May 21, 2007

Bald Rock

With a successful trip on Lovers Leap to get us back into paddling mode we made a few phone calls that night and organised a team to go and to a run called 'Bald Rock' the next day. Bald Rock is a two day run on the Middle fork of the Feather river, about 2hours north of our base in Coloma.

We met the esteemed Graham Charles and headed north to meet the rest of team at a place called Lake Oriville (horrible). Here we would organise to be picked up at the river mouth of the Feather where it flows into the lake. This would save us a 20km paddle out across the lake back to the car.

This is where we meet Dider (our token american) and what was meant to be the fifth member of the team Rodd. Some how Rodd didn't realise that we were doing a two day trip???? and when he finally realised he trew his toys completly. Instead of trying to sort something out he stormed out of the the truck down the road 20m and into the bush and vanished. This was all before we even got to meet him. Five minutes later he re-emerged from the bush 100m down the road and then wlaked off around the corner, never to be seen again. That was odd Rodd.

With our new team of four we headed off up the road to meet an equally weird fulla called Steve. Steve lives in the middle of now where with his wife, mosquito catcher and gaming computer (with seven fans). Its always and interesting experience when Steve runs your shuttle for you. Steve part in the trip was dropping us off at the river (put-in) and then driving the car back out to his place where we would pick it up later on. This saves an extra hours driving on shitty roads at the end of the trip.

With gear on and boats packed with over night supplies we headed off down stream.

Intially we were worried that things were going to be a little on the low side.... but this soon changed. It turned out that we actually had a bunch more water than expected. This made for 'juicy' paddling and kept the boys pretty focused in the big rapids.

The Bald Rock run is only about 12-14km in length but the paddling is definately packed in amking for a much nicer two day trip than the one day option. However, the main reason to spend the night in there is because of the amazing scenery. Bald Rock gets its name from the giant granite dome that towers above the river completley dominating the landscape.

After two hours of fantastic paddling we pulled into camp at 'Atom Bomb falls' and set up for the night. With 2kg of chicken and pasta between us for dinner we tucked into bed pretty happy with life that night.

Things get going on day two with a rush and a roar. About 10 minutes into the days paddling you reach Curtain Falls, a river wide 35 foot waterfall. After checking the line Zak was first off and landed sweet. Next was Dider representing the 50+ chraging paddlers int he group doing it well for the camera. Not wanting to miss out on the fun I just had to follow. Pretty good stuff really.

Me dropping curtain falls - image Zak Shaw

From there it was another 3 hours of fantastic class 5 (thats hard paddling) to the take out where we got to realx in the sun until out boat turned up (with a dozen cold beers) to whisk us back to reality. Nick, our captain, gave us the extended tour on the way home showing us thru the 100+ house boats moored on the lake... all in a days... holiday

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