A paddling date with Timbah is always a good time.A paddling date with Timbah on the Mukawa River…now that’s a super good time. This time, Timbah brought along his duckie raft inflatable double kayak.
Koharu graciously helped us with the inflation, shuttle, and some put-in photos.
This was the first time for the both of us to paddle this section of the Mukawa. I’d heard it was on a similar level of rowdiness to the section above the Fukuyama Bridge (see that section here). Timbah, on the other hand, appeared to be assuming it would be a gentle meander along a slow-moving creek.
“This is dropping much faster than I’d expected!” he yelled over the roar of the second of many rapids we hit that day.
Indeed, it started off fairly mild, with an easy CII swift around the first bend.
That first CII swift quickly felt like the last swift of the day. First up was a fun boulder garden culminating with a tight chute between two large boulders.
Following that, we were having so much fun smashing down the rapids that I didn’t even think to mark all the rapids. The water level was sublime, the inflatable was the proverbial bus through the rapids, and the autumn colors were lovely.
The derelict road shelter rapids were memorable.
Things got properly exciting when we got to the old weir. In my initial draft GPX for this section of river, I’d marked this as MUST SCOUT. I didn’t take my own advice, and we just dove head-first into it, almost capsizing.
Note the jagged plate steel on the left :-/
Timbah in the stern kept us upright however, and we got through unscathed.
A highlight of this section of river is the old derelict Fukuyama hydroelectric power station. I assume it was fed by water from the old weir, as that weir is the only one on the Mukawa this high up on the river.
“Post-apocalyptic!” yelled Timbah as we approached.
We pulled over and scrambled up to the old building for a look.
Inside, it appeared as though the place was now a luxury sleeping spot for the deer. The floors were littered with deer droppings.
Beyond the derelict power station were a few more rapids before the river calmed down for the last 2-3km before the take-out.
Paddling this section of the Mukawa means we only have one more rowdy section (between Shimukappu and Niniu) and one final slow-water paddle to the ocean to do before we’ve paddled the entire paddleable length of this fantastic river.