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California Trip Report '07

Summer '07 is game-time for researching the River Gypsies' Guide - our first stop is California to check out some Sierra classics. Here's the report:

Generation Gap
After hearing about the Generation and Giant Gap sections on the North Fork American for years, I was stoked to hear that our friend Greg was going with some friends to do a two day car camping suppported trip out there that we could join up on. We left the Yuba and drove late to the takeout to meet the group for shuttle in the morning. The plan was that we would set our van at the Generation Gap takeout / Giant Gap putin (on river right), then we would drive all the way around to the river left trailhead from which we would hike in for Generation Gap. This complicated shuttle would allow us to hike into Generation, run the 9+ mile run, hike up the hill 1.5 miles (without boats) to camp at the van, then hike back in the next morning to paddle the 13+ miles out through Giant Gap. A worthy plan that required a bit too much shuttling and walking. We ended up hiking about 4.5 miles into the river, and got to the put-in at about 3pm. Since a shuttle driver had dropped us off, downstream was the only option for us and we put on.

The long hike in to Generation Gap.

We fell into a good rhythm of moving downstream with as much boat scouting as possible, and one person out for scouts and signals when we couldn't see from the boats. We made good time, but unfortunately I didn't end up having time to set up for any photos. Jim Barrett had a waterproof camera in his pocket, though, and got a few shots in there.

Leland on a typical Generation boulder garden.

Wendy in the flow.

The thickest part of Generation Gap is a short class V section known as the Dream Gap. This section has some really big rapids due to huge boulders fallen down the canyon walls, and constricts into a slightly scoutable but unportageable gorge at the end. We walked most of the Dream Gap due to the junky look of it at low water, but had to put in and give the last drop a go after getting a semi-scout from a perch on the canyon wall high above.

Leland running the final drop of Dream Gap.

We arrived at the takeout REALLY tired at 7pm, and started the super steep 1.5 mile hike up to the van. We arrived at the top totally exhausted to find Jim's wife pulling in with fresh hot pizza. Big thanks to Lindsay for the drop-off at the put-in and the dinner assist on Generation Gap!!