Saturday, August 25, 2007

MIddle Kings: Yuns Come Back Now, Ya' Hear?

We emerged from Simpson Meadow to find a river again stacked with super continuous class V. Here we have, none other than the main man himself, Mr. Patrick Keller chargin' it through some boogie on river day 3.

Christopher Gragtmans does the follow-the-leader thing. Greasin' it up good like his bojangles biscuits.

Lunch break, river day 3. Dylan Bruce explains how demanding the river is. Lunch on the Middle Kings is like Christmas when you're five years old.

A photo-mash of what I think is Monarch Divide. We set off that morning with an idea of where, or at least what our next camp looked like. It was the first time we actually knew where we were going to end up by dark. By this point, second lunch, river day 3, we started to question that comforting thought.

After some searching Chris Gragtmans found our last camp of the expedition, Camp Hideaway. Tehipite Dome, pictured here, is the mark of the beginning of the end. River day 4 holds the infamous "Bottom 9," the last nine miles of the expedition, and arguably the hardest nine miles of whitewater in the Sierras.

I'm the fire starter, twisted fire starter.

We woke up day 6 of our expedition, and this was the last of Chris' food supply. You're welcome Chris. (Note: He did remember to bring his golf pants!)

After about a quarter mile of boogie, you drop in. The Bottom Nine, The Bottom Nine, The Bottom Nine miles of the Middle Kings. One of the things that sucks people into kayaking, are the moments they have on the river when nothing else matters in the world. Welcome to Euphoria. If you let something else, anything else matter while in the Bottom Nine, you're S.O.L. It's you, your crew, the river and the mountains. Game on.

Dylan Bruce looks on, as Pat gives a good hippy-kicky-flip-launch off a ledge, amidst the action of the Bottom Nine.

Pat, again, keeping 'er hairy side up on more boulder choked action. California's scary because rapids that look perfectly good will all of a sudden, without warning, end in a big sieve pile. When in doubt, scout.

We portaged around this. It looked scary.

I once took a class about utopian societies. We studied all sorts of books portraying this so-called idea of "utopia." In the end, our class concluded that utopias can't, and won't exist; they will always end up failing. This is a view of utopia. Whether it will fail or not is up to us, and future generations of explorers into the gorge.

Christopher Columbus doing his best seal impression, as he launches into a new world.

The rapids were relentless, class V, all day. Spending five days concentrating all your energy into doing everything you do without mistake is taxing. Here's Chris doing everything in his power to keep it together during the last few miles of the Bottom Nine. Chris Gragtmans keeps it together when fighting rabid tiger monkeys, we didn't have to worry about him.

Catalyst progress. Again, check out the motion picture of our trip, if you're into that sort of thing.

The crew at the confluence, our get-out. Happy to be alive, not happy about throwing our boats on our backs again. From the confluence you hike a couple miles up to the Yucca Point Trailhead. I considered this hike as a tip, to the river and mountains that let us pass through. You go to dinner knowing how much it's going to cost, but once you finish your meal, you realize you forgot to add in the extra cost of the tip.

What more do you have to pay after the tip? Nothing, unless your car gets broken into while eating dinner. Which ours did. Dylan Bruce's car was left at the Yucca Point Trailhead to provide us with a vehicle to run the 400-mile shuttle a second time with. It was broken into sometime while we were on the river. That was a trying moment for our team as we emerged from the wilderness, from the most epic trip we could ever have reality. With only the few "emergency dollars" we had packed in to get back with, we looked into the future to a long night of cold, hungry driving, hopefully being able to make it back to Bishop with the limited funds we had. Then an angel appeared, in a white Tacoma.

The Biggest of THANKS on the Magical Mystery Tour goes out to Ranger Philip Gross for loaning us some duct tape to cover up the window with, as well as buying each of us our own large pizza at Pizza Hut that night. If it weren't for your unbelievable generosity, our lives would have been hell that night. Thank you Ranger Philip!!!

Sleep tight honey, cause the chickens ain't scratchin' the squirrels yet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes undoubtedly, in some moments I can reveal that I jibe consent to with you, but you may be making allowance for other options.
to the article there is stationary a without question as you did in the fall efflux of this beg photo manager 10.0 ?
I noticed the utter you procure not used. Or you partake of the dreary methods of promotion of the resource. I suffer with a week and do necheg

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

Visit my webpage ... info

7:06 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home