Memorial Day Weekend Paddling on the North and South Yuba

We’ve been a bit slow to get things going online since transitioning from guiding in Ecuador to skiing in Colorado to boating in the US again this year, but we’re back.
After a great couple of weeks in Washington this spring, we headed south to sunny California. Only to our surprise, California wasn’t sunny! We thought we were putting away our drysuits for the summer, but we’ve been getting snowed on! I think Global Warming is more like Global Stranging. But all this cold weather throughout the West is just saving all that snow for an even more epic summer.

Don on the South Yuba
For Memorial Day weekend we got to get in some great runs on the North and South Yuba with a bunch of friends, especially our buddy Brad Brewer. Darcy is on a team for the Vertical Challenge, so she keeps on wanting to do extra laps. On Saturday we did the South Yuba from 49 to Bridgeport, then Purdon’s to 49, then continued on down to Bridgeport again! I’m not on a team so I don’t get to count any vertical, all those extra runs are just cutting in on beer drinking time.

Darcy launching in after a portage on the North Yuba

On Monday we did the North Yuba below New Bullard’s Bar reservoir with a group of ten of us. It’s a great run that I hadn’t been able to catch with water in it on other trips to California. It’s ultra pool drop and filled with intricate mazes of granite boulders, but mostly boat scoutable.

Bill at lunch/portage #2 on North Yuba

I used to kind of dread returning from sunny Ecuador to springtime paddling in the US. It’s tough to go from a shorty or dry top and shorts to the full on drysuit and pogies. But last year I got an IR drysuit, and it really is so comfortable that I actually look forward to wearing it. I used to have one of those front entry suits, and didn’t like the bulk of the zipper across my chest and the way it made water leak into my kayak around the skirt tunnel. The zipper across the back of my shoulders in the IR Double D stays up out of the way, and the over skirt is just one piece so it keeps water from running down my sprayskirt tunnel and into the boat. It’s way more comfortable, and I’m not sitting in a cold puddle of water all day! I can get in and out of it by myself, though it is easier to have a friend help out (Monday I saw a dude at the takeout getting help unzipping a FRONT zip drysuit!)
So thanks IR for taking the sting out of cold spring boating, and making my return from the tropics of Ecuador a little less shocking.

Nice to have a drysuit for full body immersions like this

The drysuit also makes a kick-ass shuttle outfit. All the Harley riders are jealous.

Ready for the shuttle mission
Believe it or not, people sometimes laugh when I ride by

I had the Trail 90 going 58 miles an hour while doing shuttle from Bridgeport to 49 the other day. I think maybe next time I’ll keep my elbow pads on.
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