Coon Creek is an
incredibly low elevation yet steep creek just minutes
out of Auburn, California. Of all words involved with a kayaking run,
during the shuttle one of the most delicate was dropped during the
shuttle. "Coon Creek is a modern classic". Classic? I couldn't help but
think that it was a bold statement, especially in California.
Now I was really curious about the quality of the
things didn't typical of a classic creek, but it's always best to keep
the mind open about waterways soon to be delved into.
While many Sierra runs require hours of driving on
roads to remote
locations, here we are on the other end of the spectrum.
Moore poses in front of a gate
that cost more than my car.
Boats in the water; we floated in the current,
to stay in
the channel with the least amount of willows. Minutes into the run the
group scurried to small eddies on the right. Scouting on the right bank
I noted the rock looked more like something from Colorado or
Newfoundland. Not exactly California granite, but hey maybe it would
clean up downstream. Not liking the manky look of the drop I portaged
down and got setup for Thomas, who gave it a thumbs up.
Moore firing away on Coon Creek.
of the entry rapid.
Moore in the run out and Alex
Wolfgram setting safety.
Coon Creek retained a steep character below the entrance drop, and we
eddie hopped, bush ducked and ran some entertaining drops until a nice
Corey runs a Coon Creek Classic.
The classic little slide led into a few linked boofs, ending with a
faux boof, a plug line down the center to avoid rocks jutting out.
Moore resurfaces clear and
quick glance downstream confirmes
the presence of a more
On the first descent Ben Wartburg wasted no time in running it, dubbing
the drop "Super Mario Bros".
decides he is game
probes Super Mario Bros for the rest of the crew.
Moore battles it out in Super
The bottom hole is a bit sticky too, Thomas gets ready make the finale
move of SMB.
Not liking the style of the river so far, I quickly portaged with Alex
and we continued downstream to the cleanest drop of the run, a somewhat
East Fork Kaweah reminiscent drop, but with stickier rock.
Wolfgram on the cleanest of the
Below the clean slide, the creek turns character.
forced to do lots of
"Oregon Tucking" but unfortunately not the waterfall variety. Thomas
and I exchanged glances as Alex warned us that we were going to have to
duck some bushes. We'd already been dodging willows and ducking a
little bit of blackberry overgrowth. Lets just say a little bit turned
into a lot, mixed in with a few steep, manky boulder gardens. Take-out
didn't come any too soon, and I was glad to be off this one. Perhaps a
novelty due to it's low elevation, the chunky rock and brush more than
made up for the fact that there was some bedrock. I still stand by my
belief that every run is worth doing once, but be prepared to do some
dealing and take some blackberry hits on this not so classic piece of
the Sierra Nevada (foothills).