Imagine a beautiful Saturday morning, meaning it does not rain yet and the sun tries to peak between the clouds, and a man, a grown-up man, let’s call him Ted to preserve his identity and protect his family, is going around asking for a skirt because he forgot to wear his this morning. No, this is not Scotland despite the weather but it’s a paddling drama happening right in your backyard, at the put in of the “5-mile bridge to Hanna bridge” run on the Thomas creek. A beautiful run on a forested secluded river. Unfortunately for Ted, nobody had a spare skirt and he had to sit that portage fest.
Six of us headed to Butte Creek on March 20, 2011. Level was 350 cfs (Pat Welch calculation) and sweet. Special kudos to new club member and canoeist Adam Temple (red Ocoee) for his first paddle with the club and Butte Creek. Others on the trip: Alan Douglass, Denny Egner, Drew Crisell, Robert Frisbee, and me. Alan shot some of the video and photos. In particular, for those who feel that I unfairly escape the camera, watch to the very end to see me in an awkward situation. (Another version of this video with a Neil Young soundtrack–not allowed on YouTube–can be found here.)
Unfortunately, I must start out by saying I didn’t get any footage of the tree limb falling 30 feet, nor Alan Douglass’s lightning fast response to it, purposely flipping his canoe so that the limb would hit the canoe bottom, nor did I manage to shoot Alan rolling back up, making use of a bit of the 15-foot tree branch now beside him. In fact I didn’t manage to catch much of the magic of the day because I was too caught up in it. The fact is, most of the pictures here and some of the videos are Alan’s. I did get a video of Denny going over the 20-ft fall. What a wild day — multiple wood portages, freak wind storm, and a crazy shuttle drive at the end of the day, weaving around tree limbs on the road, sneaking under powerlines dipping down to the ground from other side of the road, and just beating the closure time for the park at the takeout. I love the paddling life.
Word to the wise: they don’t plow the road that goes to the put-in of the Salmon River. I’d call it a Class IV drive in a Forester. Might be an indication I need new tires. The crew: Patrick McCarty, Karl Dinkelspiel, Alan Douglass, Greg Davenport (in a new L’edge!), Drew Crisell, Jim Coker, Teresa Gryder, Terry Miller, John Maroney, and myself. Level was 2250 and dropping by the Sandy at Marmot gauge–a bit low, but what are you going to do after driving 5 miles up a snowy road and getting a car stuck at the put-in? You paddle it anyway. Beautiful run mostly through national forest. Let’s try this again in April or May.
Curt Peterson, Murray Johnson, Denny Egner, Patrick McCarty, Audrey Bergsma and I headed to the Wilson on March 5 to run the elusive DLF section of the Wilson. It had just spiked from rain the night before to the perfect level (3,600 cfs). The snow on the banks added an extra degree of beauty and when you looked up, the snowy mountains made it simply a wonderful day to be on earth and water. As the music I put to this video suggests, the things the human spirit needs are free. Enough preaching to the choir for this Sunday.