Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Here and Now

The Team, minus one, is now gathered in the eastern Sierra mountain town of Mammoth Lakes, eagerly awaitng a dropping flow on the Devil's Postpile of the Middle Fork of the San Juaquin. We visited the falls and inspected the flow, what we found was slightly above the recomended level.

The Devil's Postpile is the supposed hardest run in California and was first run by Royal Robbins a long time ago.

Scott Lindgren and crew have been in the river 3-4 times, but all before the 1997 flood. Rick Smith and crew paddled the river last year in 7 days.

The river flows through the "Crucible" gorge past the Ballon Dome Batholith. The granite rises right out of the river, forcing 5 big rock piles in between a hell of a butt crack gorge, more on that later.

The river is the only one of the 7 rivers that cuts through the heart of the Sierra, starting in the volcanic Basalt of the Minaretes and flowing into the fine Granite we love so much to paddle.

There are many rock pile portages to be found in the river, and a bunch of great trout fishing.

This is the headwaters of the river.

photo by Nikki Kelly

We managed to assertain the flow into the Mammoth Pool to be 1000 cfs on Wens and are looking for 550 inflow, we are trying to kill time, but Tommy already has his lifejacket and helmet on, so it seems to be a losing battle.

We are going to inspect the flow again this evening and are planning on putting on Thursday or Friday afternoon.

Here is a shot of John Grace and Nikki Kelly with the Rainbow Falls in the background.

photo by Tommy Hilleke
Heading into town after our touristing trip to the Devil's Postpile National Monument we cruised the grocery store in town, stocked up and headed out into the desert to find the supposed hot springs.

Here is a shot of the sun setting east over the desert and on a thunderstorm.

photo by Nikki Kelly

photo by Nikki Kelly


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