Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays this season! We would also like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement we have received. Kudos to everyone and stay warm on this holiday....which means....wear a drysuit and go paddling! :D

Just for kicks....check this out...

All the Best,

PS If you choose to bake gingerbread cookies tomorrow, make sure you don't forget they are in the hots start to melt he he he....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Canyon Creek, WA

December 15, 2007

Last weekend was fantabulous. I drove up to Portland to #1: drop off Kim and Todd at the airport and #2: Paddle ma little bum off. We drove up Friday afternoon and had some of the best thai food around. If you are ever in Portland, make sure you stop at Sweet Basil in the Hollywood district....friggin amazing. Oh and fyi, their food is HOT. :D Anyways, we had a relaxing Friday night and then I woke up EARLY Saturday morning to drop Kimmers and T Odd off.

We checked the river levels that morning because after doing many many rain dances, we were hoping for higher levels...we were disappointed. No rain Friday night and it was partly SUNNY that morning! Not cool. We had a few options and we decided on meeting a crew at Canyon Creek. One thing must be understood- when you paddle with Dave, you end up with a BIG crew of people. I don't understand the phenomenon that is Moldy but it's awesome. So...Moldy and I drove up and met two guys at the take out. We were then expecting four more to show up. By the time we got on the water and were half way down the run, this had grown to around 15 people....

Canyon Creek is a class 4/5 run. I would call it a class four at the flow we hit it at....350 cfs.
It has very few boulder gardens but it full of ledge drops and sticky holes. All good stuff :)

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley
Paddler: Christina Russell

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley AKA "Moldy"
Paddler: Christina Russell on Thrasher

The run starts off with a few mellow drops: "Swizzle Sticks", "Terminator", "Prelude" and "Thrasher". About a mile and a half downstream is a 17 footer called "Big Kahuna". It's a pretty clean drop but...just's not necessarily the best to boof....a wee bit painful.

ha ha me
(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

Big Kahuna is where you end up with bumper boats (Atleast we did) . Moldy and I hopped out first to get a look and then fired it up :)

Checkin out Big Kahuna
(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

The photographer himself, Dave Gridley
(Above) Photo by: Christina Russell

Paddler: Christina Russell on Big Kahuna
(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

The final drops: Champaigne and The Hammering Spot
(Above) Photo by Dave Gridley

Ah yes...
After the run you have about a two mile paddle....wait it might be 1.5 miles but it felt long lol. :P We were pretty hungry and Moldy had some Gu gel with him...."What's the flavor?" ...."Oh, Banana Blitz". Hmmmmm....this sounded sketchy but I was pretty low on food so I took a swig of the stuff....
It was quite possibly the nastiest food I have EVER put in my mouth. It tasted like burnt bananas. Maybe it was old? We will never know.

It was a near perfect trip (minus the Gu gel) and hopefully I will get on the run at a high flow with Moldy! WOO HOOO!

Winter boating is here!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Creekin in Da Hood

Date: December 7-9

Last Friday I split from Bend and headed North to Hood River. It's about three hours from home and well worth the drive. Pretty much everything runs in the winter up there and a lot of cool peeps happen to call Hood River home....good reason to road trip. :) The weather looked like it was going to be fantastic for us. Sunny skies and under 30 degrees! YEAH!

I loaded the car up with basically everything I could possibly stove, tent, hot chocolate, boat, paddle, dehydrated never know when you might be camping out! I was going to meet Kim Russell, Todd Baker and Glenn...that's with TWO n's ! Get it right...gosh! We didnt know exactly where we would be paddling but meh, we left it up to the river gods to decide for us....


We woke up and checked water levels. Ok....everything is VERY high. The Green Truss was sitting at over four feet and the little white salmon was at 3.8 feet. We opted out of those puppies and decided to hit a creek none of us had done before: Upper Trout Creek. We talked to a few friends who all said it was pretty manky. Let me be the first to say that manky is a worthy description...

Upper Trout Creek flows directly into the Wind River. It is about fifteen minutes from town and usually runs after lots of rain. Considering that a few days prior to this trip, the main highway between Seattle and Portland was closed from too much RAIN, we thought it would still be a go. I parked my car at the lower take out and we loaded up Todd's Subaru with the gear. We drove up to the upper take out (there are two take outs and we wanted to allow the option of getting out at either one) and saw something we werent exactly expecting....a snowed in road. A friendly stranger was kind enough to tell us that Todd's vehicle wouldn't make it....ok option #2: leave Todd's vehicle and drive Kim and Glenn's vehicles. We settled the shuttle situation and began the drive up to the put-in.

