Monday, August 8, 2011

Cache Creek, Aug 7

Ok, I'm really short on time here, but this post simply won't happen if I don't get it written up today since I'm heading off to Vancouver for the week early tomorrow morning.  Justin, Josh, Erica and I went to do the Rumsey section of Cache Creek.  We got an early start, and were ready to hit the water around 9:30am.  Erica and Josh rented an inflatable kayak, while Justin and I brought our packrafts. 
This field of thorny/painful bushes were freaking awful.

While they got set up with their kayak, Justin and I hiked upstream for a half mile, crossed over some rusty barbed wire, then ran through a field of pricker bushes on private land to get a bit more of rapids in.  Things started off quickly with my first self-navigated class II section, but Justin and I pulled through, quickly realizing the utility of the spray deck. 
Me trying to avoid being seen while putting in...people seemed to be serious about their private land up there

We reached Erica and Josh's put-in site, but they weren't there since they had thought we had already started.  We booked it upstream, not knowing if they thought we were in front of them or not.  Luckily, we ran into them waiting 10 minutes later.  From here, the four of us enjoyed the various sections of class II-class III- whitewater, stopping occasionally to dump water from our boats, eat food, and swim around in the rapids. 
Staying close together in some fun rapids

There were two bridges during the section, with terrific rapids following both.  The first bridge (a dam?) required a portage, and had a sustained and awesome II+ section that followed.  I was paddling through when I heard two guys on a rock screaming to me "HELP HIM OOOOUUUT!"  I look over and Justin's blue packraft was upside down floating next to me.  "SHIT" I thought, but then I saw his smiling face pop up out of the water between my raft and his.  He was fine, but swam the entire rapid, repeatedly trying to get into his raft.  The backpack made it difficult to flip over in the water, and the constant laughter I was enduring made it difficult to concentrate on the rapids. 
Justin trying to get back into his raft after his wet exit adventure

The second bridge had the only class III section, with a guide telling everyone to stay right.  This was shorter than the superior II+, but also really fun with some very fast moving water and a big hole. 

It was a good mix of adrenaline pumping action and napping in the boats
After this, we had some more fun IIs and general good times before we left.  We headed to Napa where we ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Ubuntu.  It is probably the best vegetarian food I've ever had during my lifelong career as a non meat eater.  One tip: get the "family style" meal - it lets everyone try many of their dishes in very large quantity.  SO GOOD!

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