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....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Hot kayak chicks, that have no fear of the cold!!! We need more women like you in this world...