Any early reports on yellow jackets? Hopefully not a repeat of last year but holding off buying any YJ traps until it looks more like I might need them (mid July trip).
I just got home today. We launched 6/28 and took out 7/5. The river was 3.5 ft. when we launched and about 2.2 ft. when we finished. 3.5 is the highest I've ever done. We moved fast for the first two days, and were able to do three layover days. I got bounced off my seat (but not off the boat) in Five Mile & Elkhorn (got up close & personal with the Elephant Rock). Other than than that I was good. Our trip leader almost got pitched out in Big Mallard. He led the way on the left/traditional line, but the hole was big & nasty. He managed to avoid a flip and waved us off. The rest of us hauled ass to the right and made a clean run past the monster hole. Chittam & Vinegar were fine at just over 2 feet on the last day. We started the trip in rain and ended in blazing sun & heat. No problems with yellow jackets at all. Some of us got a few mosquito bites, but that was it. The ranger at Corn Creek told us that Mackay Bar was open to boaters if the open sign was out. We stopped briefly to check it out. They were friendly enough and let us refill water, but that was it. No store, no ice, no bathroom for boaters. They made it clear in a nice way that they don't serve boaters any more. Get your water, ice, beer, soda pop, T-shirts, and ice cream at Buckskin Bills. The trip was great & we had a good time as always on the MS.Cataraftgirl, are you back? Trip report on YJ's, rapids ,etc would be appreciated.
Any other updates?
I don't think it was unrunnable, but a big & nasty hole along the left bank in addition to the monster hole. A lot to tangle with according to our boater who ran that line. Another boater I talked with at Corn Creek told me that his friend had run it left the week before at about the same water level and he got ejected. We have always run it left, up to 2.5 feet with no issues, but I was more than happy to get the "wave off" and skirt the hole to the right. It worked out well for all of us. This was my first whitewater in my new Sotar raft since switching from the cat. Now I row from a dry box instead of a seat. I gotta do some work on my foot bar to make a better "toe hold" so I'll stay locked in better. Have fun on the MS, and don't bother with Mackay Bar. I understand the change from a business perspective, but it was sad to say goodbye to one of our long standing ritual stops for cube ice & milkshakesThanks for the info cataraftgirl. I have been telling my group that Mackay is off the tour this year after last year's incidents with rafters but didn't know they had completely shut the store. Figure Heinz & Barbara deserve all the floater business anyway.
Will be my first time on the little red cat down that stretch and have to say I'm going to be hard pressed not to get bumped off the seat in a few places So you couldn't run the left bank in Big Mallard at 3.5ft? Interesting, we have run that side at all flows that I remember, but maybe I just don't remember well!
I still own a 10 foot fishing cat (the one that started it all), so I can legally keep my name. Who knows, I might get another cat someday???So you are no longer cataraftgirl! Of course, for all we know out here in internetland you could have always been a 50 year old guy with a full beard who rows an 18 foot self bailer .....
Just checked my notes on Big Mallard and I did forget: 6ft left, 1.9ft left BUT 4ft right tongue, so there you have it. I'm sure by the time we get on (2 weeks) it will be back to the left bank run.
Chittam wasn't too bad by the end of our trip, as it was down to about 2.2-2.3 feet by then. We entered center and pulled hard right to avoid the wall crash. Vinegar has always been my nemesis in the past, and this time it was totally fun. We did 25 miles on day two of the trip, with all of the major rapids. Black Creek, Bailey, Five Mile, Split Rock, Big Mallard, and Elkhorn. That was a physically & emotionally tiring day.There is something that lurks in Five Mile I have that on my radar from previous trips and at higher water a nasty lateral coming in from the left on the curve; I swear our cat stood on end in that one - as passenger it was all I could do to hang on. I will be watching out for 5 mile for sure. As for Elkhorn I am so terrified of that big hole having seen it at higher water we have never done anything other than a hard right bank. Chittam has always bothered me too.......
Guess I have a lot to worry about - need to get the big girl pants on and just do it!
Here's the scoop on the Sotar 14 SL & the change from the cat.Cataraftgirl,
Thanks for the trip report. Now that the new Sotar raft is broken in, can you share your feelings about the change in boats? Many thanks.