Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lava Island Falls at 1000 cfs...

By: Christina Russell
Date: December 31, 2006

Today is New Year's Eve and what does a paddler do? PADDLE! It was of course no warmer than 35 degrees out but the river was 1000 cfs. The Deschutes has been crankin' this winter which ='s LOTS of boating and not much else.

I hooked up with John Cramp and Josh - two locals here in Bend to run Lava Island Falls. 1000 cfs is considered a medium flow,a class 4+ run. Some solid whitewater goodness! It's only about a mile long which means...LAPS on the run. :D
*Unfortunately I have no photos of from today. Getting photos and vid are difficult....the run snakes between two lava flows and there are very FEW eddies. Having an official videographer is really the best way to go.

For photos of Lava Island Falls check:

We put on at roughly 2:30 and completed the run in less than 30 minutes. Josh paddled his brand spankin new Jefe.... he traded his Dagger Crazy 88 for a Jefer just before we rendezvoused! Making the switch to Liquidlogic! We gave him a few minutes to paddle her around- get used to her, and then started down.

From the top of this section, the run looks intimidating- a blind corner into a class 4+. The first drop, Lava 1, is the meatiest. It begins with a tricky right handed airplane turn directly into two channels seperated by a log jam. The right channel is where the meat is-one large keeper hole. You can boof left and land directly in the eddy at the base. The left channel is composed of several ledge holes followed by "Bob's Butthole" at the base...several paddlers have had the unfortunate experience of swimming here...for a while. Boat, paddle, and person were all recirculated atleast a minute. John followed Josh down the left channel shouting, "Go hard left! left! left!"...referring to Bob's Butthole at the bottom. Josh avoided a confrontation with the hole much to his pleasure and ours. Swimming on Lava is something you just don't do. Unlike most river rock in this country that is smooth, Bend's rock is lava. Unlike the boys, I went right and snagged a sweet boof off the ledge along with "love marks" on the hull of ma boat.

Below Lava 1 is "Cut Up". A read and run section full of sharp rocks. At this point Josh decided he was quite please with his Jefe and was stoked for Lava 2. The gradient increases before Lava 2, creating a steep pushy rapid. The drop involves making a hard right above a river wide hole and boofing on the right next to a large logjam.

Following Lava 2, there is some boogy water just above the take out...dry clothes. Overall the run is very straighforward but should be respected. As flows increase, it becomes a completely different animal.

Today, the take out was filled with people celebrating New Years. An enthusiastic local showed us the "world coolest card trick" according to him. He then proceeded to tell us that he hosts the naked skydiving at the Burning Man celebration....right...we did NOT want to know that. But hey according to Franti- "All the freaky people make the beauty of the world!"

With any luck I will hit up Dillon Falls and capture some video :). WOO HOOO! Happy New Year everyone and keep toasty warm... :D

This is "C" over and out!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

High water on the Riverhouse Run- 1000 CFS

By: Christina Russell
Date: December 26, 2006

The day after Christmas turned out to be a sweet day for paddling here in Bend, Oregon. I woke up to see this was dumping snow and about 30 degrees. Not too cold but WINDY. Most people were up skiing but after several days of rain and snow, all the runs were up. :) How could I resist? My sister, Kimmers, wasn't able to join me today but I was able to round up a crew of 4 people including myself. (Not many people enjoy boating in the snow)

Riverhouse is a fun , local run in Bend. It's named after the Riverhouse hotel just below the put-in. It is about 5 miles long and technical...but it's mostly just fun fun fun . On average, the flow is around 600 is was 1000. It hasn't hit that flow in years. I was so excited to check out the river at this turned out to be big and fluffy :) but very mellow. The 20 foot dam at the put in was unrunnable in the normal location (right) so John Cramp and I scoped out the left side. The line looked clean, so we fired it up. The hole at the bottom wasn't sticky at all and I flew through the hole...leaving my right contact behind. Ugh not cool.

The drop was SWEET but I was not so happy about running Riverhouse with one eye closed. The first drop was mostly flushed out. The third drop called the Wright Stuff was easier than at lower flows because there was less risk of pinning yourself in the middle of the rapid. Just lots of water flushing through tight locations. My personal favorite- the Ogre was nothing like it's low water self. The shelves that sit in the middle of the rapid were completely gone and the foam pile that covers the boulder at the bottom was perty darn big. Im sure things were slightly distorted as I had one eye closed the entire time but it sure made for an exciting run. Note to self- remember to wear the sunglasses! The same picnic table that the Tumalo state park always forgets to move away from the river bank was still in the water. Maybe one of these years they will remember to move it.