Photo by: Christina Russell
(Above) the ominous road in front of Todd's car...dun dun dun...

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) everyone at the put-in to Upper Trout Creek

Upper Trout Creek is a class four/five run depending on the flow. At the low flow we did it at, it was (according to Todd) "definitely class five". The characteristics change dramatically depending on the flows. We ended up running it at roughly 1.3 meters on the gauge. I can safely say that the run would be a bit easier at higher flows. At the flow of 1.3 meters, there are more F*** you rocks than you ever want to see. That said, it has big, steep boulder gardens that create the gradient of 194 feet per mile. May I emphasize technical?

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) the first half mile on the run...the calm before the storm

*note, we have very few photos due to the need for speed....the creek was dropping fast and we only had a limited amount of light (It's pitch black at 4:30 pm).

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) Christina coming down one of the first boulder gardens

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) Kim deciding that going backwards is more fun

The creek gorges up about a mile into the run so the farther down we went, the steeper the drops were. I have never seen boulder gardens so clogged with F U rocks and just pure nastiness. It was steep enough that even when we got out of our boats to check things out, we still couldnt see the bottom of the drops. Each of us had our fair share of "oh shit" moments that day and we were happy there were no problems.

Ok, continuing, we finished the creek around 3pm. About three and a half hours later. We were all freezing and pretty hungry so after running shuttle, I fired up my stove and made thai food. This was about the time when I realized Glenn was eating a banana. "Hey Glenn! Have you had fried bananas before?" I asked. "Nope". Awww it was on! We fried up three bananas and wow....that was amazing. Nothing like fried bananas after a day on the river :) You should try it.

Photo by: Kim Russell
(Above) the beast surrounded by its loving cargo :)


It was friggin freeze your bum off day on Sunday. Cloudy, snowing, and windy. BRRR. The crew of Nate Herbeck, Jesse Becker, Jason S., Kimmers, and myself all headed back across the Colombia Bridge and up the road to the Wind river. Plan: Lower Trout Creek into the Upper Wind. Both sections were pretty mellow but there was LOTS of water in the Upper Wind...some pretty nice drops and gorgeous waterfalls along the sides of the rio....shame they weren't ON the wind and runnable :D

Anyways, here we are (below) heading up to the put-in. Kim and I found it amusing that just the day before we were on Upper Trout Creek.

Photo by: Kim Russell
(Above) running shuttle

(Above) The put in for the lower trout creek/upper wind
Photo by: Glenn D.

Photo by: Christina Russell
(Above) put in dam

Photo by: Christina
(Above) looking just downstream of the dam

Unfortunately for us, there was so much water that pulling out the cameras while we were on the rio seemed like a dumb idea so I don't have any pics of the run. Just take my word that it is a fun little section and a nice break run after a day on Upper Trout Creek.

Stay warm everyone! Long live flannel lined Carhartts! :D

Happy Paddling,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chill Weekend

This weekend my friend Jesse drove down from Hood River. He had never been to Bend before so I decided to show him around....on the list: Tumalo Falls, Dillon Falls, Benham, Parilla Grill, Lava Island, and of course Aldercreek.

We busted a move out to Tumalo Falls. In the winter, the 100 foot falls actually freezes up and is an exceptional ice climbing location...if only I knew how to do would be so fun! :) Anyways, we got to Tumalo falls in the early morning and got some great shots before the sun disappeared. Did I mention it was snowing AND sunny. Just another typical day in Bend. It doesnt get any better.

Tumalo Falls
(Above) Photo by: Jesse Becker

Me checkin out the drop
(Above) Photo by: Jesse Becker

After checkin' out Tumalo and hiking a few miles in the snow, we decided to hit the rio while the sun was still out. Dillon Falls down through Lava was the choice. Even though it is a low flow, it is still good stuff.

Our first run down Dillon........

(Above) Me dropping in

Jesse B running the shit that is Dillon :)
(Above) Photo by: Christina Russell

Yep, dorks

After a run on Dillon-Lava, we headed back up to Dillon to meet Josh for a quick huck sesh. I flashed down to run dillon and take shots...this is when things got interesting. First off I should mention that when the lifterpad is NOT in my boat, bad things happen. This is pretty consistent and I respect the fact that I really need that booster seat lol! So there I was going down to run dillon when I realized I didn't have my lifter pad. This is what I like to call an "oh shit" moment. Yep. I got completely rejected by the entry hole and shot clear across the lip of the drop into the photo eddy. ha ha ok perfect I will just take pics. ya ya I had to run it later.....
So Josh came down first followed by Jesse. Both of course had clean lines and styled it. They hiked back up and then I decided that well, I should probably do it. I was parked literally at the lip and decided that the ferry across to the river right side (from river left) was doable....with much encouragement from the peanut gallery I might add ha ha. I quickly discovered that this was NOT doable. One word: SHALLOW. I basically was ferrying and slipping back toward the drop cuz I couldnt get enough purchase with my paddle. The water is just too shallow at this flow. There I went, backwards and right down the middle (where the gnar is). It's on video so I will be posting that soon. We all love carnage! :D

