What happens in California after a few years of drought. The reservoirs get low and sections of rivers normally underwater become runnable again. This weekend we did the Big Bend Run on the North Fork of the Feather River. This section is normally under 35 feet of water but the reservoir is so low we were able to run about 6 miles of class 3/4 whitewater. It starts out with a short paddle to a 35 ft. dam that makes a big slide/drop into the river. At first I was very nervous, but I watched several people run it and I decided to try it. I followed my Dad to the wave above the drop and Mom follwed me. When I started to go over I felt like I was going to slam to the bottom, but the roostertail wave carried me gently to the slide portion and the pillowy waves at the bottom. I had so much fun that I paddled right over to the ropes hanging on the side of the dam and climbed back up to do it again and again. We had set up a pulley system for boats and everyone had to climb up a rope to get back up, but I was pulled up because I weighed less than some of the boats!
After several photo drops on the dam, we continued down the river for a lot of fun rapids. Box Car rapid was a riverwide hole that had a small rock slot that I was able to shoot through, while most of the other people had to drop into the hole and were flipped. After a short lunch break and a fun seal launch, we continued paddling through a few more class 4 gorge rapids into the lake where we were picked up by motor boats and shuttled 7 miles across the lake to our cars. I hope to do this again next week. Thanks Scott Sady for the great photos!