Cherry Creek Season Has Begun!!Posted July 18, 2006 by Robyn Suddeth
I can still remember the drive home from my first day paddling Cherry Creek. Scott A. turned to me and asked, “Isn’t it beautiful up there? What did you think of all those waterfalls coming down the canyon walls?” I looked at him for a moment, taking a few seconds to register that he had really just asked me what I thought about scenery, and then responded sincerely with, “What waterfalls?”
The truth was, the only thing I saw and noticed that day was my paddle frantically going in and out of massive amounts of whitewater, and the elation I felt once we had made it through the “Miracle Mile”, where the river drops an incredible 200 feet in just one mile.
I have since returned a few times, however, to that powerful “creek”, and things eventually began to slow down just a little bit for me. At least enough that I do now notice how gorgeous the canyon is up there. (The run begins just a few miles west of Yosemite.) But it is still an amazing, exhilerating adventure every time.
And so you can understand why I got pretty excited last week when Adam W, our Tuolumne River manager, remarked that it was getting close to that time to “take a trip upstairs,” which is his way of saying time to go run Cherry Creek. (An appropriate analogy I think, considering not only elevation but also that the run is actually a “step up” from most other rivers in California.)
I got even more excited today, when I checked the water levels on Dreamflows, and Adam’s prediction had come true… flows just entered into what we call their “run-able window”, which means that water levels are finally within the perfect range for rafting! Cherry Creek season has officially begun, with flows hovering somewhere around 1900 cfs. Yay!
So, it’s time to take all that training we got on those fun Class IV spring rivers and head on “upstairs” for some real adventure. (Maybe this year I’ll finally notice those waterfalls.) But until you can actually make it to Cherry Creek for a trip, I thought I’d share these pictures from one of our days out there last August. (Dispersed throughout this entry.) They’ve definitely motivated me to go run it as soon as possible! See you up upstairs…