Water levels were a concern, but we hoped that the soaring temperatures woudl bring the levels up from our last run. But hopefully not too high.
We headed up to Cherry Lake, and sent Kev on a reconnaissance run over to the bottom drops. A long time later he returned with a tale of woe, low levels - not worth it. Despite Kevs warnings, Marc and I had already decided we would paddle anyway, and a plan B was formed. Hike directly into Cherry Bomb, and bypass all the scrapey stuff at the top.
Hiking with your boat is not fun. Don't believe anyone who says it is....Plan B seemed to make sense, until we were hiking and boat dragging through thick snake infested jungle down to the river. All in all it took longer to get to the halfway point than it would to have gone to the top. I only saw one rattlesnake on the hike down, but I’m sure there were many more, just inches from my legs as we trashed through the thick undergrowth….
The hike over the top to Cherry bomb gorge
Spot the pro-boater
We were joined by a random US paddler Dieter, in the parking lot, but he turned out to be a nice chap… We also ran into Shannon Caroll, who had hiked solo into Cherry bomb also…. We hit up Cherry bomb the next evening, after a few hours rest from the arduous hike in. We needn’t have worried about the levels, they were absolutely superb for the gorges…
Cherry Bomb gorge from up high
Dieter dropping cherry bomb - blurry but you get the general idea...
Awesome teacup falls above camp
The next day, We ran down from flintstone camp to the take out, Shannon proved why she’s one of the worlds best women boaters by showing us all up and running Kiwi in a pocked and Big bear falls while we “provided safety”
Shannon on Big bear falls
Weather being warmer than last time (i.e. it wasn’t snowing, just 90’F temps) there were a lot of hikers and even some adventurous tubers on the river. We didn’t stick around to see if they survived….
Cheryl was hiking down the bank, and had a much harder time than we did on her descent of the river.
Another grueling hike in, but it was so worth it for the amazing granite gorges that Upper Cherry holds in store.
Running the final drops out to the lake
Kev and Marc departed back for San Jose, Cheryl and I are heading back to Reno for some play before heading north for the Cal Salmon and Klamath, then Oregon.