Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Team Swain North: Checking In
I almost paddled with Laura....A contingency from Oregon swept south in route to Fantasy Falls when Laura politely declined my offer to go for a paddle. We had been on the road for about ten hours when we accepted the fact that we did not have a shuttle for the river we were traveling towards. Despite the many, and often creative, scenarios we created it was now clear that he was not going to call. Our shuttle driver had fallen off the radar and I was now faced with living up to the remark I had made earlier. Trying to stay positive, I said something to the degree of, "if we can't get a shuttle I will just leave some shoes at the takeout and run it on Sunday." Tasting the potential ramifications of my comment, I called Laura and pleaded with her to come join us. The Fantasy Falls section of the Mokelumne River is a classic 3 day trip in the Sierras that, similar to other rivers, requires a fairly significant shuttle. Though I truly wanted to paddle with some old friends; the honesty reality was that I didn't want to run 50 miles on Sunday, nor did the boys want to sit around ALL day and wait. Following her decline, Laura did Mention that Tim Collins was in the area. So, even though I did not get to paddle with Laura I will give her credit for saving the day. "Onward to Salt Springs Reservoir!"
After exploring some of the areas finer logging roads, sometimes twice, we finally arrived at the Salt Springs reservoir. The frustration of driving around for hours and being less then 15 miles from our destination was washed away upon seeing Tim happily asleep in the dirt. The next morning we geared up and packed into Alex's truck and began our drive up to 7,000 ft.
For the next three days we made our way through one of the most beautiful river valleys I have ever witnessed. Long quality gorges mixed in with equally long quality portages offered no shortage of challenge. I could ramble on, but sometimes words can not explain how rewarding it is to just to get up, push off, and work your way down the river with a great group of friends! So, I will leave it at that!
To offer closure to our shuttle saga; upon crossing the lake we were happily surprised to discover that the someone (possibly the previously mentioned missing shuttle driver) had driven Alex's truck and left it at the put-in?
Hope to paddle with you soon Laura!
Breakfast day #2
"You only get to run something blind once." -DD
Tim getting ready to go DEEP on Fantasy Falls!
Salt Springs Reservoir