Sunday, June 01, 2008
I have come to believe that quite often the best plan can be having no plan at all.... This is not say that all anticipation should be thrown to the wind, but merely there are more important assets than a well conceived blue print. A good plan is malleable and despite popular belief, should always be open to change. So, our plan was simple: Stay committed to the cause, open to the present, and constant in terms of our optimism. That was the plan...
As we stood in "Shuttle Steves" front yard we enjoyed a few cold beers while unloading our gear. We laughed about some of the experiences that had been created on the Middle Feather, and began to say our good byes. We had essentially come to the end our planned time line, and it was time to write the next chapter of our story. Ethan and Myself had traveled together from Portland and were committed to paddling in California for the next week. After hearing our sound plan of "paddling in California" Keel Brightman enthusiastically joined our crew. As soon as Keel had said "yes" he threw his keys to the breeze after Rob, Ryan, and Shawn had agreed to drive his car eleven hours back to Hood River. That evening we camped near the reservoir with Boone and Matt and speculated what would come of tomorrow.
After bidding goodbye to Matt and Boone we set out to find an Internet cafe and a boat welding shop. It turned out that they happened to be at the same spot (the north facing wall of a drive thru coffee house). After consulting levels we concluded that driving south would be a good idea and our intuition lead us to choose Coloma, CA as a destination. A timely phone call from a friend in Georgia informed me of the general location of a good friend in Coloma, and so off we went to Lotus Camp on the American River...
Good timing is always a strong indicator that your "plan" is on track. We arrived in Lotus Camp, and about an hour later my friend Nick Urquart came rolling right in. He had no idea we were coming, so it was a classic surprise. We had a few beers, and as one thing usually leads to another we ended up paddling down to a tiny little wave called "barking dog." We spent the remainder of Memorial Day drinking whiskey and ripping that tiny little wave into pieces. We made dinner at Louts Camp and than headed right down to the Coloma Club. We met Riley Cathcart at the Club and were invited to go to the South Silver the next day with the Kiwis. "8 am a the coffee shop? Perfect!" Now we had a crew, and a solid one at that! After closing the CC down we headed over to Lauren's house in order to keep the dance party alive. Eight a.m came early and within a few hours we were hiking up South Silver to take our first look at the Cali classic.
We hiked up to the vantage point below off ramp where we gained an incredible perspective of this creek. I was, and am truly lost for words... Eventually we returned to the car where we met Riley and the three Kiwis. We put-on and had an incredible day! Now back to the Coloma Club, pronto!
Pictures: (above)No caption necessary, Barking Dog Wave on the American River. (Below) Heading down the Autobahn. Catching the eddy at the bottom of the Autobahn. Keel B. dropping into the mix. Amongst it.. Dropping into Plastic Surgery. Keel Brightman giving the ole "rocket man" as he heads into the bottom of Skyscraper. Nick Urquart and Jay Rolling through the Tea Cups. Keel soloing the Tea Cups. Nick in the spotlight, Skyscraper. Nick below Off-Ramp. A True Classic! Mac "Classing up" the time honored tradition by taking his bubbly out of a Bootie.. Well done Mac!