Owens River Packraft...
|Loaded packraft from the front|
I paddled downstream for most of 2.5 days. I don't know how many river miles I went but it sure was a lot more than the straight line distance. I only took one longish break when I flipped in a water control structure and one of my dry bags got caught in the hydraulic. It got maytagged for about 15 minutes and finally got flushed perhaps because it got a hole in it. After I fished it out I stopped to dry things out for a while. Generally the days were warm to hot and the nights were cold. Unfortunately my sleeping pad developed some holes so I was without its padding. Combined with the early mornings, mosquitos, and cold nights I didn't sleep very well. Most of the time I was paddling into a strong headwind. Luckily the river wasn't very straight and usually had reeds and trees on the banks so I could usually pick a lee shore. When I was forced to paddle straight into the wind I just dug down and went as fast as I could. This didn't work in the one lake I had to paddle across. This was just painful.
I did see a lot of wildlife though, deer, beaver, some sort of weasel or otter? and lots and lots of birds - maybe 30 or so different kinds. Especially waterfowl and flycatchers and little warblers and lots of raptors.
I took out at the start of the Los Angeles Aquedect about 10 miles south of Big Pine. Then I assembled the bike and strapped everything on it and headed back. For the first 5 miles on 395 I had a glorious tail wind and cruised along at around 20 mph, then it swung around to around 10 oclock (front left) and my pace went way down. If I believed that God micromanaged things I'd think he hated me, or maybe she is my personal trainer and thought my legs needed a bit of work after sitting for 2.5 days. I stopped off at the Keough hot ditch for a soak on the way back. I think the total biking distance was around 37 miles. The river had to be 2 or 3 times that.
|Water intake for the LA Aqueduct|
|waterfall near where I was camping|
|Basin Mt from a distance. I went up the middle and then up left on the snow and up the left skyline|
|Here I am on top|
|ski tracks on the descent - sure beats walking|