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Patterson / Bingo / Patterson

Sunday Jul 18, 2021
Kayak: Jamie, Jim P,, Ryan K Allie B, Tony (no last name needed), Paul C, Jon D, Noah, Sarah
Organizer: Loose
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
USGS Gauge Name/Link: NA
Author: Jamie

Chris Weed's forecast of wet weather held true to form. Yes indeed the rain had arrived and was continuing to fall. After a couple of spot checks on close local rivers we decided on the Patterson. Though the gauges weren't indicating a good level for the Patterson, the two visuals said otherwise and it was raining. The assembled crew had a total of four laps total on the river until Noah showed up. He has a good feel for the river. My last and only run on it was 2013 (I remembered practically nothing). But the gauge rock indicated a low level and we all felt pretty good. Given the large size of our group (eight, the Tony was a no show due to a bridge out (due to construction)), we split into two groups. Allie is a very strong kayaker and Noah is not only strong but knows the river. So Allie in one group and Noah in the other.

Jim P., Ryan K, Allie and I started out first.  Though I didn't know the river I was in the lead for the most part.  IT really is read and run and we never had to get out of our boats. The wood that was in play was easy enough to see in advance and avoid (well, at least for the most part).  The river has basically two significant rapids and a whole mess of curling waves that have a nasty habit of turning into holes. And more ledges than you can shake a stick at.  The opening section started out at a nice easy pace which gradually changed to the small ledges, curling waves and ever more sticky holes. Just prior to the incoming waterfall, on river right, we had our first swim.  This apparently was followed by two more in the other group. All equipment was retrieved and no injuries (well there is that pride thing). After the waterfall there are two significant rapids, well, that is to say they caught my attention.  The first was a bit trickier. There was wood extending about 2/3 across the river leaving the choice down some what limited. Going over the lip it is a bit of a cacophony that follows. Fortunately it isn't too long and if you could stay upright it was kind of fun (which, yes, is often the case). This rapid is quickly followed by a similar drop in length and height but not quite the maelstrom.  Whew!

When we got off the level, based on the gauge rock, went from low to medium (or for my ego sake medium +).  Given that 3 of eight swam, the group think was to go on to easier pastures. Noah stayed and did another lap with others who had shown up. Most of us went onto Bingo Brook.

Bingo is similar in character to Patterson. Maybe a little narrower and a bit less gradient. Based on nothing but opinion it felt like a low medium level to me. It turned out we had five going down Bingo. No one ran the pinch at the top (Ryan thought hard on it though). And while we did encounter wood it was pretty much easy to avoid (pretty much but not entirely). Again we had lots of small (2 -4 ft) drops and slides with mildly retentive holes here and there. Again, everything was read and run. Again, we had one more swimmer but I think he was just getting out of his boat as he was done for the day anyway. It's rare to get on Bingo for me and this was a special treat at a good level.

And then there were three.  Ryan convinced the Tony to at least look at Patterson again for a possible cap to the day. Me, I was going home a different way until FOMO happened. When I met them at the take out I was like, oh it's better to run with three then two, yadayadayada, yeah right! This time the river was about the same level (at the gauge rock) that we started at on the first run. But this time things were dropping, not going up. What a dramatically different run. This wasn't actual bone zone but it was getting there. From a very stout flow on the first run to this easy III run, it was a relaxing end to the day.  The two significant rapids after the waterfall were vastly different in feel. The wood did come into play at one point which was well, dicey, scary, not fun. But I extracted myself and using magical thinking (it certainly wasn't skill) somehow managed to not go over.  

A good day with a good crew.


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