Sunday, July 27, 2008

Minnesota, California, and home again

photo: Toby Mcdermott

From April until now I've been traveling around the United States seeking out the good stuff.  I accomplished a lot of my goals and in turn learned a lot more about myself.  From the cold rivers of Minnesota to the smooth granite of California it was a spring and summer I'll never forget.  Now I'm back home in the southeast working every day with hopes of doing it all over again.  Here are some photos from the past couple of months all crammed into one post. Hope you enjoy

Kaweah River:  The Kaweah River drainage was one of my first stops in California. Here are some shots of the hospital rock section of the middle kaweah.  This drainage is a must visit.  Warm days, cool water, and easy acess. 
Photos: Baker Davenport

Me and Paul Stamilio

above: entrance into the 420 gorge

Next it was on to scout a creek with Baker Davenport.  We woke up early after paddling across a resevoir and hiked about 6 miles upstream.  It was an incredible place with some great rapids and beautiful scenery.  I never got a chance to kayak it, but the hiking there was stellar.

Photos: Baker Davenport

West Cherry Creek: 4 miles in and two days on the river.  Here are some photos of me, Evan Garcia, Paul Stamilio, Pat Keller and Joe Barkley.  We had a great trip with plenty of water.  We also ran the graceland slide; a monster slide pouring off the mountain at the put in.
above: The monster in the distance
below: Stamilio before the hike

above: This was one of the most beautiful campsites i've ever camped at.  Up on a granite dome, we could see the whole cherry creek watershed, the slide and the divide between the eastern and western sierra.  To our left was the Stanislaus drainage.  This was one incredible view.
below:  Stamilio stomping the Grace mega piton, and Pat running the Charlie Beaver's double drop

Upper Cherry Creek:  Yes it really is as good as they say it is.  Not too many whitewater shots, but it shows how beautiful this place really is.  Below is Evan after the hike; 11 miles with a loaded boat for a two day run on the river.  We ended up losing a couple people, and some showed up the next morning.  We had a great medium high water level, and an awesome crew.  Me, Paul, Joe, Pat, Grattmans, Evan, Clayton, Jason Hale, and Frenchie.  Cherry Bomb gorge should be a destination for every creek boater at some time in their lives.

above: Grattmans brushing his teeth looking at the teacups
below: Keller in the Gorge. 

above: Grattmans and Frenchie in the gorge

above: the crew

Middle Fork of the Kings River:  Ok this one is the one to write home about if you ask me.  This river requires everything out of you.  It demands it and deserves it.  It has every type of kayaking, endless endless whitewater, great kayaking, more kayaking, beautiful hiking, incredible scenery, and five or six days on the river.  It's the best overall river that i have ever done.  Our crew consisted of myself, Joe Barkley, Will Pruitt, Johnny KY, and Jason Hale.  We hiked the 13 miles over the pass in one day, and paddled for four.  All in all i think we paddled 37 miles and dropped over six thousand feet.  Our second day we paddled all the way to Tahipiti dome from the money drop- about 17 miles.  It ended with the Big Bad Beaver a big slide in the middle of the woods.  I gave her a go and so did Dave Fusilli.  The bottom 9 treated us well except for losing KY's boat and gear.  All in all it was the best trip ever.  Thanks boys for being a part of it.
above: south lake trail head for the 12 miles up bishop bass and into le conte canyon
below: Over the pass what a view
Photos: Jed Selby

below: arriving at the put in.  what a view
above: Joe hanging out
below:  KY about to put his boat down after the long trek

above: Will at camp one
below: Day two we came to a big slide with an amazing waterfall pouring in.

above:  The Big Bad Beaver. What a ride. Photo by Jed Selby
Below: Me at Tahipiti Dome
Below: South Lake trail head after the 8 hour shuttle.  Thanks Joe for the veggie oil rig.  I couldn't have made it happen without you buddy

What a summer.  Thanks to everyone i paddled with summer Paul, Baker, Adam, Pat and Joe.  I appreciate you guys carting me around.  It was amazing trip and i hope we can do it again