Upper Wind at Lower Flow

I had recently lamented to Murray that despite the abundance of talented individuals in the club, whenever it came time for a trip that had mention of “class 4”, suddenly everyone was on vacation, catching up on yard work, or just plain laying low. Legends have it there was a time when the LCCC regularly ran such gems as the Breitenbush, Butte Creek, Quartzville Creek, Upper and Lower Wind, and even the Farmlands on the White Salmon. Club canoeists were occasionally seen running Punchbowl Falls on the West Fork Hood and Husum Falls on the White Salmon. Whatever happened to the ‘good old days’?

"Where's the brakes? Hey, quit tilting the camera!"
"Where's the brakes? Hey, quit tilting the camera!"

I was very excited when Murray offered to maybe revitalize the class 4 trip offerings on the calendar. The low-water, technical kind, not the big-water pushy stuff. And, as club Whitewater Trip Coordinator, I knew that would be 1 less arm I would have to twist to keep the calendar filled!
Continue reading Upper Wind at Lower Flow

REVISITED: You’re going to run that in a canoe?

Mark’s original 2007 internet video featuring footage from LCCC trips has apparently been doing quite well on YouTube. (Part of its success is undoubtedly due to Mark’s son Leland, who contributed the original sound track.) The video predated this blog, so I am posting it here for the record, as well as for your renewed enjoyment.

Classic Canoe class

Great weekend with some enthusiastic new paddlers. The Lower Columbia Canoe Club organized a 2-day clinic to provide instruction for new tandem canoeists. Dave Graf pulled it all together, and we had a great selection of instructors, with Murray Johnson, Patty Brooks, Peter and Veda Keefe, and many many assistants who helped with the clinic, including Nina and Laurent, Bill Jordens, Lora Graf, Ellen and Erin and me.

I took photos Saturday at Lackamas lake where we met on Saturday for the first part of the course. We practiced basic strokes: forward, draw, cross-bow-draw, push-away, pry, and learned to steer the canoe and do a canoe over canoe rescue. We spent quite a bit of time talking about communication, gear, preparation, safety, etc.

We spent most of Sunday on the banks of the Sandy, and got some practices with ferries, eddy turns and peel-outs, using throw ropes, and the basics of reading the river and paddling in moving water.

It was a fun weekend. We had nice weather, not too cold and not too hot, and the students enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, and ability to practice and apply new skills was great. All of the instructors and assistants did a great job. We have a new crop of paddlers to enjoy great Oregon/Washington rivers with!

Check the pictures at http://arcticdreamchaser.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

Butte Creek – Scout Camp to Mill City Park

Kendall Springer on Knuckle Buster
Kendall Springer on Knuckle Buster

On May 16, 2009, eight paddlers took on a very low Butte Creek from the Scout Camp down to the Mill City Park. Murray, Mark, Audrey, Robert F., and Alex were in canoes and Kendall, Rob B., and Denny were in kayaks.

Murray Johnson on Knuckle Buster

Murray Johnson on Knuckle Buster

Besides the beautiful weather, highlights of the day included the numerous ledge drops and the run through Knuckle Buster, a technical class IV drop about half way down. Denny, Kendall, and Mark made it though cleanly, but our fearless leader, Murray, managed to do the middle part backwards. We all knew he was simply showing off and making the rest of us wish we had such style.

Rob, Robert, Alex, and Audrey were quite impressive on the many ledges.

Robert Frisbee on Spliting Hairs

Robert Frisbee on Splitting Hairs

And just in… Mark’s latest video production from the same trip:

Canoe Clinics

The clinics are quickly approaching and we are working hard to organize the classes. If you have not already registered, you should do this as soon as possible. A number of classes are almost full even as far out as the July 25-26 Advanced Whitewater Clinics. Classes will be filled on a first-come first-served basis and there are limited slots so do not miss this opportunity to participate by delaying your decision.

The deadline for the June 6-7 Flat Water/Moving Water Clinics is Friday May 29. This means that David Graf has to have received all registration materials and the associated check by the end of that day. Classes with insufficient participation will be canceled at that time. Late registrations will be accepted only for the remaining classes with openings still available.

