Event: First Annual BoatSmith
River festivals can be tough to plan, organize, and execute. There are a ton of details from sponsors and vendors, shuttle logistics, and of course, there needs to be water in the river. Having a pretty important detail depended on Mother Nature can make or break an event. Lucky the first annual BoatSmith on Northern California's Smith River system didn't lack rain, or even snow for that matter.
Boaters from all over California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington (probably farther away as well) braved the snowy mountain passes and roads to Patrick Creek Campground just northeast of Gasquet CA for a weekend of boating fun.
The large amounts of rain and snow didn't keep people from hitting the water Saturday with some mass start races on class II - IV. From Creature Crafts to inner-tubes folks were on the water all day. Boaters were putting in right at camp for a class III - IV run on the Middle Fork from Patrick Creek. Others were enjoying high flows on Oregon Hole Gorge and stretches of the South Fork Smith as well.
The evening was filled with raffle prizes, music from The Joint Chiefs, and a bon fire DJ after party. A huge thanks to Patrick Creek Lodge for opening their doors to the many wet and cold boaters for an evening of music, dancing, and a chance to dry off.
All of the snow at higher elevations closed the road to the North Fork Smith, canceling the mass float, but that didn't stop any one from enjoying sun and blue sky that showed up on Sunday later morning.
Glad I didn't let the forecasted weather keep me inside all weekend. A really fun weekend of paddling and sharing the Smith with people from all over.