Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dead River Weekend – Day Two – June 8, 2014

Grand Falls
After a fun night around the campfire, the morning started late for us on Sunday.  Most of us enjoyed a nice breakfast at Riverdrivers before packing up and bringing our boats to the shuttle.  We were still at the campsite at around 9:10 when Kelly came down to tell us that the shuttle was leaving – that got us moving. 

Once at the put-in, we decided to take the short walk to see Grand Falls before getting on the river. It would be a mellower run today with a release of 2,400 cfs, and another 350 cfs coming from Spencer Stream for a total of 2,750 (class II/III). While the waves in Spencer Rips were still 2 – 3 feet, the rapids that followed were significantly smaller than on Saturday.

Mine Field
We stopped for lunch at Hayden’s Landing, and then ran Hayden’s, Gravel Pit and Enchanted Stream before eddying out on river right above Elephant Rock.  I went through the slot first to see if I could get some pictures. The big hole above Elephant Rock that had filled my boat on Saturday was gone, and I made it through fine.

The next major rapid was Mile Long – my nemesis from the day before.  The waves and holes were smaller, but it was still a long, challenging rapid.  Just like on Saturday, I filled my boat about half way down, but this time I was able to get to shore. After emptying my boat, I was able to pick my way through the remaining rocks and holes. 

Andy running Elephant Rock
As we approached Upper and Lower Poplar, I didn’t see much of a difference from the day before.  The waves were a little smaller, but these were still significant class III rapids.  Upper Poplar went quickly, and we proceeded to the final rapid of our trip – Lower Poplar Falls. 

In Lower Poplar, I took the far right line, but the rest of the crew went middle right.  Paul and Jon went a little to far left and had to blast through the big hole at the top.  Jon flipped in the hole as he had the day before  but at the lower level, he was able to roll up and continue down the rapid.

We gathered at the bottom of the rapid both sad and relieved that the run was over.  With just one short swim on Sunday, the run had gone much quicker – about 5 hours.  We headed back to the cabin tired after two great days on the river. 

The crew minus Kelly
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