A very interesting season in California - Part 1
Here is the first part of a wonderful time in California this spring. It was a nice blend of work and play venturing out to run some Cali granite and also visit some dealers. I also worked at Otter Bar Kayak Lodge for yet another killer season so my 6-7 weeks in California were wonderful. On this trip, I teamed up with Ben Jackson, Daan Jimmink, Jess Matheson and a whole slew of other paddlers. It was quite group to say the least. A large Kiwi contingent, an Australian, a couple of Canadians, and a Euro. Super fun and super talented!
Each year I make the pilgrimage to the land of smooth granite to paddle with friends and make some cash. This year was no different. A large team of various international vagabonds headed south to the Kaweah are and I joined in. I absolutely love the whitewater found in the Kaweah drainage. Spectacular scenery, clear water, and smoooooooth granite. This year I was super stoked to take the new Bazooka and test is out. I've been really loving this kayak and was looking forward to sliding down some rocks and water with it.
The Hospital Rock section is a classic. A big put-in slide, lots of boulder gardens, some bedrock drops, and many sweet boofs. We had such an all-star team on this trip that we lapped the run several times in true mob style. Bumper boats the whole way. It was also really hot and super sunny...California perfection! At the end of 2 days lapping Hospital Rock, we rallied to the top of a large granite dome overlooking the run called Moro Rock. Everyone brought appetizers, a variety of beverages and we laughed the sunset away. A truly amazing group of people in a wonderful spot.
The next couple of days saw laps on the East Fork of the Kaweah. A different style run in a much tighter canyon. This was true gorge kayaking with granite walls, lots of bedrock slides and boofs, and commitment. This could be on of my favorite runs in California. We paddled this section then through the confluence of the Middle Fork and to camp. A long day yet thankfully, there were friends, food and fun waiting for us back at camp.
This was such an awesome trip and I hope to get on it again next year.
Part 2 coming up...it's a little more interesting.