Thursday, August 25, 2005

Late Summer Rafting in California

Weather has been just gorgeous! Upper 90's with cooling trends in the evening bring a welcoming respite from the murderous heat last month. Season is winding down on both the South Fork American and the Middle Fork American River. Yesterday, the Middle Fork was uncrowded and truely a wilderness gem. Our guest paddlers commented about the stark contrast of serene, quiet beauty of the canyon and the wild rapid ride through Tunnel Chute.

This is what rafting is all about... the beauty of Nature and it's potentially dangerous routes. Isn't this why people crave Class 5 rapids, black diamond runs on the ski slope, vertical mountain bike runs and climbing and conquering mountains? We are a distant cousin to the first pioneers that inhabited this planet. They were the ones who had to negotiate streams and rivers without knowing what lay ahead. Can you imagine seeing a Class 5 rapid for the first time in a small, handmade watercraft without knowing it was there? How did they survive and how did they figure out how to run those rapids? By trial and error... except their errors led to serious consequences.

Updates currently are predicting that we should have good flows on the South Fork American River for the early Fall months. Bill Center, former El Dorado County supervisor predicts, "... looking at the amount of water they will need to release to reach target November 1 reservoir elevations, I anticipate flows in September and October of similar magnitudes as in August. The trick will be to get reliable weekend flows. I can't imagine not having at least Saturdays through September, and well into October, barring any outages, planned or unplanned."

You can read his comments at, an information and forum website for the American River.

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