That was definitely the most interesting Dillon Falls run I have EVER done and now I can say I have run Dillon pretty much every way possible...well, I havent freewheeled the thing but I'm not sure that would feel good on Dillon.

I woke up to a HUGE wind and snow storm. Gusts were at 50 mph and the waves on the coast were pushing 40 feet. I later learned that the coastal winds were 120 mph! With the storm hitting us pretty solid and expected snowfall throughout the day, Jesse headed back to Hood River. being that it was Sunday and I had a final on Monday morning, I hunkered down with the books and enjoyed the warmth of my apartment....ah it's the simple things in life you treasure.

*Stay tuned for the carnage video :D

Happy Paddling,
Miss Chris

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hace mucho frio en Oregon!

Josh and I headed out this afternoon for a nice local paddle in the snow. It 's been pretty friggin cold out here and the mountain is finally getting the snow it needs! The rivers are still a tad low so with that and the finals I have this week, I am stayin' local. We opted for the standard Dillon through Lava. The flow was around 560 cfs so the drops had a lot of F.U. rocks to avoid. I guess on Josh's last run down, one of his buddies managed to put a huge hole in his boat! Not cool.

This was my second run in my Jefe Chico so it was nice to get more time to figure it out. I absolutely love it! It boofs like a champ, resurfaces quickly, and carries a tons of speed! prety different from the Huck but Im getting used to it.....ha ha yeah Im getting used to it :)

So...behold! The first shot I have of Lava 1...this section if ya cant remember is directly below Dillon Falls(Above) Lava 1- top part

(Above) me on the lower portion of Lava 1

(Above) me testing my new Jefe Chico on Dillon- she's fantabulous!

(Above: Running through Dill Hole)

(Above) josh boofing Dillon in HIS Jefe ha ha go Liquidlogic! :D

(Above) He is a happy camper fo sho

We took our time with taking pics and enjoying the weather. It was cold but the snow was awesome. My dog Pepper watched the car and when I got back, began to de-thaw my fingers...I am pogie-less now.... :(

yep, another fantastic day on the rio. Team Banana strikes again! mwhahahahha! Funny how we both have the same boat, same color :D

Till next time peoples!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brand Spankin New Jefe Chico!

First off, I want to say how impressed I am at the new Jefe Chico. The guys and gals at LL did an amazing job at creating a new seat, new adjustment system, and a new look for the company. Thumbs up to everyone! The first time I sat in the boat, was also the first time I thought I could take a boat out for a paddle WITHOUT any adjustments to the outfitting. I'm impressed!

My Jefe Chico just arrived at Aldercreek and I finally got to adjust the bulkhead which translated to....getting my arm stuck in the bulkhead. ha ha my mom walked in and decided it made a funny pic so here I am, arm stuck in the bulkhead and all. I DID get the larger plastic support installed and I'm adding more foam to what was included.....just in case of a serious impact. I'm crossing my fingers that I wont ever NEED it but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Thanksgiving break is coming up soon so when my sister gets back home, we're stinkin we will road trip to Hood River for the weekend! :) Time to huck it!

Happy Paddling,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Coast Update:

Hey everyone! This was the forth weekend in a row that I have driven to the Florence jetty for some good surfin'. This weekend the swells were a bit bigger. The average height on Sunday was 13 feet...the average height on monday was.....17.5 feet!


We got to the coast around 1:30 pm and put on immediately. Our friends from Eugene were already on the water. Pepper sat in the car and watched all the wildlife- completely confused as to her lack of participation. This surf session was a bit of a work out...the rip tide was intense. If you weren't paddling, you were going to be sucked out to sea with the real big fishes eek! just to stay in the same spot was ridiculous. The sets were pretty inconsistent but wow, when you caught the right wave, it was all worth it :)

This time around, Josh didn't get hit in the side of the face by a mister Chris and I didn't get plastered on the barnacles, but we DID see a shark. Yeah...that was not so cool. It's like everyone gets paranoid and each riffle is then caused by a shark. ha ha my guess is that it was only an eight footer but that was PLENTY big for us. It made us all nervous but we just couldnt rationalize going in and giving up the good waves...they were too good!

