The South Fork of the American River ... always full of surprises

 Taking a hike to slow down and enjoy the American River during the spring run off.

Taking a hike to slow down and enjoy the American River during the spring run off.

 Finding new places to surf and play!

Finding new places to surf and play!

Living by the river forces me to be flexible. It's always changing here so I have learned not to get too comfortable with the way things are. It's a good thing, because this past winter turned out to be the biggest precipitation year since 1983. We had never seen the river get so high. We had only heard stories. 

We ventured out to explore the pulsing mass of water that pushed, surged and eddied, and it was fantastic to witness the power of the river. The river washed, scoured, broke and changed familiar islands, channels and beaches into new shapes and places. It created a whole new place to explore and washed up some of the best skip rocks you can find! 

It is interesting to watch the community adapt to this somewhat unfamiliar high water spring season. Just yesterday some private boaters got to camp and didn't tie their boat up to a tree. The water came up over night and now their boat is having a good old time in the Gorge without them! There is a recovery mission out now as I write. 

It has been really fun experiencing a new side to the river and us River Runners guides have been using the spring to train hard in both guiding and swift water rescue techniques. But I must confess... I am really looking forward to the back side of the snow melt come late June. With full reservoirs upstream, we are going to have consistent and optimal rafting flows all summer, and potentially a bunch of new islands, beaches and channels to explore!

2017 is also shaping up to be the busiest rafting season River Runners has had in years, so there are a lot of great days to look forward to! 

Sarah V

Vice President and River Guide