So if you have not already registered and are interested in participating in one of the LCCC’s exciting classes, please do not hesitate any longer or the opportunity to improve your skills and enjoyment of the sport of paddling will be delayed for another year.

For more details please visit http://www.l-ccc.org/classes.php

Paddle, Music and Good Company

What a wonderful weekend to be a flat/moving water paddler. Dave Graf has done it again, he raised the bar so high that even whitewater paddlers felt compelled to join the fun.

some of the boats. Photo by Dave Graf
Some of the boats. Photo by Dave Graf

First it started with a beautiful sunny day on this 4th of April, and trust me (my last trip was snowy), it takes a lot of planning to schedule, 3 months in advance, a trip on a sunny day in April despite a previous day with 40 degre and rain.
Coming from the Lower Columbia Canoe clubs as well as from the Southwest Washington Canoe Club, I counted 21 boats, about 35 paddlers single and double bladed, and 2 dogs for a paddle at Brownsmead near Astoria on the Columbia sloughs. A couple of eagles even came out to check those weird colorful things floating on the river.
The group lazily spread on the river, bumping into each other only when investigating the smaller channels of the area.
photo by Lee Session
A soaring bald eagle. Photo by Lee Session

Following the paddle, we regrouped at a nearby campsite where a majority of the group spent the night before heading to John’s beautiful house for one of the most elaborate potlucks I ever attented. The 2 kitchen ovens baked pies and quiches, while the 2 outdoor grills took care of the Chicken Cacciatore and the Bradwursts. Once everybody was full, we moved upstairs for a night of live music featuring the Brownsmead Flats (http://www.brownsmeadflats.com). This group does an amazing job of capturing the essence of living and paddling in Oregon and Washington with their lively music they label as “Crabgrass.”

Several of the guests had brought instruments and joined for the fun. After the group played a bunch of their songs from their 4 different CDs, an impromptu jam session started, for the joy of all.

Due to space contraints, I’ve published a few pictures only but be sure to come for the next year in review for a more comprehensive collection.

Photo by Dave Graf
The Brownsmead Flat and Loretta. Photo by Dave Graf

Thanks again to Dave for this wonderful day, to John and his wife for opening their house to this rowdy group, to the Brownsmead Flat for playing for us, to all who brought one or several instruments and played along, to all the cooks for the wonderful food, to the photographers for their photos and all paddlers for coming.

See you next month near th eUpper Klamath Lake.

Important: Bakery Alert

Knowing the good restaurants, brewpubs,

ice cream stands, ginger bread stands, espresso stands,

milkshake stands and the like on the way to and from the river is important!

With that in mind, put the Hometown Bakery & Cafe on your list for a stop

the next time you do the Clackamas.  Coming from

Portland, it is in the industrial park on the right before you

get into Estacada.  Excellent pies, cookies, cinnamon

rolls, breads, etc.  Well worth the stop!

Lonely Rock on the Mollala

Did you say sun?
Did you say sun?
This report could have been about numbers, as in number of inflatable kayaks:2; number of canoes: 1; and lamenting about the disappearance of canoe paddlers.
This report could have been about the weather, as in sunshine: yes; snow: yes; rain: yes; and lamenting about the crazy weather we had this winter in Oregon. It’s snowing as I’m writing this.
This report could have been about river and flows, as in river: Mollala; run: from Avon Bridge to Feyrer Park; flow: 1300 cfs; gauge: 12.10 ft, and not lamenting because a bad day on the river is … you know!
Continue reading Lonely Rock on the Mollala

Second Sunday Class 2 Première

This past Sunday was the Premiere of this monthly event designed specially for beginners.

Photo by Neil Shulman
Photo by Neil Shulman
The first occurrence showed 5 paddlers braving the early morning fog to enjoy a good day on the river, 2 open canoes, 2 kayaks and 1 IK, the “new club” usual group. The fog lifted later on to let us paddle the North Clackamas under clear sky.
We went from McIver park down to Feldheimer. The flow was a normal 2090 cfs so it did not offer any real difficulty for this group of intermediate paddlers on a flow of above. No swim to report but rumors has it that a kayaker had to roll. We spent some time doing a little surfing as this is a fairly short trip. It tooks us about 2 and half hours including the compulsory lunch. 
We’ll do that again next month, with I hope more real beginners. SO see you on March 14.