Who wants to flip a coin?
We won the coin flip! Water levels 36 hours upstream have now dropped below where we need them to be and will continue to drop over the weekend. That means all trips Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are officially on. Water levels are still above normal and sandbars will be smaller than usual but, while you may have to share some of the larger ones, there will be places to camp.
The weather for this weekend is still less than ideal but could be much worse. Temps are in the mid 70s with a helpful east wind. There is a continuing chance of pop up storms pretty much all weekend. An unstable weather pattern will be in place so impossible to know what’s gonna happen until you look at the radar day of. Either way, plan to get at least a little wet and ride out a storm or two for an hour. Read up on safety tips if you’re nervous.
I’m not promising Friday is doable, but the water has definitely been going in the right direction. Saturday and Sunday are looking better and better water wise. The weather forecast is another story with an unstable system and chances for isolated storms throughout the weekend. That said, I’m told it’ll be more dry than wet. We’ll make the call for Friday trips tomorrow night. Rest of the weekend will be called one way or the other Thursday.
More rain than expected over the weekend (up north, it was actually pretty great right around us) but with the already elevated river levels and lots of still empty farm fields, we’re looking at another bump in water levels.
Sandbars are out of the question now through roughly Friday. I say ‘roughly’ because 5 days is still a lot of time for things to change. If the current statewide forecast continues to improve as it has been, we should be in good shape for the weekend, maybe even Friday. If it doesn’t improve or (shoot me now) gets worse, we’ll have to call off another weekend (our 4th of a 14 week season).
We make this call at ~15kcfs which probably means way more to me than almost all of you. To give you an idea of what 15kcfs looks like on the river, here’s a shot from last week when we were just under it:
You’ll notice there are actually a decent number of sandbars out there. It’s a little deceiving because you’re still seeing a fair amount of sand that is at or just below water line, i.e. not campable. Most of the rest are still only a few inches above water (which is why we’ve also gotta see stable or downward trending water levels). Regardless, there are places to camp at 15kcfs which is exactly what I mean when I write “if we send trips out, it’s because there is a reasonable expectation that everyone will have a place to camp”.
If we’re cancelling trips, yes, there are still technically places to camp, but it’s not gonna be ideal conditions. This is where we might push that 15kcfs limit if it’s a slow weekend and every other indicator looks good – trips are still cancelled by default, but you’ll get an option to make it happen anyway if you know what you’re getting into. That’s the situation I’m foreseeing this coming weekend.
Keep an eye on it with the typically twice daily forecast updates on the graph below. We’re aiming for at or below 13.5 feet.