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The first stop was Reno, and we lucked out incredibly there. We had heard that they were building a new whitewater park, so we called up Lisa Beckstead (yeah, that's right, I'm dropping names, so nyah) to see if it was in running order, and heard nothing back. Pulling into the downtown district around 6:00 PM, we overshot the Silver Legacy and caught a glimpse of a bridge and a truck with a kayak on it. Come to find out, the park had just started running the day before. So we got to try it out. The park is pretty much like any other Gary Lacy joint - shallow at the current levels, standard low angle green water going into a nice pile with some laterals on the side.
The beauty of the park is that it is located on the Truckee river, right in the middle of downtown. There's an island park with two channels on either side • both have been developed, but only one is running right now. On the other bank is downtown Reno - about a block or two away from the main Casino district. So, you have a nice park on one side and the Casinos on the other. The obvious benefit here is that the park is pretty well lit all night long. We played till about 10:00 PM before finally checking in.
Then it was off for a little drinking, a little night life, and another grilled cheese sandwich. The next day we weren't so lucky. After an unsuccessful sojourn into Lotus, California, we drove down to the Sac (San Juan) hole in Sacramento. Getting to the Sac Hole is an adventure in itself. First we wandered out onto some forlorn shoal bar in the middle of the river on the "Bad side" of town. No hole. After that we approached it from the other side and spent 3 hours wondering in what I can only describe as hell on earth - huge, long mountains of dredged river cobble interspersed with swamp. No joke, it was like walking on giant marbles. Finally, we admitted defeat and call up BT's own Michael Sneed to tell him we were totally screwed. Well, Michael was able to give us better directions and we finally found the place.
Sac hole is really nice. I don't really have much to say about it except that I had a great time. The Release is an amazing boat - performs almost identically to the Chronic except that it has a larger planing surface and a bolder / zestier carve. I'll have a review out hopefully soon, but for now, it has been my boat of choice for months.
In the evening, the local expert showed up and started showing us what Sac hole was really capable of. After a few rides I introduced myself as "David" as I always do and he asked if I was "that David Weber guy from Boater Talk"... well yes I was and it turns out the guy was actually BT's own Zack Miller ("zmiller"), so I met another BTer face-to-face. Zack is the shit, great boater and a fun guy to talk to. We all went to dinner at some Mexican place right by the bridge and blathered on till the place was shutting down.
Next day it was back to the hole and back across the wastelands. I thought it was bad hiking through there with just a camera case... this time I had 50 or so pounds of gear and kayak NRS strapped to my back. It was dreamy.
Sorting through the photo disk from Ken, I can't help but notice that the shots I took of his inflatable anal donut are gone. For most of the drive he had what looked like a little blue pool toy inner tube under his ass. He claims it's because he broke his Coccyx snowboarding a week earlier, but I have my suspicions about that.
All-in-all, a great trip. Ken also has a write-up from his perspective