Matanuska River Time
I recommend getting out there ASAP, the summer waters are on. Gauge here
We opted for a brief evening float last night with siblings and their kids (our nephews). 6 total so we were solidly loaded with a bit lower response than is desirable. The river was up a solid foot and rising from when I drove by there on Tuesday July05 and nova bend looked churning on the drive out.
Put-in on the Chickaloon River just upstream from the Glenn hwy bridge. Floated about halfway to Kings River taking out at the obvious highway pulloff a few miles below nova bend, there are those small ponds right up against the cliffs on the otherside of the highway right there. This section is a great trip to take people to introudce them to whitewater. Good, generally predictable waves in cold glacial water but low comittment as you can bail out at the highway in several spots (including just above nova bend) if someone takes a a swim or doesn't want to.
A rocking rolling time had by all, took about 1.5 hours with a brief stop. Not going to get through the rapids without your butt wet unless you are the one up in the chair, though there are of course sneak routes around them.
We found numerous standings 3-4' waves off and on producing perfect roller coasters for several miles below the chickaloon. At lower flows this section is much more modest, but right now it's got some downright exciting sections, only to get better if we get a bit more heat. Don't miss the rock just above carbon creek. It was more or less completely covered but one person did feel it as we punched through the wave. A little more water and it will be superb.
The 9 and 10 year olds loved the fast turns and light duty waves on the easy rapids where river meets cliffs, and they loved sailing over the rock.
Nova bend lived up to expectations for adults but kids in the bow got wetter than desired. I figure it builds character. We found 3 or 4 solid 4' beastly waves in consecutive fashion at nova bend. with the big hole below the largest one that we slowly punched through, not as smoothly as is desirable but just as we lanmded we took a good three or four inches of water in the boat all at once so were a tad bit loaded.
Nova could easily flip a pack-raft right now, and is a perfect ride for a larger raft. Yeehaw. Get out there and have at it!
Made if up there Wednesday. We floated hicks creek to chickaloon. Got the kids wet twice and had a good time, not another person on that whole stretch of river. The upriver wind got a little old, but other than that is was great.