Brad Camden - Smith River Shuttles

"Bearfoot" Brad Camden runs shuttles in California's Smith River drainage.  He charges $60.00 per car, for a North Fork shuttle.  You can contact him at 1-707-457-3365 or on the Internet at  Brad's address is 10,000 Highway 199 in Gasquet California.  His house is the miniature castle-looking building.  (It has three turrets with a suit of armor in the middle of the three bay windows)

His house is located next to the Internet Café & She She's Restaurant.  About a quarter of a mile south of the little country store in Gasquet. 

Brad asks that you call first to set up a shuttle when ever possible!

Brad visits the unofficial gauge (the brown steel pipe) at the confluence of the North and Middle Forks of the Smith each morning and posts his findings on Dreamflows as Smith - Steel Pipe At Gasquet.

Brad writes this about how he got started doing Kayak Shuttles.

I have been doing kayak and raft shuttles on the Smith River in Gasquet since 1986.  I moved to Gasquet from Selma Oregon, where I lived at McCaleb Ranch (at the Swinging Bridge) on the Illinois River.  When my wife got pregnant she took a one-year leave of absence from Caltrans in Crescent City.  When it was time for her to go back to work, I would be a stay-at-home dad and raise our child while she was at work.  I met a guy who did kayak shuttles when I moved to Gasquet.  After he got a regular job, and was going to work one morning, a truck pulled into his driveway with kayakers wanting a shuttle.  He knew I was bored, wearing a path in my carpet (walking circles in my living room) so he called me and asked if I wanted to do a kayak Shuttle.  I said yes, I would love to, if they have room in the truck for a car seat for my one-year-old daughter (she is 23 now).  I have been doing kayak shuttles ever since.  Over the years all the other people that used to do kayak shuttles have moved away from the area, except for the people that I call on to help me.  I currently have a list of 7-8 extra drivers I use when I need to provide drivers for more than one vehicle.  I post this list in the front window (when I leave on a shuttle) for kayakers to call.  I do not get anything out of providing these extra drivers, except the reliability / dependability of being able to provide enough drivers for my kayaker / rafting clients.

Brad writes this about how morning shuttles usually work:

I have a bunch of vehicles pull in to my driveway unannounced.  I would prefer if kayakers called the night before, but I understand that in a lot of cases they might not know until that morning what fork they are going to float that day or how many drivers they may be needing.  Kayakers usually arrive in separate vehicles, which are safe and secure in my driveway all day (no charge), then they consolidate into one rig.  They pack as many people as they can in the car, leaving room for a shuttle driver, of course.  They split the cost of the shuttle between them (usually leaving out the owner of the car since he is providing the vehicle and the gas to get there and back).  The shuttle driver rides up in the client's vehicle and drives it back over the mountain to the appropriate take-out.  I usually only do the North Fork of the Smith River because it is so far for paddlers to go back to get the rig at the end of the day and it is out in the woods where there is possibility of vandalism.  I am available to do shuttles on the Middle and South Fork too, as well as Diamond Creek, and other side-creeks.  I have to shuttle these out of the way four-wheel drive shuttles myself.  I do not provide alternate drivers for these places, and it is considered to be an extra service.  At the end of my day I go to the appropriate take-out to see if all of the shuttle vehicles are gone, as they should be.  If the vehicles are still where I left them I will drive back up to the put-in to try and locate my clients, in case they are walking out for some reason.  If I cannot find the Kayakers myself, I will send someone I know out in a raft when it is daylight again, if no one is available I will call Search and Rescue.

Brad adds this about snow in winter:

When it starts snowing, the County Road Maintenance Department does very little to keep the road open to the North Fork Smith River put-in, so I go back and forth with my four wheel drive truck, to keep the road open just by the tracks that I wear down in the dirt.  Doing this results in a lot of money going down the drain for gas and adds up to a lot of extra-unpaid hours, but if someone shows up for a shuttle and they ask how the road is I can tell them it is open and I just got back from making sure.  Once in a great while the snow is too deep and I will try again tomorrow.

Brad notes the correct spelling of his name is  Bearfoot Brad  and quips:

Anybody can take their shoes off, but it takes a long time to get Bear Feet!  He Hee!