Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kayaking on the Trinity River (Updated)

Last weekend, Neil, Bren and myself headed over to the Trinity River for a weekend of paddling. The weekend started out auspiciously with a huge thunderstorm Friday night. Luckily we didn't leave until early Saturday morning. Our first day on the river started out great. The Pigeon Point Surf hole was perfect for surfing and Neil and I played it up on the wave. You can tell from the videos that Neil is a much better Surfer than I am. Once I get on the wave, all I can think about is not flipping over and getting walloped by the river.

Here is a video of Neil surfin' it up on the Pigeon Hole

My feable attempt at surfin'

The river gets the best of me here:

After playing in the Pigeon Hole for awhile, we ran the rest of the run. It's a great stretch of river that is mostly class 3 with forgiving rapids for the most part. We saw two bald eagles on the Sat. run. Below are some of the rapids and videos of us running them.

Thegroup's run through Hell Hole.

Fishtail rapid.

I will have more videos uploaded soon. Saturday after our run down the river, Neil took Bren and was teaching her how to roll a kayak back upright in a river. It's an essential tool if you want to stay in your boat once you flip over. He set her paddle down in the water and was helping her with positioning when the paddle began to float away. Because he was only in three feet of water he did not have a life jacket or dry top on. Well he went after the paddle (which was Teresa's) and grabbed about 2/3's of the way across the river. Now the water in the Trinity is extremely cold and it started to take its toll. He couldn't make it back to shore carrying the paddle and swimming at the same time. So he made a wise decision and ditched the paddle and was barely able to grab a branch that was sticking out of the bank.

Once he was able to catch his breath he ran to camp and told me what happened. We jumped in my truck to go look for the paddle and soon realized there was no way to find it in the darkening canyon. We went back to camp and decided to look for it on our run the next day.

Well just out of camp in a side channel I found the paddle wedged in a bush. It was definitely a great start to the day. It's amazing how quickly really cold water can tire you out while swimming. that's why it's so important to have life jackets and cold water gear while paddling the rivers up here or in the Sierras.


ngarriso said...

While I love your Blog, I cant help but wonder if it is used to toture your Mother. I see you flipping over and hear about Neil swimming in rapids without the proper clothing and I worry so much. Wouldnt life be easier if you played chess or did Video games:) love you Son.

Greg said...

Well, I roll over after I flip, and Neil will never go into the rapids without a lifejacket again. While he was gallivanting in the cold water I was safe at camp drinking a beer and reading a book.