Right now The Upper C is running about 3,000 cfs and will still be pretty swift in the normally floated sections such as Pumphouse to Rancho del Rio.
If you want to get out, the section from Rancho or State Bridge to Catamount may be a better choice as it's a lot more mellow; the water will still be flowing swiftly.
One place to meet folks to boat with is the High Country River Rafters club which has a website and you may be able to hook up with them via their facebook page or get on their email list to make contact with other newbies.
And keep posting here - you should be able to meet some folks to boat with!
I've been rocking a ducky for a number of years on mostly up to class III and occasionally IV water, but this is my first season driving solo, and I'd love to do some easier stuff with you as I'm experimenting on a tandem boat by myself. I teach high school, and I am on summer break right now, so I'm pretty flexible about time (and actually prefer weekday mornings if at possible). I've never run the upper C below State Bridge, but I agree with Andy that it might be running a bit fast for you to start out on the pumphouse section, and I'd be down to check it out.
I just purchased a pair or duckies this year as well and have been running the upper co at least weekly. I owned a raft since the 80's and I must say, it is taking me a while to get used to it. I started at State Bridge for the first trip and being that close to the water was a bit of a shock. We've now been running from pump house, but I can't bring myself to get on bigger water yet. I think the best run to start out will be State Bridge to Two Bridges. Really great wave trains for class II water at the 3k level. It has been taking about 45 minutes to state bridge and another 60 to two bridges. I swam a rapid last week because I am really struggling with entering eddies for some reason. Super safe place to practice!
The pump house down was unnerving to say the least, but certainly doable. I vote for a put in at Rancho until you feel more confident.
BTW, what boat did you get?
I am new to a ducky this year as well. Mostly going down Boulder Creek, but Deckers is another great place for a mellow learning run. I swam on the Upper C this weekend, wasn't too bad, but I might wait until the water goes down a little bit before I do it in an IK again (still getting used to big water - bigger than Boulder creek that is)! The section below Yarmony to State bridge was pretty straightforward and would be a great place to start. We have a group of people going down in a raft this coming weekend (7/12), if you are interested in joining us in the raft or in your ducky: eight 57. 445. seven532 Elizabeth.
Thigh straps and a foot brace make a world of difference in your ducky. no matter what ducky you have. I run class IV in my ducky on a weekly basis. But I've been duckying for a few years here in Idaho.
I bought my Tributary Tomcat about 6 years ago now, and have logged over 1000 river miles with about 25 different river runs. I was introduced to thigh straps and footpegs early in my training. I can absolutely tell you that both items are a must if you really want to get better control and quicker response to do harder runs. I have become a local instructor in our area and love teaching good paddling skills to get better. Understanding the character of rapids and waves are critical when running IK,s, which we run (Inflatable Kayaks) not duckies. It takes some time to get really good on these guys so you can do different rivers, just upgrade the boat to help yourself get better. Maybe we can hook-up sometime later in the year. I'd meet everyone half-way like the lower Blue or something. Contact is 970-497-6512!!
I have been using the thigh straps, but have not tried foot pegs. When discussing foot pegs, would the extra thwart be effective? I have the Tomcat as well and have an extra thwart and thought about using it for my feet. Thoughts?
The extra thwart helps keep the feet in the boat, but there is no comparison to the control you get with footpegs. The pegs are glued to the sides of the outer bladders so you actually get to use your thighs for quick tilts or down pressure for quick turns and spins. The people at Salida Boatworks are the best, because they have done alot installments. The cost was $80 back in 2009, so probably a little more today.
Gunnerman, thanks. I bought a raft from the good folks in Salida, so I will see what they say. I was looking at the pegs that you drill, AIRE and not glue though. In your opinion, is there a difference? The quote I received in Denver puts it at about $160 a boat with purchase of the pegs.
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