Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Eel River Mountains to Sea - Day Four

Big Water

On day four we awoke at Camp Cranky Pants to clear skies.  A good night's sleep and we were ready to paddle to the North Fork of the Eel - about 17 miles.
Launching from Camp Cranky Pants on Day Four
We started the day enjoying the scenery.  Since Dos Rios, the river has been moving fast but didn't have a lot of whitewater.  We knew that we would encounter some whitewater on the Dos Rios to Alderpoint Stretch but weren't sure when.  One of our favorite sights was an Ent - a walking oak tree - at least in our imagination.
The Walking Oak - An Ent?
A little further down, we recognized spy rock from photos.
Spy Rock
After this it was grab on hold for some spectacular big water whitewater.  We didn't get any photos of the whitewater because it was so fast and big and just the two of us reading and running down the river.  I LOVED it!!!  The waves were so big that you had to sight your line from the crest.  Jeff mentioned that this was the type of whitewater on the Grand Canyon.  It was so fun that we debated dragging out kayaks up to the railroad bed and portaging them up river to run a bit of it again.

In about 2 hours we reached the confluence with the North Fork of the Eel and our camping destination for the day.  It was only lunch time.  We had traveled 17ish miles in 2 hours.
Confluence of the North Fork Eel with the Eel.
We had lunch along the North Fork and debated whether to keep going or to set up camp for the night.  It was sunny and warm and we enjoyed watching a turtle walk up the side of the river, flop in and swim about 20 feet down stream and then walk back up and do it again and again and again.
Our lunch time visitor.
We decided to enjoy a day of sunshine in camp.  This has become our multi day paddling habit - make miles on rainy days and enjoy time in camp on sunny days.
North Fork Camp
The camp at the confluence of the North Fork Eel is a beautiful place.  We enjoyed some time taking in the scenery, catching up on trip notes, and took a short hike.
Our tarp and tent way, way, way, down there on the beach.
Beautiful scenery, interesting wildlife, fun whitewater, sunshine, and good company made for a great day!
Cate and Jeff camping on the Eel River. - April 2011.
Day 5 Whitewater and the Dilapidated Eel River Railroad

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