This photo is a dramatic re-enactment of my paddling today....a very edible re-enactment :D

So if you are interested in catching Riverhouse at a high flow, fly out to Bend NOW. If you are lucky enough to hit it at or above 1000 cfs you will be stoked...just DONT run the dam on the right side.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Snow, Logs, and Surf Waves on the McKenzie River

Kim: After a harsh week of finals for the both of us, Christina came home for Christmas break and some boatin!' We did the important Christmas decorating around the house of which it took a good five minutes to get the angel to stay on top of our tree. THEN, it fell, and it took another five minutes to get it back on top of the tree! It was sad. We don't got skill there. haha. Anyway, we'd made plans to do a fair amount of paddling together over break and finally got the opportunity.

We woke up to see our thermometer reading 6 degrees at the house, and did the normal morning ritual or checking water levels. Lake Creek was in, Quartzville Creek was in, North Santiam was in, and so was the Hood. It was another morning where there were way too many options to count.

We decided to go somewhere that wasn't too far a drive, but still fun of epic proportions: Clover. Clover is a killer playspot on the Mckenzie River about an hour and a half from the house. It is a set of big bouncy surf waves that only come in at over 10,000 cfs in the winter (its at its prime from 13,000-14,000 cfs). Today it was at 9,000 cfs. Depite the "lower" flow (it runs at 2 grand in the summer) , we decided to hit the road anyway! If there is a chance it's going to be good, it is definetly worth the drive over!

Photo by: Christina Russell
HA! I actually got it in the center of the photo! YEAH!

To get to Clover, you have to drive over the Santiam Pass (elevation about 4,600 ft: not bad, but high enough for lots of snow). The day before, this pass was closed due to three feet of snow overnight. We could only hope they would not shut it down on us. Luckily it was sunny and "warm" (about 20 degrees), and the roads weren't too bad. We were able to make it to the Mckenzie River in good time. WOHOO!

On the way over, we stopped at Sahalie Falls to check out the high water. Normally, there is only water on the river right, but today, there was water flowing off the river left too. LOTS of water!

We continued downriver to Clover, rockin' out in the car to the Scissor Sisters and Metallica and did a quick drive-by to check it out.

Christina: It was a balmy 30 degrees outside so we didnt have to wear quite as many layers. I'm still old-schoolin' it with my full body surfer wetsuit (Im a poor college student ) and kim has upgraded to a drysuit. Anyways, we changed in the parking lot of the old Mom's Pies restaurant. When it was open, it served up some of the best huckleberry pie EVER. You haven't had pie until Mom's! It closed a couple years ago but hopefully will re-open in the near future! Cross your fingers!

Photo by: Kim Russell

Photo by: Christina Russell

Photo By: Christina Russell

After three hours of surfing, and a mini (emphasis on mini) break, I was about to get back on the waves and
Three logs floated on by... hmmmmmmm. Maybe that was all that was going to float down. Nope. Five minutes later, two more floated on down. It became obvious to us that we should relocate to a surf wave upstream where we could actually SEE what was floating down.

On the drive down, Kim and I had checked out a summer playspot called Redsides. We couldnt believe it was actually IN! Of course it looked better than it actually was!

It was too flushy though at the high flow of 9 grand. Since we are EASILY entertained, we actually had more fun off the water than playing in Redsides...

I like to knaw on a mossy rock...mmmmm nutritious....

And Kim's helmet- not so nutritious

Around 3 pm, we decided to get some dry clothes on and head home...of course this is one of the best parts of kayaking in the winter...
It was time to go STREAKING! WOO HOOO! Yes, we had some fun he he he :P If we posted those pictures, of course we would have to kill you...that's confidental material. Only those who boat with us get to witness that goodness.


And here is what we saw when we got back to Bend...gorgeous eh? It was the end of a perfect day on the river.

Photo by: Christina Russell

Photo by: Kim Russell

This is Christina and Kim signing out for another day on the river....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Blem Cupcakes!