We finally decided to get out of the water as the sun was going down and the sets were farther and farther apart. I was worried we wouldn't be able to get back in if the waves weren't coming close enough together. It took us about twenty minutes to get far enough inside the jetty to get out. Our buddies from Eugene took a few pics for us and headed back to Eugene...they didn't want to camp out when they only have a one hour drive back home. I on the other hand decided to car camp just up the road with Pepper dog and catch the surf early the next morning......atleast, that was my plan


I got up around 7:30 and headed back to the jetty to find the waves rolling in at a pretty regular fifteen feet but the period between sets was about two to three minutes. In that time, the riptide would be pulling you a good distance out to sea. The wind was blowing about 30-35 mph and the rain was coming down hard. Decision- take a pass on the ocean surfing. I was super bummed because the waves were, can I say this any other way, PERFECT. Barreling and breaking far enough inside the jetty. I was too concerned about the strong riptide and there were only two of us...bad set up.

I turned z car around and headed back to Eugene to visit with my sis and some friends. Todd made some fantabulous coffee for the road and then I split for home- the rain was coming down hard and there was a storm warning for the Santiam Pass...time to go!

This weekend I'm crossing my fingers for some kick ass creeking and the chance to take my brand spankin new Jefe Chico on its maiden voyage! WOO HOO! Keep on smilin' peoples!


Paddler: Christina Russell

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Biffs, Barnacles, and Ben&Jerry's...

Date: November 8,2007

For the past two weekends, I've been drivin' over to the jetty in Florence, Oregon for some ocean surfing. With little rain in the forcast, the ocean has looked mighty fine.


I convinced a few buddies of mine to come over with me. Two of which were planning to's very different from the standard kite boarding. The winds weren't blowing too hard on Saturday until the evening when it picked up to about 20 knots. Chris Gabrielle drove down from Corvallis to meet us on the coast. He had never been ocean surfing before but he sure picked it up fast.

When you arrive at the jetty, I recommend that you drive out toward the point...ONLY if you have the right tires. (There are some nasty sharp rocks out there). When we arrived on saturday, the swells were already rolling in. There were plenty of seals and yes...the salmon were running. Not exactly what makes ya feel comfortable about ocean surfing right?

(Above) Again, duct tape can fix anything!

Before I geared up, I decided to take my dog Pepper on a mini walk....this really consisted of letting her yank out my shoulder, chase the seagulls, freak out when she got splashed by a wave, decide that was alright and chase more birds, see a seal...try and get it ... confused, then sprint back to the car. She just turned lucky 13 and she was a happy happy dog.

Swells peaked around 2 pm and then gradually declined as the tide came back in. That seems to be the pattern in Florence. We all had great rides and a fair share of beatdowns...I'm pretty sure the guys up in the coast guard tower found us all entertaining. (There happens to be a CG base right at the entrance to the jetty) Chris figured out how to blunt and I learned how NOT to get out at the jetty. I was trying to ride a small wave up to the boulders where we get out. I timed it wrong and before I could throw the boat up on my shoulder it filled with water and decided to beat the crap out of me....barnacles suck is all I'm gonna say.

(Above) Chris Gabrielle dropping in

(Above) Christina using the ju ju

After about four hours of surfing, we unanimously decided to call it a day and head to the Firehouse Grill in downtown florence for their world famous garlic fries... when in florence, you CANT miss the place. Now when most of us hear garlic fries, we think "ah a little garlic seasoning on top" well, this place piles on the raw stuff and wow it has a kick to it!


Since we drove all the way over from Bend, there was no way we were going to just surf for one day. We returned to the jetty on Sunday for another sweet the way, you can camp just down the road where they have freshwater's friggin awesome. oh ho I can't leave this part out....ok. On Sunday morning, Chris was trying to avoid a campsite fee so he was going to move his car out of his site....unfortunately for him, the park staff saw him pull out and before we knew it, there was a low speed chase going on as Chris tried to pull out onto the highway. Ha ha they pulled him over and slapped him with ...wait for it....wait for it....a $5 fine. yeah I know, all for $5. I'm pretty sure the park staff has been waiting all year to turn on their lights!

We got back to the jetty and were pleased to see that there were some good sets coming in already. It was still a wee bit early but we got out on the water.....

(Above) Party wave...that's three surfers and two kayakers....YEAH!

(Above) Christina blunting left

The ocean is always a great spot to work on tricks and of course, enjoy a nose full of seawater. :) Hopefully I will make it back there this weekend...if no creeks come up that is. Hope everyone is getting out on the water! Till next time....