Reno Whitewater Festival and California Boating

Don and I tried to go skiing at Whislter last week, but it was raining so much on the mountain that it really dampened our winter spirits. We sat at the base for a while wondering what to do, and realized we had a bit of free time, and so decided, “what the hell, let’s go to California, it’s always warm and sunny there…”

Don Beveridge enjoying a low water run down the South Yuba, and psyched to not be getting rained on in Whistler’s parking lot anymore!

We drove down to hit up the Reno Whitewater Festival and to do some kayaking in the sun:) Unfortunately, we were so short on time that we didn’t get too far afield for our kayaking adventures, but we did hit up a couple of our old favorites: Golden Gate on the S. Fork American, and the South Yuba, 49 to Bridgeport. We also tried to do the Upper Middle Consumnes, but some land-owners got in our way. Read more at the bottom of this blog or at

What the F__! Snow at the Golden Gate put in, this isn’t what we came to CA for!

Don stepping up to the Drainpipe

Bill, Taco Bell. Those Beveridge boys made me carry the camera to ensure all the shots would be of them:)

Here’s Scott enjoying the South Yuba. Scott is a Reno local who qualified for the pro freestyle event by taking 2nd in the “open” round on Friday. For today, he’s put the AllStar away and busted out his boof.

Brent, another Reno competitor. It was fun taking all the playboaters out on the river for a little change of pace (not that the Reno play park isn’t a river, it’s just different…)

Colin Kemp of Jackson kayaks boofing the heck outta his brand new Villian. Don and I are soooo jealous, ours are still in the mail:(

Colin is an integral part of the Reno Whitewater Festival and the Reno boating community. He’s always willing to give pointers and help people work on their play moves, and he’s a great teacher at that! He has really done a lot to get people psyched on paddling.

We also went to the Reno Whitewater park for our first time, and this place is a true example of a successful community integration project. There are definitely as many non-kayakers hanging around that place than there are kayakers! It’s a true benefit for the entire Reno Community.

The festival was a great ode to this. There were lots of folks enjoying the food, beer, demos, yoga, and, of course, some kayaking.

RENO, “the place where humans and wildlife converge” oh wait, that’s RENO, “the biggest little city in the world.” This mama and baby duck sure didn’t seem phased by all the people flipping around in the water.

Here’s Sage (a future bad-ass boater chick) helping Colin hand out prizes Friday after the open freestyle event.

Our rental van, enjoying some Sierra Sunshine

Jackson Kayaks dominated the event for sure. Besides that fact that the Jackson crew was on top of the podium in men’s and women’s, I think I only saw 3 kayaks in the water that were NOT Jackson boats during the entire weekend. It’s amazing how they have really taken over the playboater’s market.

And while all the ‘rad dudes’ were throwing their Phonix Monkeys and Lunar Orbitz, Don Beveridge decided to bust out some old school on their asses. That boy can throw cartwheels like nobody’s business. Not that many people do cartwheels anymore, partially because the new boat designs make it a lot harder, but I counted 15 ends in a row from Don in his new little AllStar.

I’m still working on my Wa-Thunks, but I must say, they are coming along quite nicely.

Today was our last day of boating in California and we drove off to do the Upper Middle Consumnes as a nice send off before driving up to Portland. We knew there had been some access issues, but had also heard that the put in road was, indeed, public and we would be good to go. After setting a grueling shuttle (grueling for our low clearance mini-van) we drove to the put in just to get turned away by some local landowners. They have brought the term “neighborhood watch” a whole new meaning. They’ve literally formed a vigilante group to keep kayakers off their road. They claim whole-heartedly that the road is private, and they might be right, but it seems the outside world believes it’s public. Although they started out pretty irate, we were super nice to them and they calmed down quickly and eventually warmed up to us (unfortunately not enough to let us down to the river). I posted the full “denied trip report” up on so if you are interested you can read more there. But, if anyone knows anything about this access issue, it would be great to nip it in the bud now while the landowners are still forming their policies (I guess they did let some people in just last week). So, if you live in this area, speak up, get involved!

Being denied on our last day of kayaking CA, we’ve got nothing left to do but blog and leave (we still love paddling in CA, just a little bummed about today). As soon as I publish this post, we are heading back north to the Clackamas River Festival. Hope to see some of you up there.


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