Monday, April 29, 2013

Oh, Oregon!

--McKenzie river trip day one.--

Any river trip starts with some serious planning. Where are we going, when, who, what boats, and on and on. Like any trip This started the same way, unlike any other trip for me previously, i was guiding in a wooden boat (not a kayak), and was on a river unknown to me. That being said, at least i knew the people going with me.

--A little back story.--

If you are a reader of this little corner of the inter-webs you will know that at the Northwest School For Wooden Boat Building we are building replicas of the 1869 Powell expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers.What you don't know is that my instructor Ben has been pulled to go on the BBC trip as the shipwright. Over the last several months i have become good friends with Ben. Also over the last several months i have realized that perhaps one other student at the school has any real connection to rives or river trips,  in fact to some the idea of wooden boats in whitewater was either antiquated or just plane nuts.

With Ben being a friend of mine we decided he better at least get the basics down real fast. So i told him to buy Kayak: the Animated Manual of Intermediate and advanced Whitewater Technique, and get on as many river trips as possible. Well I'm the one he knows with a boat and the desire to use it...

--McKenzie river trip day one point five--

On a fine Thursday afternoon in Hadlock four of us headed to Oregon two current students (myself one of them), a former student, and Ben the instructor. We left as soon as humanly, hey we got boats to build. Thursday night was a relative blur, I think a Quiznos was involved.

--McKenzie river trip day two--

Thursday dawned with me trying to get some beta on the river and the put in situation. AW (American Whitewater failed here (unusual), DeLorme as per usual succeeded. We put in at Paradise took out at Finn Rock.

 I didn't take any photos on the run, sorry was having way way to much fin! After the run i realized that at some point on the float someone got out the cotton, as you can see in the photo below cotton is really comfortable, just not on a river.

We got all dried out,
Squared camp away,

 and i discovered a new IPA.
 The night progressed with the usual useless story telling and lies.

--McKenzie river trip day three--

Dawn however brought a real treat, the chance to see a lot of wooden river boats in one place, and float with them, just we had to wake up to get there.

After many years of paddling i have begun to get a certain laugh out of signs at put ins, especially when one is basically still asleep. This jem greeted us at Finn Rock, i couldn't help but think how long ago was this obstruction, where, and how bug were the logs?
 After that laugh wore off i was greeted with quite the surprise, boats boats and more boats!

 Flow and the gang posted up a little out of the spotlight to better see the show. Wow what a show.

 At the festival grounds a chance to look the boats over, here are some highlights.

After the show we floated another couple of hours down stream. Sitting at the take out i couldn't help but think about how great it was that there were at least a couple of peoples whole introduction to modern river running took place over the course of this great trip all in wooden boats.

Life is good! and the night Still held hot springs.

--McKenzie river trip day four--

A day of driving and back home. Just can't wait to go again.


  1. Did you get the scoop on the finish of the green (stained?) boat? (It's the 3rd pic above below the caption "festival grounds"). My girlfriend really liked that finish, and I never found the owner to ask him about it.

    It was nice to get to talk to you for a few minutes at the festival.

    Jim aka Rojo

  2. Jim,
    I was told that its a latex based stain, other than that i have no idea what it is. I know you can buy stains that can be epoxied over from Chesapeake Light Craft.