16 forum posts
Well, this is very exciting to see a new topic of such great general and specific interest. May I propose a discussion of hiking with a boat such as at low water in low-gradient streams. Don't know a good short label for it, sort of combination of boating and hiking and in fact it may require some of both which is of course part of the attraction. Go into remote wilderness in summer when the big-water rafters and hotshot kayakers have gone away with the spring snowmelt. Enjoy solitude while having more carrying capacity in the boat than one would normally want to carry in an ultralight backpack. Stack it in a dry bag on the back of a river kayak, in the hull of a sea kayak, or of course strap it into a small light raft or inflatable kayak. For conversational example...the Wild and Scenice Middle Fork Eel River in northern California has a generally moderate gradient and traverses a corner of the Yuki Wilderness in a 35-mile course from Elk Creek to Dos Rios. After Memorial Day in most years, the water is considered too low for a weekend boating trip but it makes a very nice hike-and-boat excursion of 3 or 4 days. Alternate between paddling long quiet pools and using the lead rope to snake it between rocks in the next small rapid....or, let's face it, occasionally drag it across a wet gravel or sand bar while wading in the clear water. No paved roads nearby for miles. Scenery alternates between open blue oak savannah, steep brush, black oak woodland, dramatic landslides. But mostly communing with the turtles which tend to get underfoot if you are not too careful. Must be more rivers like that out there: too high and wild for the amateur in the popular season, but quiet and almost walkable the rest of the year. Hmmmm?