If I paddle for the rest of my life I may never get on all the runs I would like to do in the Sierras. But it's a fun goal to shoot for. The other day I completed a step on that Journey - after doing the North Fork Mokelumne I have done at least one run in every major drainage: Kern, Tule, Kaweah, San Joaquin, Merced, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Mokelumne, Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba, Feather. One of the best parts of whitewater kayaking is exploring a new area - literally not knowing what is around the corner. The NF Mok (Devil's Nose) was a great day and afterward I drove up a little further to find that just upstream is where the incredibly scenery starts (and where the Fantasy Falls run ends). I had no idea it was quite so picturesque in this little drainage.
I was also trying out my new boat - I got my Jackson Villain S last week but was teaching over the weekend (works for that as well) so I was excited to get a better chance to really see how it handles. I've been paddling the Rocker for the past three years and while I love the boat for it's forgiveness and ability to shrug off most anything it definitely loses something on big water runs. The Villain paddle a lot like an improved Rocker - same general forgiveness but with some edge to steer better and a little faster. Before the Mok we hit Kyburz - both have a big water feel and the Villain really responded well. It will take a little more before I have it dialed in but I think I'm going to be really happy.
Here is a little video from both days: