Ran the Upper Applegate and then headed over the Carberry Creek. Matt, Skip, and I were in a 10′ Avon raft. Neil Nikirk joined us with his little cat.
Carberry Creek is considered to have 1/3 of the total inflow for Applegate Reservoir (above). This flow was great for a 10′ raft being r2’d. I think you could go substantially higher and have an excellent time, but you’ve got to be on the lookout for wood. Unlike the Upper Applegate, which is the other main inflow into the reservoir, it is difficult to see the creek from the road.
As you get close to the put-in the road drops down towards the creek and you can see the first and second larger rapids. It’s worthwhile to stop and check out both, as wood tends to collect here.
The character of this run is very different than UA too. It has about the same gradient but has a flatter stretch in the middle, which makes the rest of the run steeper. It is also a lower volume creek and offers more of a class IV technical run. Click here for a Google Earth map of the standard put-in and take-out for Carberry Creek.
Leland and I were r2ing and Nate and Josh were in kayaks for Carberry. After the run they dropped us off at the put-in for the Upper Applegate and we bombed down to top off a good day on the water.
I’d talked to Dan Thurber about the possibility of taking a raft down Carberry Creek and he seemed to think that it would be OK. So, when the flow was up, he grabbed a boat, oars, and frame for me and I met him in Jacksonville. I’d come from Selma after a day of mowing Rogue River Journeys enormous lawn and was excited at the shot of tacking on an afternoon run. Shaggy from Sawyer Oars was also with us in his kayak, as was another Ashlandite, Andrew.
From a rowing perspective, Carberry Creek was a lot like the Upper Wind in Southern Washington, but with smaller holes and a lesser flow. I imagine it might be like the Upper Wind at very low water. It was mainly Class II and III with a few IVish moves thrown in. The most significant drop was a five or six-foot ledge with a small hole at the bottom. Another drop had a twisting entry and ended with a medium sized hole that actually sucked one of my tubes and led to a worrisome half-ass highside before the boat pushed through.
Dan’s guidance was incredibly helpful. The only scout was at the twisty-entrance rapid so I relied on his verbal beta prior to each rapid. Once again, have got to thank the wonderful kayakers of the Ashland area for letting me see a new river. I’m incredibly thankful for the amount of help and wisdom many of these folks have… and for their willingness in letting a hypalon-guy hang out with them.
At the take-out we shared a six-pack, packed up, and headed home. A short run; but one that I will never forget.