 24, 2011

East Meets West

So we decided a few days before the wedding to go on a mission to Loves Falls on the North Fork of the Yuba outside of Downeyville (which hosts one of the most bad ass downhill trails to ever be ridden). We figured it would be a quick, easy, fun day. Little did we know, Love's was still pumping high and we weren't about to go in there with a crew of 7 that we had. Even though we were all relatively good paddlers...Some of the crew was pretty fired up, until we saw this "little" guy waiting for us in the middle of the scouting trail. You can see it (staring straight into the camera) in the middle of the photo. Very well camouflaged too. We all felt like this was an omen and that we should go elsewhere for our kayaking ventures through the day. We hastily grabbed the dog and turned around to head back to the cars. After a few hours driving (over the mountains and through the snow!!) we found ourselves standing at the side of the Upper South Fork of the Yuba, The Summit Run. I thought this was an interesting place to put a house, right in the middle of the river.We had gathered the river was a bit high but not un-runnable by any means. The first rapid, Three Blind Mice, straight up kicked me in the ass. But really it kicked me in the ankles when I petoned so hard at the first drop that I lost my paddle. There I was, in a huge rapid, with no paddle, and what I thought, no hand roll. Alas, I flipped over and somehow ended up in the smallest eddy on river right that a girl my size could find and I rolled up. Grappling onto the rocks, I watched the whole rest of my crew paddle past me and I was left all alone. That was a lonely feeling. I figured out how to get out of my boat and climbed out of the mini gorge we were in only to see Tommy Hilleke's smiling face at the top asking me if I was ok. It was the hardest hit I have ever taken and I was definitely shaken but good to paddle still so we headed downstream.

Pictured above is Jeff Paine the Freight Train entering into a rapid I can't remember the name of. I just want to note, it was July 5th and there is still snow on the mountains in the distance. There is lots of snow out there this year people!There are so many good rapids on this river but all I had heard about was this one rapid called East Meets West. Jason Hale, styling this rapid down to the "T" for sure. It has a great lead into a waterfall about 20 feet tall into the mandatory melt all the way to Taiwan. The Freight Train taking the boof line, in the new Black Ops Liquid Logic boat, but still ended up somewhere in southern Australia, I am pretty sure. The one and only, Tommy Hilleke, seconds after his swim out of East Meets West. I was sadly sitting upstream (because I was going to follow him) and all I could see was him going off the lip and then everyone on the shore scrambling for their ropes, I knew that he had just swum. Needless to say, I was really scared then!!!So I finally got my guts about me (after I cleaned my shorts out) and I headed downstream, here I come!Looking like its going to be a good line!Oh gosh, maybe I can save it from here!!Nope, there was no saving it. I pretty much freewheeled the bottom drop. It was so soft and nice to land in it was like a pillow under there. I rolled up and paddled out partly laughing partly sad because I didn't get a huge boof!
After the slightly scary and kinda fun run I came home to find the bride to be mowing the lawn! Even while shes doing yard work shes still good looking!!

I got to ice my ankles and sit at the computer the rest of the day. :-(

Coming up next..... some wedding photos!!!

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