Wanted to get Utarded this labor day, and after days of nervous gauge watching, Joe's Valley/Lower Seely/Straight/Cottonwood Creek was still holding on to it's meager but still so fun level of 199.95 cfs. I've heard that 350 is the minimum on this, and I've also heard 175 is the low mark. I would have to agree with the 175 mark. I managed to tag a few rocks with my duck but I was surprised how much power the limited flow had.
I met up with Tim, the swimming dutchman, who rallied over from salt lake that morning. He was going to do some bouldering after we boated but was kinda enough to show me down the run. I was absolutely surprised to see ZERO other boaters, which is an absolute travesty considering how fun this run is in a time of whitewater starvation. Where was everyone else? Shoshone? Boring. Waterton? Been there, done that......This is the best off season run Ive ever done and we literally had the creek to ourselves.
The put it is below the first log portage. The upper 1/4 mile to the dam is supposedly fun class III but shallow. The creek starts off with a bang, pouring over several fun drops. There is a mildly tougher one in here somewhere.
The first rapid, Crack House, is a nasty affair. Mank to must make boof into rock on the right, and rock staircase into narrow slot on the left. I walked. Tim ran it with marginal results, although he ended up right side up.
The next drop of note is the Two Tounges, which are two fun holes back to back. Classic.
The climbers parking section is next, with an ugly move between a pourover and a log, followed by a sweet set of rapids.
Hard Left is an ugly drop with the flow going right over some sharks teeth into a swirling eddy. At this flow the only real move was to go into the eddy and then hard peel out back into the mess.
Somewhere in all of the above is a nice slot that is barely a boat width wide, an awesome boof or five, as well as several nice class III's.
Ore Cart is the big boy of the run. Three parts, the first one is an awkward hydraulic pushing into a mid-current rock. It supposedly causes a lot of swims. The next park is an awkward wave train next to a wall, followed by a long a technical weave through some boulders. This last section is the best single drop of the run.
From Ore Cart down there are a couple of fun moves but ultimately the takeout comes too quick. The action still goes on for a little bit afterwards but it supposedly isnt worth the effort, and ditches and obstructions soon appear.
The canyon is really beautiful, and the water is crisp and cold. If this is ever running, drop what youre doing and come do it at least once, you wont regret it!
typical flatwater section
upper part of ore cart
headed off to scout the lower part of ore cart
so many boofs (vidcap)
two tounges (vidcap)
blue angel madness (vidcap)
full writeup coming soon