***Posted for Barbara Rowland***
It's a fun two day crazy Alaskan trip on some mid-level glacier-fed river water (Class II - III), campout and contra & square dance on a gravel bar.
We'll meet at Carrs Muldoon (west end of the parking lot) depart from Anchorage as a caravan about 9 AM on Saturday morning the 13th with as few cars as practical. (Be prepared to help carpool drivers with gas $).
Those that are coming from other areas to the north may just meet us at the take-out at King Mt Lodge (Milepost 76.1) at 10-10:30 AM-ish (pit stop, possibly drop some more cars) or at the put in at Hicks Creek (Milepost 96.6) at 11 AM. That whole area of road was facelifted a couple of years ago -- the Hicks Creek access is now "Trailhead Road" on the mountain side of the new road, on the far side of the river. Follow the signs to Nova River Runners, who run their operation from there.
We run a shuttle from Hicks Creek to King Mt to get most of the cars down there, and try to get on the river before 2PM. There's a group safety meeting before we launch, and we try not to get too stretched out over the river.
Arrival on the Gravel Bar (about 12 miles down the 20 mile stretch of river) around 6 PM. Set up camp, eat, drink and be merry! We'll have a very silly contra/square dance on the gravel bar!!! (Thus the name "Gravel Bar Dance!") We expect to have a caller and musicians for our entertainment! Folks may have campfires, dance if they want to or not, and have a marvelous time as they see fit.
Departure in the morning is somewhere around 11 AM, and arrival at King Mt is around 1 - 2 PM. Break it all down, run another shuttle to retrieve vehicles left at Hicks Creek, and part ways! Those of us coming from Anchorage usually arrive home by 6 PM.
Are you an experienced paddler? Come join us! There are all sorts of crafts running with us -- rafts, catarafts, IK's hardshell kayaks, packrafts, and even canoes (only expert paddlers should attempt with canoe). It's always a very colorful floatilla!
Every person is responsible for their own boat passage down the river, so please do not expect the organizers to find you a seat on a raft. If you have a raft with extra space to offer for a passenger or gear, please let us know! We might have a musician or group gear we'd like to transport down the river.
Every person is also responsible for their camping gear, food & beverages, transportation to & from the river, and personal clothing/gear.
Some people are self contained, others pod up with folks they know, etc. You may use this posting to find each other and make arrangements for carpooling, tents, passage on boats, cooking meals, etc. (the less gear and vehicles, the better!) People without boats -- if you do gain passage on a raft, please compensate your raft captain "somehow," as they generally spend a great deal of time and gas money to make your trip possible.
If you're experienced rafter but don't have a boat, rentals may be available at Alaska Raft & Kayak on Tudor Road.
Some people bring dogs, but we discourage it highly unless (a) your dog is extremely polite (no entering other people's campsites and kitchens, gets along with everyone, etc) and (b) you're willing to control the doggy doo.
Kids are entirely the responsibiltiy of the parents!!! This is not a good time to bring little kids if your family is not experienced with cold water recreation and camping.
The river can change conditions between now and then. We have scouts that will run the route just prior to the trip Should it be determined by the organizers that conditions are unsafe (higher water levels or nasty sweepers), the trip will be called off or postponed!!!! Please watch this page for updates, especially closer to the days prior to the 13th.