by Tom Todd
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As the Spring dries up into Summer, the opportunities to paddle various rivers become much less frequent. Often when we schedule a trip on the upper class rivers, the trip has to be moved to a different river to take advantage of water levels appropriate for optimal paddling. The Warner was the choice for this day.
It was a very hot day in the 80ís. We had expected the river level to be low, but we were in for a surprise. The river was up due to the very hot weather melting the snow.
After meeting at the MacDonaldís in Warner, Skip, Tom Quarles, Al Wolcott, Barry ?, and I drove to the put in scouting the river along the way. We noted the water level at the new gage that Skip had painted last Summer, collecting new data from a new gage.
I donít like paddling on hot days because it is too warm in my wetsuit which I like to wear to protect me from cold and rocks during my numerous swims. It was obvious that this river would challenge my skills and I decided to put it on despite the stifling heat. The cold air from the melting snow kept it cool on the river.
The river has numerous class IV drops, all of which we scouted and for many of which we positioned throw ropes. A dam had a 3 foot sluiceway that drops into a rapid just above a set of old railroad abutments. The wooded gorge has a series of four drops with only short eddies in between them.
Al Wolcott dragged out a sputtering Tom Quarles after he was sucked out of his inflatable kayak in a hole below one drop. Skip did a nice roll on one tricky drop. Al, Barry, and I each got hung up on a rock at one point or another.
Copyright 1998, Tom Todd. All rights reserved.