Adam Craig surfing at the “secret spot”

Photo by Kim Russell

Last night it rained a lot. And the day before, it rained a lot. Pretty much, there was a lot of rain.

Since this was the case, my friend Adam Craig and I decided to take a trip to the Valley for some boating since all we had been doing for quite some time was local boating (Riverhouse, Dillon and Lava Island Falls). AND…. There was water :)

We were contemplating between heading into either the Opal Creek Drainage, the Santiam Drainage or the McKenzie Drainage. We weren’t sure which one to go to as there were so many options in each area, so we decided to wing it and decide on the way over the Santiam Pass (there is a point were the highway splits and the decision has to be made to either go North or South).

The morning started off early, leaving Bend, Oregon around 9:00 with both creek boats and playboats on the car.

“The Rickster”
Photo By: Kim Russell

We proceeded to make our way west towards the Cascades, making our habitual stop at the Bakery in Sisters, Oregon where we picked up some snacks for the day. And by snacks I mean sweets. Yes. It was good.

-2 pumpkin donuts
-1 pumpkin muffin
-1 carrot cake
-1 blueberry coffeecake
-1 knish (mashed potato and spinach filled pastry)
-1 HUGE apple fritter
-1 cinnamon roll
-1 cupcake
-1 turkey quiche
-1 turkey sandwich


After a quick fill up on gas and some quality quiche and cupcake (of which was declared a blem by the Bakery and therefore sold to us for a dollar), we began re-contemplating where we were going. By the way, did you know there are cupcake blems? How does that work? We couldn't figure it out. Maybe it’s a blem if the doughy stuff spills over the side of the paper cup thing and makes it not look as perfect as a perfect bakery cupcake should? Who knows? If you do, please let us know!!!!!!!!

Photo By: Kim Russell

Anywhoo, after mobbing over The Santiam Pass (Highway 20) in the sweet little Rickster (read: car), we made the decision to head toward the McKenzie River Drainage. Looking at levels in the morning, it looked at though the epic play spot on the Mckenzie River known as Clover would be in, as well as the Blue River, a fun class 4 creek run. Additionally, the South Santiam was high with its Class 4 big water ledge stuff fun and rather entertaining.

“The Monster” rapid on the South Santiam
Photo By: Kim Russell

Crawdad, the rapid right below the Monster, (-see previous photo-) on the South Santiam

One pumpkin donut later, we approached the next “Y” in the road where you either go left to the McKenzie River or straight towards the South Santiam. The car drove itself straight towards the South Santiam and we unexpectedly found ourselves turning up Quartzville Road at Green Peter Reservoir to check out what is known as Quartzville Creek.

According to Kayaking Oregon, (the ultimate kayaking guidebook for Oregon), there are two sections: the upper, which is class IV/V ledges and the lower, a solid class IV pool drop run. Normally run from 800-3000, today, the river was between 6,500 and 7,000. Like I said, it rained A LOT.

After reading about Quartzville in the trusty guidebook which we spent twenty minutes searching the house for in the morning, only to find it under the laptop we were using earlier, we decided to go ahead and give the lower section a try. The upper sounded a little big, or at least very interesting/not a good idea for just the two of us to run (not to mention over my head. Maybe next time I'll be shuttle bunny for that run). Thanks for putting up with me AC! Anywhoo…..Lower Quartzville Creek is about 8 miles long, with the put-in at Yellow Bottom Campground, and the take-out at Green Peter Reservoir. Instead of the normal character of pooldrop rapids, it was a big water Class IV-ish run. Big haystacks, big holes, big ledges, and big trees floating down...

After reading the warnings in the book about massive holes that could catch and hold anything that floated down into it at flows above 5,000, we decided to do some thorough scouting on the drive up to the put-in. Upon our driving adventures on the way to the put-in, involving the turkey sandwich and pizza slice (not bought at the Bakery), we more or less considered each rapid to have a clean line on the right. Seriously. Every rapid. When in doubt, Go Right! Have you ever been on a stretch of river where there is pretty much the same line throughout the entire run? It was WEIRD! Eight miles... go right. Maybe not every time, there was maybe two or three times we went left, but still. That's a lot of rights. Enough of my obsession with lines....

