Monday, December 17, 2012

of the class II variety

It's interesting how many of us paddlers will travel far and wide to explore new waters. We'll drive hours to get on a new river or explore a new piece of coast. We'll plan vacations to go to remote places, using days of precious vacation time just to get someplace that isn't all that different from our backyard. It's so easy to overlook what we have around us.

Confluence Put-In
I live right by the American River, downstream a short ways from where the North, Middle, and South forks come together into Folsom lake. I don't paddle Folsom lake often - too many powerboats in the summer, more 'interesting' places to go in the winter - and I mostly just paddle the South Fork when teaching. I've never paddled on the Middle Fork, and haven't done anything on the North Fork in the past couple years.

This past weekend I got on two new stretches of the North Fork. They were both class II so the paddling wasn't the real attraction. I got to take a new boater down - one who lives in the area and wanted to experience the beauty of her local river. I got to enjoy something new and different a half hour from my house. And I got to enjoy that beauty as well.

Shirttail Put-In
The confluence run starts where the Middle and North forks meet and continues to Folsom Lake. It covers the location of the no-longer-planned Auburn dam and has some class II-III rapids and nice scenery. The next day we did the Shirttail run which ends at Lake Clementine (just above the confluence). I'd done the top part of it before but never paddled all the way to the lake. The scenery is even better here, the same look and feel as the class IV Chamberlain Falls run right above it.

While I doubt I'll be doing either run very frequently, I feel better knowing my backyard a little better and appreciating what it has to offer. I'll continue to travel to find new and interesting places to paddle, but I'll try to remember that I have it pretty good right where I am, and the lack of time or money to travel around the globe is no excuse not to get out there and enjoy yourself.

Sorry for the lack of photos and video - it was cold and rainy and very short days.

1 comment:

  1. It was a great paddle. It's always nice to discover a new run (even if the flatwater paddle out goes on a little too long). I hope to get some more cold-water runs in again soon.

    On a side note, if you would like to borrow some of the shots I took, feel free.