Thursday, May 31, 2012

Looking into Leavenworth

I have been to Leavenworth several times over the last couple years, but never for anything but paddling.  This Memorial Day weekend I decided to change that and further explore the area.  This is what I found out..

The Hiking was Great!

The Views were Beautiful!
The Biking was Fun!

The Climbing was Sweet!

The Campfires and Good Company were Aplenty!

And the Paddling was still Awesome!


Leavenworth gets a big A+ in my book!!
Can't wait to go back for more!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Allen de Mayo Paddle

On Cinco de Mayo I went to an emotional memorial on the Clackamas River to celebrate the life of a great paddling friend, Allen Satcher, who passed away on Upper Cherry Creek last summer. Allen was an incredible person and I miss him so much. He always had a really fun and positive energy on paddling trips and the world is just not the same without him around. 

It was comforting to meet up with a group of friends and bring back all our great memories of Allen. It was a clear, beautiful night on the Clackamas with a full moon, bonfire, great music, food, drinks and friends. I think Allen would have approved. 

The next morning a group of us eased our hangovers with an exploratory paddle on Nohorn Creek up near Bagby Hot Springs. It is a fun little creek with 3 miles of class III boogie water through a cool canyon, a great class IV slide called "Cookie Monster," and 20 ft. Pegleg Falls at the takeout. There was only one mandatory log portage, but the flow was a bit low for us. I'd recommend a little over 5,000 cfs on the Clackamas River gauge at Three Lynx. There is a good description of the run on the Oregon Kayaking website at:

The last 1/4 mile of the road was snowed in so we hiked our boats in the last little ways. We missed the spur road to the put-in but bushwacked in to find this pretty 15 ft. drop upstream. 

LJ Groth sliding down "Cookie Monster" rapid

Drew Eastman running Pegleg Falls, the grand finale at the takeout

Bringing in the 2010 New Year with Drew and Allen

Thinking of you and missing you Allen!
Hope that you are finding lots and lots of whitewater in heaven. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Striking Gold in Oregon

No, I didn't really strike gold, but a perfect April weekend on the Illinois River is almost the same...maybe better.  Since the Illinois is either known for it's crystal clear water, beautiful scenery, and exciting whitewater or it's horror stories of being stuck on a raging river that quickly rose with a single rain storm, we jumped at the chance to hit it with a perfect 2000cfs level and a forecast of sun. (I had been stalking the flow and forecast for weeks)
Shaping up to be a great day!
Bald Eagle to start the trip, always a good omen!
The Illinois River in southern Oregon is a perfect 32 mile stretch of whitewater and wilderness.  The flatwater has just enough class II-IV rapids to keep it exciting and the 4 mile III-IV (V) crux section is too much fun to describe.
Scouting the entrance to Green Wall, one of the first rapids in the crux section
The rest of Green Wall
The lower part of the canyon
Excited to be getting an early start on self-support trips this year, I could not stop smiling.  Of course, the cushioned out rapids, 75 degree weather, and beautiful waterfalls lining the canyon walls didn't hurt either.
Soaking it in, starting Day 2
Awesome scenery
Silver Creek
With the run being fairly remote and difficult to catch, it is not crowded and left us with the place to ourselves most of the trip.  Nothing like a little wilderness to refresh the soul!