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    CJW4D
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    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Here’s another brief trip report from a highlight run that we caught in California this past May for those interested.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>After roughly two weeks on the road, Terry and I were running out of time before having to head back to STL for the summer;    Having paddled 12 or 13 days in a row, we were all feeling due for a nice rest day and maybe something a bit less stressful as (our) trip was beginning to come to an end.  The thoughts of a relaxing and chill day were abruptly put on hold when Terry, the logistics king, concluded that South Silver may indeed be dropping into a runnable flow in the next 24 hours or so…</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>A little back story to this particular creek;  Terry, Levi and I had visited it 4 years prior, in 2016 with high hopes of running it.  When we arrived, we hiked up the trail alongside the creek and almost immediately knew it was hundreds of CFS too high to attempt.   Regardless of the high-water, the gorge was incredibly steep and intimidating.  I remember very clearly standing along side that creek and realizing that even if the flows were ideal, the landscape and the overwhelmingly steep nature of the creek had me faaarrrr out of my comfort zone.     I knew that I’d need to come back not only with lower water levels, but more experience and a better mindset.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Fast forward, we pounced on Terry’s premonition and headed a few hours to set up camp at the base of the creek.  When day broke, the levels had dropped overnight into a perfect runnable flow!   </span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>With a later than usual start, we loaded up the truck and started making our way up the mountain and eventually onto some good ole’ 4 wheel drive roads to try to find an access trail down to the river.  After searching for close to an hour, we finally stumbled across a small ‘game’ trail, that turned out to be the trail we were looking for down into the gorge.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>After a quick 1/4 mile hike downhill to the creek, we immediately knew we were in for a real treat.  </span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The next mile of whitewater would proceed to drop over 650 ft a mile, with only roughly 20 feet being lost to a mandatory portage.    At the put in, we all scouted the first rapid, Autobahn.  I can’t think of a more fun way to start a river than the 300 yard long slide called Autobahn!</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>After the first slide, were started scouting the rest of the gorge, and boy oh boy it was STACKED.   From slides to chutes, the run reaches its pinnacle about halfway though where the river drops a significant amount of gradient down the infamous “Skyscraper” rapid and immediately into “Off Ramp”.    With the sun soon to be hidden behind the gorge walls, we all decided it’d be in our best interest to leave our boats in the gorge, hike out, and get an early start tomorrow.  It had become very clear that with no guide, and little knowledge of the run, that we were in for a doozy!</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The next day, we arose early and made our way back down to our boats.  We ran the Autobahn one more time and then proceeded down into the never ending slides, drops and teacups that awaited downstream.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>We all took turns scouting, then filming and setting safety while leapfrogging down the beautiful creek. After five or 6 iconic tea cup drops, ranging from 6 to 15 feet, we were standing at the top of Sky Scraper and Off Ramp.   After identifying the hazards and scouting a line, we took turns firing up the crux rapids of the run!   </span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>After a celebrating the crux of the run, we had a brief portage up and around an unrunnable sieve pile.    We soon put in below the wood pile and proceeded to blast an awesome quarter mile section of whitewater that culminated in a 25’ drop known as Plastic Surgery.   This was the very drop I had spent some time standing above back in 16’, and boy oh boy did it feel good to see it again with some confidence!</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>After the crew blasted through Plastic Surgery, we boogied on down through one or two last slidey rapids and eventually to the take out.  A quick 10 minute walk up to the trail and we were back at the car parked at the bottom.</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>It really was one of the most fun and enjoyable days on the water that I can remember!  I couldn’t think of any other crew to make the experience as magical as it was!</span>

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Enjoy!</span>

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