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January 1, 2007.
River Depth at Francisco gauge = 4 feet Discharge = 1660 cubic feet per second
First off, I need to credit Will for taking the cool photos of everyone dropping down the creek. I didn't manage to take too many shots today, so I'm glad that Will made those. I'd also like to thank James, Joe, Tom and Will for letting me paddle down the Dan with them. It's nice to paddle with a group that's better and more experienced than you are because you can learn a lot from them on your way down the river. I had a lot of fun running Jessups Mill at four feet, which is about two and a half feet higher than I've ever paddled it before. It wasn't as washed out as I anticipated and the quarter mile section was awesome. When you're swallowing water and still sitting upright in your boat, then you're going through some pretty fun sized waves. It was only supposed to rain a half inch on New Year's Eve, but we all woke to find the gauge's graph shooting straight up. James and I walked over to it at the 704 access point and it read 4.1.
Trent took a few others that showed up without their white-water gear further downstream, while James, Tom, Joe, Will and I setup shuttle upstream for a run on Section III. It was nice not having to worry about picking a line between the rocks for once. The trip went by fast though at 1660cfs. When we got to the lunch-stop rapid, I came through backwards and played for all of about three seconds before eddying out with everyone else. But those three seconds were fun, so I decided to try to paddle back across and upstream and slip into it from the other side. That didn't work out like I planned and I found myself making a New Years Day swim across the Dan a split second after getting into the rapid. Either I'm getting a little out of shape or the the Dan is getting wider because it took quite a lot of swimming to make it shore. I didn't get cold, but I was pretty darned winded by the time I drug my butt out of the river. I owe a big thanks to everyone for rounding up my GT and for bulldozing it to shore. From there down I pretty much wimped out of surfing anything else big and just watched everyone else play. And like I said, the quarter mile section was awesome though and I loved the size of the wave trains we went through. No one else swam and Tom nailed a nice roll.
James showed us the way up a small creek on river left where we got to ride down a cool little fall. That was a lot of fun as you can tell by my big grin at the bottom. Will photographed it for us and James might have some photos too. All in all I had a great time paddling on a day I was supposed to be in the office and am really glad that I finally caught the water on the Dan when it was up.