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Old 04-23-2012   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Bailey - 4 Falls portage!

We ran into the landowner at 4 Falls Sunday when our group was scouting/portaging first falls.
She was friendly, however, she does need the kayak community to respect their property or they could make things very hard for boaters not willing to run first falls. She indicated that shutting down access is not their intent, but that if we don't live by their rules, they are have that card in reserve.

First, they want boaters to exit at the stair that they have built in one of the upper eddies above first falls. I saw the stairs but wasn't sure if they were for our use our theirs...clearly, they intend for us to use them. They ABSOLUTELY do not want people using whatever eddy they please as they feel people exiting the river in various spots errodes the river and tramples the vegitation that they are trying to preserve.
Second, they want portaging boaters to get back in at a designated spot. She indicated that spot was marked with 2 orange flags. Our group looked for these but did not see them. We were guessing they may have put the flags below the entire rapid??
Third, be quick and leave no trace. They don't want people hanging out there, at all...not even for safety.

Clearly, even after a 5 minute conversation with her, there are some grey areas and expectation gaps. Our group couldn't tell where they want us to put back in, and the landowners don't understand that safety, and therefore standing along the banks watching your buddy's lines is important.
They also know that the BaileyFest is going to ramp up this year and we told them to expect alot more boaters all summer due to the lack of water. She wasn't too thrilled about either prospect. Please be courteous and make every attempt to follow their rules.
It would also be great if someone (Ian?) could contact her and hammer out where she wants boaters to get back into the creek after 1st falls or after portaging the whole rapid AND discuss the issue of safety and setting saftey and see if some arrangement can be made. I think these requirements need to be in print on the river where everyone can see them..there's alot of people that don't check the Buzz anymore but paddle Bailey. The landowner said there's a sign at the putin,...we didn't see it. Maybe a large one can be made and put on the wooden bridge just above the S turn gorge immediately above the 4 falls takeout?

Chris Morrison
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Old 04-23-2012   #2
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
So, I believe there are several landowners of the four falls property which could explain the confusion. I know Ian has been in touch with the landowners and was there to help them place the orange rods. They are up on the trail next to the upstream side of the stairs at the eddy to portage and below the entire rapid to put back in if you decide to portage the entire rapid. There are no markers to show where to put in below first falls, but that should be pretty obvious to everyone. The rods are small 1/2" orange rebar that are about 3' tall. There is also a small orange flag on the very edge of the water at the upstream side of the large eddy with the stairs you took out at. That is where they want us out at.

You paddled directly under a couple of the signs that state that the landowners understand scouting and safety but expect us to respect their property. I can't describe exactly the bridges they are on but there are at least three of them on the paddle in on the bridges.

Here is a link to the thread Ian already posted about this: Bailey Boaters: First Falls Portage / Scout Info

I also posted a thread about the parking just as a reminder:

Bailey Put-in Reminder

Ian will be back from Cali soon and I'm sure he can clarify some of this...but I think the overall take is to be very respectful and do our best to leave no trace! I know not everyone checks the buzz so we all have to spread the word to fellow boaters.

Still stoked about the weekend on the North Fork!! See y'all out there!


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Old 04-23-2012   #3
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When I paddled Friday, there were fresh logs stacked in a way to discourage access at the standard re-entry point right below First Falls. They need to understand that most boaters only portage First Falls and a minority portage the entire rapid, therefore, we use two re-entry points. Having one point at the bottom of the rapid would only encourage more people to run First Falls.
Grif for President!
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Old 04-23-2012   #4
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
I may be mistaken, but I thought it was understood by the landowners that just below first falls was a normal put in...he only marked the portage eddy and the bottom eddy but understood the normal put in below first falls as well. I think...
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Old 04-23-2012   #5
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Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
A couple of us spoke to one of the landowners a few weeks ago and he specifically showed us the big eddy take out (now marked with orange flags). He also showed us the normal putin right below 1st falls (in between the big boulders). He understood setting saftey and was very nice. He only asked that we move along and basically leave him alone. Pretty simple request by a really nice guy. As Gavin said there are signs on the bridges stating boaters are ok to scout and go.
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Old 04-23-2012   #6
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 328
Not sure what Ian has worked out but it seems it would be worth working out a deal to do some bank reinforcement landscaping and discrete sinage on their property to ensure it's obvious to all who portage/scout.

If the land owners decide they only want one put in then walk the entire rapid, don't act like you are entitled to do as you please.
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Old 04-23-2012   #7
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Mountains on the river!!!, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 702
or sack up and run the whole thing w/ no portage. don't swim though, no safety or pull a tom and land on a stump.

For those that have been in the last week, any new wood issues? Some stuff had been coming down with higher flows and those cut down evergreens were starting to move around too.
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Old 04-23-2012   #8
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Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
Was in on Saturday and no new wood. Orange flags and the normal putin below 1st falls are what he wants. We asked the landowner if he wanted any help and he said "no, I just want to be left alone on my property". Keep is simple.
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Old 04-24-2012   #9
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Originally Posted by deepstroke View Post
Having one point at the bottom of the rapid would only encourage more people to run First Falls.
When in Rome... Keep in mind that running First Falls used to be the normal option. Then the log that was perfectly blocking the sieve/undercut moved, and it started changing and getting sketchy. Even with the sketch factor, that rapid goes well much more often than not, and it could change for the better.

Unless you run it in an Ultrafuge or whatever the hell Forrest used for his last swim.

Kyle McCutchen
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