Thursday, July 24, 2008
I watched as they disconnected the powerlines from the house. Then they took chain saws to the back wall, ripped off the exterior and pulled out all the smoldering insulation. The flames were all out except in my closet and the attic. I was prepared for the worst. It didn't look good from the backyard where some bushes had caught fire and sent flames shooting up the back of the house.
A couple hours later the firemen were done and I was able to go inside and assess the damage. To my surprise all my stuff was in great shape. The firemen had busted through my window and moved all my clothes, computer and furniture away from the wall and covered it with tarps before the fire hit the second floor. Except for the strong chemical smoke odor, everything is fine!
The fire crew was so quick and efficient and I am amazed at how thorough they were. They still have not been able to determine the cause of the fire but I am so impressed they were able to save the house. I am definitely going to look into getting some renters insurance! Know anyone who needs a roommate in Hood River?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The first weekend of July I went up to paddle Yellowjacket Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. It is a deep little canyon that flows off the east slope of Mount St. Helens. Mike and Dave had been up there the week before and done a class V hike with their kayaks to get down into the gorge. They decided it would be a good idea to explore upstream a few miles from the traditional put-in for better access. Jesse, Turin, Pat and I were syked to come along.
We didn't know anything about the upper section except for a 15-footer we could see from the road and rumors of a very large waterfall somewhere in the canyon. We headed up FR 28 until the road met up with the river again and geared up. The estimate flow was about 590 cfs.
The first couple of miles had quite a few fun class III, IV drops with a bit of wood that we had to sneak. We paddled through a few gorgeous mini gorges and eventually came up on the 15-footer. Dave fired it up and made it look so good we all ran it.
Dave Hoffman in the lead-in ~ www.enrgkayaking.com
Jesse Becker boofing the 15-footer
Just downstream we came to a big horizon line which turned out to be a not so clean 40-footer. With a bit of team work we were able to portage the drop and continue down some fun slides to the traditional Veta Creek put-in. A bit more water would have been better for the lower stretch but it turned out to be a pretty awesome day.
Me paddling down through the lower section