It's raining. Finally... and waking up this morning, the slippers and robe came out for the first time in a long time. The rain is gentle and everything outside looks green and alive. Fall is here and the trees are just starting to turn color. Rain drips slowly off the leaves and the air smells so fresh. Soon, the Sierras will be covered with snow and a promise of Spring rafting... and maybe, another high water season?
Throughout most of October, flows seemed to disappear on most raftable rivers except for the South Fork American where the flows held to 1,500 cfs most days. Kayakers, guides, and private boaters had the river to theirselves.
W.E.T. guides did the Feather River recently during the monthly release a couple of weeks ago. The rafting trip covers two sections; the Cresta Run, a Class 4, and the other section, the Tobin Run, a Class 5. Saul, senior headguide, led the trip and Justin, Maggie, Zach, Jonny, Eric, Steve & Mike rounded out the two rafts as Ryan and Alex were kayaking. While Ryan didn't do the Cresta Run, he hit the Tobin Run with a vengeance. The W.E.T. guides met Renee from Cuba who has done the Tobin Run 21 times! Sweeeet. For this last final trip of the season, a celebratory mood set the end of an amazing 2005 rafting season!
Guides and kayakers are scattering and gravitating to other rivers throughout the world. Ryan is heading for Brazil to do 50+ runs on Class 5 rivers. Some will be first descents and he will be back with some incredible stories. Sigh... such is the life of some of our professional guides or kayakers. For those of us who are sitting in front of the computer or pushing papers across our desk... there is pure envy in looking at that lifestyle. I, personally, can't wait for Spring Rafting Trips to begin!