Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dillon Falls to Bend

By: Christina Russell
Date: January 26, 2007

Christina scouting the left side of Dillon Falls
Photo- courtesy of The Bulletin

Yesterday my sis, John Cramp, Adam Craig, Josh McKeown and I spent our afternoon paddling on the ever so popular Deschutes River.
Our original plan was to run Dillon Falls for a photographer from the Bulletin. The five of us met at the Dillon Falls, put in and headed down to check out the flow. Our photographer set up at the lip of the falls for the best shots.

Dillon Falls is a horseshoe shaped waterfall just downstream of several miles of flatwater. For this reason, many canoeists have taken a dip by surprise. It can be run off the left side or the right. Left: If you go this way, make sure you have a strong boof- if you miss it, you hit a rock shelf the protrudes out into the landing zone. Sweet line though :) And best of sets you up for Dill Hole immediately after (If you missed Kim's previous post on Dillon, you should know that Dill Hole is a friggin sticky hole-read: massive trashing). Right: Basically hug the right side and you hit an auto boof.

At any rate, all of us with the exception of Josh opted to hit up the left line...Josh happens to have a good relationship with the right side :). Everyone had great lines...and as John Cramp said: "you technically dont go over if your head stays above water" John- we like your style.

After about two drops, we decided that we would head downstream. I should mention that while we were hiking back up to run Dillon a second time, we concluded it would be sweet to run Dillon Falls all the way to Bend...9 miles in a little over two hours. In retrospect, this was pushing it, seeing that the sun sets here at 5:15.

L to R: Josh M, Kim Russell, Christina Russell, and John Cramp
Photo: courtesty of The Bulletin

Immediately following Dillon Falls is the Class 4 Dillon Canyon. BAsically busy water with a couple HUGE holes as the water level increases. We plowed on through it and had the pleasure of paddling 2 miles of flatwater before hitting Big Eddy and Lava Island Falls. (If you have been keeping up with the posts, you will know what Lava Falls is.) If not, