Monday, January 02, 2006

Wild Weather, Wild Flows

...having a hard time typing in 2006 today... weather has been slammin' the past few days and rivers came up to last spring's high water levels.Lots of rumors and news are swirling around the rivers since the rains started. There was a posting on CaliProducts from members regarding the far North rivers such as Cal Salmon and Klamath River.

Read more kayaking news at CaliProduct's Forum. Roads washed out, bridges bent and bowed, extreme flows... you know, the norm for this type of weather. And over on the American River; the North Fork posted flows at 60,000 cfs <for real!>, the Middle Fork came up to 32,000 cfs and the South Fork on New Year's Eve was around 35,000 cfs.

Hilde, a long time kayaker and rafter in Coloma noted a successful kayak run that day by Jared N. <former guide for W.E.T. River Trips; now a rep for several kayak manufacturers> and a group of kayakers as they floated past her deck on the South Fork. We received a phone call in the office right after Jared got off the river and he stated that he was heading for more action on the water. On river-right at Troublemaker Rapid, part of the road was washed away. By today, the rivers have receded to "normal" high flows. These flows are accommodating to the advanced enthusiast, and the magnetic draw of the river has already begun for 2006!

A word to the rafting public as you all plan for river trips this year. Be on the alert to several new rafting websites that seem to sell only passes or tickets to trips. Booking services can be really time saving; but if I am planning a trip for my family, I want to know who the heck is taking me down the river! It is much better to have a dialogue with the actual company that is providing the rafting trip for you. Email, phone or write to the rafting company. Ask about permits, insurance and safety record. If the company can not provide this information; paddle to the nearest rafting website where you can get this info.

Note to all regarding the "Chasing 50" crew: Ryan reports their first descent in Brazil for January 1st. The rest of the crew will be there around January 11th. Photos and videos should be awesome and we pray for their safe return back to the Lotus/Coloma Valley this upcoming spring.

Rafting has begun and we are selling our May and June weekends first. Those are the hottest dates and most corporate and family groups are vying for space now. Always ask for Group Rates for the best savings. For the more advanced paddlers, we recommend coming out this March and April for higher flows on the rivers such as the North Fork American and the good ol' South Fork. We hope to see all of you on the river in 2006. Happy New Year and God bless all you crazy boaters!

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