Rachel, Barb, Lisa, and Kim all got their first whitewater runs in on a steaming hot day on the Kettle! Nick was along for his first run of the year, but looked like he’d been at it all season. Amy and I were there to help guide them all down the river at about 460 cfs.
Because of the state shutdown, we had to start about 1.4 miles above the normal put-in at the Highway 23 bridge. This gave us a great warm-up and a chance to learn some final skills before jumping into the whitewater.
When we did arrive at Banning, we took out, scouted Shoulder Hole and had lunch. The bugs were vicious and we looked more like a bunch of pox victims than paddlers by the time we got back in the boats. That didn’t slow anyone down, though.
From there, we put in and the newbies got their first taste of whitewater bumping down through Shoulder Hole. Everyone aced it! From there, it was off to the races. The waves in Teachers and the rocks in Mother’s delight each claimed one swim, but other than that the newbies absolutely owned the river.
The highlight of the day for a few of the newbies was the seal launch off of a cliff into the river. At this low water, the fall was probably close to 15’, so it was definitely exciting! Not a bad way to jump start a paddling career!