© 2009 Adam Johnson

Part 1 of 2: Returning to Sunny Californ-I-A!

JB Seay Finishes Zero to 60, Kaweah River, California, June 2009.

After spending some quality time in Oregon with the Madre, whilst getting some rest after boating in Colorado for two weeks, plans were set to head to sunny California for some quality kayaking.

Adam Johnson below Chuck’s Drop, Kaweah River, CA June 2009. Photo: JB Seay

I picked up JB Seay at the Airport in Sacramento late Tuesday night, June 16th, and we proceeded towards Three Rivers to go paddle the Kaweah River in the Giant Sequoya National Forest. Oliver Grossman, a West Virginia to California transplant, met us in Three Rivers the following morning.

Not wanting to pay an extra $20 to get another car in the park, we left one car below the entrance at a motel, and headed upriver.

At that point, we didn’t really know where the put-in was, or the ‘real’ takeout for that matter; however, we just decided to start heading upriver to find a good spot to put on the water.

Oliver Grossman in Granite landia. Early on our first Kaweah Day. Photo JB Seay.

I had run that stretch of river back in 2004 and 2005 and vaguely remembered bits of the run. When we arrived to the put in, we found about 9 other British dudes who were milling around getting ready for the day. We said, “hey, you all should boat with us.” They said, “Righty-o chap.” — Well, not really, but you get the idea.

Jay Moffett runs V-falls. Slide, pillow, whiteout, repeat. Kaweah River, June 2009.
Day one on the Kaweah we started out with some ten to twelve people in total, all routing the river for the first time (except for me, but I didn’t remember any of the rapids until I was sitting in the pools below them ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Truth be told, only two of us actually finished the run to our car at the takeout–some ten hours later. We got to the end of the normal run and the brits took out, then JB decided to take out, which left Oliver and I routing the rest of the lower section for another two to three hours–totalling everything up to about ten hours of class IV-V river running. Sick!
JB Seay and Jay Moffet below V-falls. Moro rock in the background.
Zero to 60 Panorama. Center then left, over the curler off the pillow and drop the 15 footer.

A clean 15 footer. Photo: JB Seay

This drop, pictured above, was the drop from one of the YGP movies where Jon Myers plugs it and goes deep, then resurfaces, helmet crooked, looking perplexed. It is also a great drop to blue angel off of.

We spent two days at the Kaweah. Day two we could feel the 10 hour marathon from the day before and only ran the proper ‘middle’ stretch, much faster this time that we knew it. After we took out, JB and I headed up to Moro rock and through the Sequoya National Forest.

JB Seay, also known here as stout arms, heading to the top of a large piece of granite.
Moro Rock Panorama. Granite landia!

After the Kaweah, we headed north to Groveland, California to paddle Cherry Creek and the Tuolumne Rivers. Stay tuned for that in the next update.

Be safe and enjoy the summer,

-Adam Johnson


  1. JB
    Posted July 7, 2009 at 8:53 pm | #

    I logged in to harass you about getting a Colorado update, and here you got Colorado AND California.
    Nice work.
    You forgot to add the part where I took out, hiked up a talcum powder hill, fetched your car and had it waiting for you at the take-out. I'll forgive since you also left out the part where i fell in and swam a waterfall like a whitewater dork.

  2. RiotAJ
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 1:09 pm | #

    Hey JB,

    Ha! Beat you to it.

    Haven't been able to catch ya on the water here lately. Hopefully M-burg is treating you well.

    Until the next adventure…

    -Adam Johnson

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