Photo by: Kim Russell

As we continued up to road, we approached a huge, downed tree blocking the entire road. We got lucky and the tree had fallen just past the pullout for Yellow Bottom Campground. SWEET!

We put on the river around 12:45 pm, and made our way downstream.

One of the rapids in the gorge on the lower 2 miles of the run
(Watch out for HUGE haystacks around the corner~~~~ Emphasis on HUGE)

For about 6 miles, with Adam contact-less!!!!!!!, we stayed Right. A bunch of stuff looked super fun to play on, but at the same time looked as though there would be some huge hole or something backing it up. Most of the time (99%) that wasn’t the case, but I definitely was too nervous to play on one of them and get washed into a bus-eater sized hole. After getting through the rapids and holes we were warned about with no troubles, we approached the Gorge (the last two miles of the run).

Let me just say, staying right in the gorge here is the way to go, but it is BIG and be ready for a gnarly beating or what may consist of some unintentional form of donkey-backflip over the person paddling behind you if you don’t paddle hard. Read: HARD.... Let me just say too that paddling through trees is hard. Yeah. It was fun though. You know it’s a good time when you look back and can’t see the other person you are paddling with because the waves and such are so big. HE HE HE.

We arrived at the take-out at 1:45 pm, one hour later, with big smiles on our faces from the run and saw this beauty:

The dream take-out

Photo by: Kim Russell

Adam Craig surfing his Liquidlogic Airhead
Photo by: Kim Russell

Kim Russell surfing the Vision 44
Photo by: Adam Craig

Adam Craig
Photo by: Kim Russell

Kim Russell
Photo by: Adam Craig

It was an epic play session the perfectly shaped wave-hole, which we determined was probably shaped by logs, after witnessing a few big sticks float through the wave while we were on it as well as spectating. Scary stuff. It probably wasn’t shaped by logs, but hey, there were a lot of them floating through!

After about an hour of tiring play, we decided it was best to get out and start our shuttle (we only brought one car) so we could make sure to have a car there by dark. Adam, being the nice, sicky, awesome biker he is, got on his bike and started the eight mile long ride back to the car while I hung around at the take-out hoping for some nice person to come by and give me a ride . Needless to say, only one car went by. And, yup, they didn’t give me a ride. Oh well. Adam kicked ass and made it to the car and back in 45 minutes..... whoa.

Photo by: Kim Russell

A lot goes through your mind when you are alone at a fairly remote take-out too. My mind was blank, then it went through the whole, are the boats still down there? What if a breeze comes up? Crap. Wait, it’s not going to get windy stupid. But, are you sure they are still there? Then it went to, There has got to be a car at some point. and OH there’s one now. Please give me a ride... Okay, maybe not. Eventually it was something like, “Hey lets walk these 50 feet between two big trees and then slowly incorporate each little one (5 of them) between the two big trees into my loop. Yup. My nature hike going in circles around trees kept me warm hike I resorted to talking to myself in Spanish (don’t ask). It was one lonely shuttle. Next time, we are bringing two bikes.

Adam made it in exactly 48 minutes back to the take-out to an exceptional handbrake turn into the pull-out. Good times!

The drive home consisted of some random gravel road rallying and creek scouting as well as sugar eating… We polished off the Knish, Blueberry coffeecake, carrot cake (the first to go), and second pumpkin donut. We made it back to Bend around 7pm, and are planning to finish off the apple fritter and cinnamon roll on the chair lift tomorrow. Cross your fingers for powder!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you guys have been gettin’ out!!!!

Kim Russell


By: Christina Russell

What do you do when you get a crapload of snow at home...and there are ice flows on pretty much every river? SNOW BOAT! :) My sister went up to the mountain and welp....I went snow boating! (When you dont have a season pass to the have to resort to other ways of entertaining yourself.) (I am easily amused so this helps!

There is a prime hill for sledding directly in front of our house and so I took my brand new Vision 44 out for a ride....WAY TOO MUCH FUN! :) I wanted to be towed behind the car in the snow but the plow already came by this morning ....being towed on the asphalt would have been a wee bit hard on the boat....
My dog Pepper loves the snow :) She managed to get wacked by my boat "mid-spin" several times....pobrecita!


----Boating in this lake would have happened if it wasn't filled to the brim with reclaimed sewage water...right....

