As of today there is a TON of wood on the Little Nelchina. We were able to avoid portaging but the river is very pushy at its current height. We had a fairly clean run at it with the dog going for a swim once when I bumped a rock. The group that left after us was less fortunate. They lost their gat tank for their kicker and one of the passengers went for a nasty swim. It took us less than an hour to reach the Nelchina River.
The Nelchena was also high. No major run ins just fast. Four hours got us to Tazlina Lake.
Tazlina Lake was flat and the wind worked in our favor. We tested my new kicker setup on our raft and after some minor adjustments we were moving at 5.2 mph at full throttle with a 2 hp engine and we cruised at 4.8 at 3/4 throttle. It took under 2 hours to cross the lake.
Tazlina Rive started out with a bang! We could tell that the lake was much higher than previously with all the vegetation in the water. The rapid leaving the lake had 4' waves and boat sucking eddies on each side. Prepare to get wet and hit the rapids straight on. The next 15-20 miles are class 2 with some nasty rocks and holes to avoid. Just before house rock there is a massive rapid that would do much more damage than house rock rapid its self! Stay river right on this rapid or pay the price. At this water level house rock rapid can be ran on either side and to avoid the 4-5 foot wave trains from the previous rapid I would run it river right it I could rerun it. From there down are lots of big wave trains that were pitching my 14.3R around but we maneuvered them fine. The Tazlina took 7 hours.
The fishing was good at Mandelta but a strike out at a few other creeks. Animals were out to, we saw moose, caribou, brown bear and black bears. A little more than I was expecting with my loaded boat but it was a great time and keep us alert and awake. I would love to have ran it in the packraft with those big wave trains! I got a fair amount of footage and am heading off shore for work so I will have some time to get caught up with all my video projects.