Sunday, May 31, 2009

Race Day on the Little White Salmon River

Today was the big day for the random, annual, unofficial, kickass Little White race. Erik Boomer and Andy Maser decided that the format this year would be head to head heats through Gettin' Busy to Island and S-turn to Wishbone. We had blue skies, warm temps and a flow of 3.6 ft. It really just doesn't get much better than that:) The final heat of 4 was pretty diverse this year so there were a bunch of winners:

1st Place Mens and overall winner, Tao Berman

1st Place C1, 2nd overall, Joe Stumpfell

1st Place Juniors, 3rd overall, Todd Wells

1st Place Womens, 4th overall, Lizzy English

Many thanks to the Little White Salmon for being so badass and so much fun and for showing us all such a great time today on the river.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Adventures on the Illinois River

Christie and I usually call our car rides together "business meetings" and use them to discuss upcoming trips.  One day in February, with both of us recently returning from international trips and thinking we needed to keep it local for a while, we started talking about the Illinois River.  We did some research and both got pretty fired up about it.  We began watching levels and weather forecasts, but things never seemed to line up. Three months later it did.  With hot, sunny weather in the forecast and a good level on board we immediately starting planning, calling on our good friend Turin Hill to round out the crew.  It couldn't have come at a better time, with both of us having stressful weeks and Turin just graduating and looking for one last hurrah in Oregon before moving to New Mexico. The next morning we hopped in the car and made the trek to southern Oregon.  We had a few adventures in Merlin while waiting to meet our shuttle driver, Linda, and were certainly glad to get back on the road.
                                             Linda the shuttle driver 

Linda was great, telling us all about shortcuts to the river and small town drama and giving us a very interesting safety talk.  She hung out with us while we got all packed  up and sent us on our way with big hugs. 
Miami Bar

We finally put on the river around 4:00pm, all of us breathing a big sigh of relief that we were finally on the river and away from everything else. 
                                          Christie enjoying the beauty 

There was some great boogie water and beautiful scenery all the way to camp.  We chose to stay at South Bend or "Last Chance" because it was close to the halfway point and would position us nicely above the gorge for the morning. 
                                        South Bend camp (mile 17)

After a fun night around the fire we all woke up really early to an exquisite view of the moon through thick fog.
                                           The last of the fog

  The sun came out quickly, burning off the fog and we were set to have another great day!
                                     What a great way to wake up!

With an eagle flying overhead we left the beautiful green and turquoise surrounding camp and entered the steep canyon that contains most of the rapids on the run.
                                                   Scenery at camp

                                                      Leaving camp

After a brief warm up we found ourselves at Green Wall, the most challenging drop on the run.  We hopped out, picked our lines, and went for it.  With everyone killing it we cruised through the rest of the section.
                                         Christie charging the right line

                                    Kate going for the boof line

                              Turin rounding the final corner of Green Wall

All smiles and giggles, we exited the steep section and the walls started opening up. 

With it being such a hot day, we stopped to hang out on the beach and go swimming for a while before returning to the real world.
                                           Turin in the final stretch

 A couple hours later we came out of the canyon having seen some deer, a turtle, and some other wildlife, but no other person.  This is the life!

Leaving you with our happy dances..
                                                          and Christie!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Never Say Never

May 10, 2009

Metlako Falls is a perfect 101 ft. waterfall from pool to pool with an 82 ft. freefall. Last spring I hiked up Eagle Creek to watch a couple of friends fire it off and I said I would never run anything that insane.

On Mother's Day 2009, the 5 year anniversary of Dave Grove's first descent, I had a change of heart and had a successful run of Metlako with Evan Garcia and Todd Wells. It was almost double the size of anything I had ever ran before and a new women's world waterfall record.

For the full story check out Paddling Life.

Photo by Erik Boomer

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nordheimer Race 2009 (weekend in Cali)

With the Next Adventure sprinter van back in action, we were set for a fun weekend in Cali! Seven of us piled in and made the trek down south, getting to the Salmon River just in time for a quick practice run Friday night. (Thanks to Noah's rafting for letting us crash!)

The theme of the event was "Pornstars vs Monsters" which made for some interesting costumes!
Justin Patt's pantless pornstar costume and Paul Gamache as PO Monster
                      Christie as Medusa vs Kate as Bridezilla

The race was great, with Christie Glissmeyer (aka Medusa) taking first for the ladies and Ty Overeem taking first in short boat.  Way to represent Hood River!!
                                  Mass start at 1:23

                   Shon Bollock and Luke Spencer in Freight Train

After the race the crew headed to the South Fork of the Salmon for a little more action.
          Kate on one of the ledges up top (photo:luke spencer)

This run was super fun with lots of great, clean rapids and an exciting gorge.
         Christie somewhere in the gorge (photo:luke spencer)

             Tony in another fun rapid (photo:luke spencer)

With only a couple of scouts, we made it down pretty quickly and headed back to camp for the party! Despite an injury and difficult weather, Paul Gamache did a fantastic job organizing the event and party and good times were not hard to find!

The next morning we packed up camp and headed to Clear Creek.  With a little bit more water than we expected, it was an exciting day for all!

               Excitement on Clear Creek (photo:luke spencer)

After a long day we were stoked to find out we had a place to crash in Ashland. (thanks Travis, Dan, and Frank!) 

The next morning we decided to hit up the South Fork of the Umpqua on the way home.  Luke had heard there were a couple of fun drops so we cruised over to check them out.  First up was a pretty cool slide with a fun boof on the right side.  We didn't have a ton of water so the boof line was the way to go.
                Luke and Tony going for the double boof

Next was another slide, this one ending in a hole. Fortunately it only offered up one rodeo ride. :) 

                 Luke heading into the hole

Last but definitely not least was a fun little falls that we all ran laps on.  
                         Tony on the last falls

There isn't a whole lot between the drops, but it is a beautiful run worth checking out if you are in the area.  It also serves as a great place to clean up a bit! Now that's a Dr. Bronners commercial if I've ever seen one!
Thanks everyone for a great weekend!!