Tomorrow my sister and I are heading to some awesome waves known as "Clover" on the McKenzie might be snowing but eh, could be worse :) Sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do!

Stay tuned for photos and video from Clover!!! Happy Paddling!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Following the Colorado

Before leaving oregon, I got the chance to run some great classic rivers and playspots, Rogue, Deshutes, Clackamas, Farmlands, Brentinsbush, North Santiam,and many more. It was a great year meeting new boating friends! (christina, kim, geoff, drew, lana...many more). The aqua green water, and lush trees, and NW boaters made every river in Oregon a breath taking experience. This past week, I have been moving from lush Oregon to dry Colorado. Yeah, not the best time to leave Oregon, with the rivers filled to the brims, but the colorado snow is sweet.
Top photo is at Area 51 outside of Bend, OR, and the other one is Izzy my dog posing at the white salmon river. Next post, I would love to share my welcome back to... Colorado (Kayaking Pine Creek at 9:00 am, running the shuttle at 11:00 a.m., and skiing the wonderful dry powder of colorado at 2:00 p.m., just in time for happy hour at 5:00 for some ice cool beverages.) Christinia...I know how your was -8degrees in Salida, CO a few days ago!

Till Next time,

Lisa Marie
Keep Paddling

Monday, December 04, 2006


By: Christina Russell
December 4, 2006

Hey everyone! Last spring when I flew to Chile, I did a bit of painting. Obviously the inspiration is the river. The Futaleufu and town of Pichilemu were great subjects because of their beauty and complexity. Endless ideas came from my stay. Here's some of the art I did while in Chile:

Soul Painting-Chile
By: Christina Russell
Copyrighted Christina Russell

Rio Futaleufu
By:Christina Russell
Copyrighted Christina Russell

Mardi-Gras Fish
By:Christina Russell
Copyrighted Christina Russell

Copyrighted Christina Russell

Here's a couple pieces I did while in New Zealand... The first I did while in Murchason...there were these sweet-as palm trees...just love em. :) The second I painted while at the River Valley Lodge on the Rangitiki. I gave the original to an awesome Kiwi girl named Valerie who works at the lodge...the painting might even be hanging up in the lodge right now :). I liked it so much, I painted a copy for myself.

Copyrighted Christina Russell

Copyrighted Christina Russell

I must say I liked the original much better but hey, I will always remember the waterfall now :) is some work I just did...
The first was inspired by surfing in New Zealand and the second...well it's my perrito Pepper...AKA "Wiggles" cuz her booty is always wagging :)! Yes she is a happy girl :D

AHHH Im so ready to go boat! Unfortunately I will have to settle for pool and weight room sessions for now...atleast for one more week! :) YAY! Hope everyone is having a great winter and doing lots of paddling! Stay tuned for more posts from this winter :)!

Until later, this is Christina Russell off to work out!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tis the season to decorate my new Vision 44! :)

By:Christina Russell
December 3, 2006

Welp, I am in the midst of finals here at Albertson College of Idaho. It is not more that 20 degrees outside but sunny. I have probably tried to get into the pool here for flatwater workouts ten times this week but each time there is a sports team practicing. There is NO schedule so you have to just show up and hope you can climb in. I haven't gotten to hop in my shiny new Vision yet! AHHH! As Kimmers said, "Im going crazy!" I have come up with a plan to sneak into the ppool at night and have it all to myself MWHAHAHHAHAHA.... wait did I say that out loud? I only have a week left until winter break which means...3 weeks of kayaking!!! YES!


-Lake Creek
-Green Truss
-all the good boating in Bend :) cuz Bend is best
-Clover play wave on the Mckenzie***
-Little North Santiam
-Sweet Creek
-Little Klickitat
-Canyon Creek
-Bryce Creek

...and many others that my dazed mind cannot recall...I just finished 5 hours of Spanish review. Onward to a primary resource for History...ROCK ON MING DYNATSY!

WAIT! Almost forgot. OK on Monday I looked out my window I saw this:

I dont know if this whole sheep migration normally occurs on the Caldwell main street but eh, it IS possible. I AM in Idaho.

As soon as winter break starts I will be posting lots of kayaking photos and footage so stay tuned :) Till then...this is Christina out and back to studying for one more week!

*BTW I want to say thank you Liquidlogic for all your support!!! WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!