This year for its annual Sweetheart Paddle, the Lower Columbia Canoe Club actually went paddling on the lower Columbia. We put in at Lewis and Clark Park on the Sandy RIver, paddled out the Delta, taking the east channel out to the Columbia. Once on the Columbia we paddled around Gary Island, then headed west towards Portland, taking out at Chinook Landing. Eighteen paddlers participated in a variety of craft. A big thanks to Mary Ann Jordens for organizing, herding, and nourishing the group with chocolate cookies. She also took all the great portrait photos at the end of the video.
Last Sunday Denny Egner coordinated a club trip from the base of Lightning Lonnie on the Molalla below Copper Creek to just past Baby Bear. Level was 1630 cfs. Chad and I were in canoes. In kayaks, the notorious Pool brothers (David and Bob), John Maroney, Laurie Crabbe, Eric Lindenauer, and Denny. The level was a little low at first, but not bad. It was great for the rest of the run after the confluence with the Table Rock fork. The version of the video that is embedded here uses a song from Pretty Lights. There’s a version that uses a Jimi Hendrix instrumental (“Born Under a Bad Sign”) at: https://vimeo.com/89372375
The reason for the title will become evident in viewing/listening. Last Saturday 14 club members put on to paddle the Salmon River at a moderate level (approximately 2700 cfs based on the Sandy at Marmot gauge), but only 12 finished. One took out deciding the continuous nature of the river, gradient (60 ft/mile) and technical nature was a bit much. The other took out just above the one rapid eveyone scouts after a swim left him on shore but his boat disappearing down the river.The boat was recovered two miles downstream by some kind souls living along the river. Denny found the needle in the haystack by spotting the person’s paddle in a log jam. He and I hiked back upriver with our boats and managed to recover the paddle. In the video, you’ll see two other swims–both on the one big rapid. I put these in to show that ours is not an easy sport and we’re all just between glorious moments in the boat and less glorious ones in the water. Of course, that might depend on your perspective. I’ve had swims that were as much a hoot as journeys down a rapid, but from a safety aspect, staying upright is preferable. All in all, it was a fun day down a river we don’t get to paddle that often. Michael Allender was our special guest, joining us on the run after showing his latest video to the club the night before.
A group of LCCC paddlers caught the Wilson at 4400 cfs and falling, an excellent level for running the Devil’s Lake Fork. Unfortunately, I caught only about 1/3 of the run before the rain shut down my camera. It has recovered, but there was much more excitement that I wish I could have caught on film. Nonetheless, this 3.5 minutes of video will give you a good idea of how great a day it was out there.
A big thanks to Bill Jordens for coordinating the trip.