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California has been pretty dry lately, as is pretty common for January. But last week we had just enough precipitation to bring in some fun local runs for the weekend. I love getting on new runs, but sometimes it’s fun to have a low stress weekend on something close to home.

Saturday, we ran Giant Gap on the North fork of the American River. It’s a fun class IV+ to V- with beautiful deep gorges located about halfway between Sacramento and Tahoe. We drove by some snow on the way, but it was clear by the time we got to the trailhead. The run starts with a 2-mile downhill hike to put-in, and then a 14.5 mile day on the water. Since it’s winter and the days are short, we opted for an early start. We had a great day on the water and finished up with a stop at Maria’s in Auburn, one of my favorite local burrito spots.

Sunday, we were excited to see that the Bear River was in. The Bear is a fun but short class IV+ stretch that is only about 2 miles long. The unfortunate thing about the Bear is that it has a lot of sieves so you need to make sure you’re in the correct channel. It’s one of those class IV moves but class V consequences kind of a river. That usually isn’t my favorite ratio, but when the river is so close to home and it’s been dry for a while then it’s easy to get fired up for it.

Overall I had a great weekend! The 10-day forecast is looking dry again, but hopefully we’ll get some more rain and snow sometime soon! ~ Diane Gaydos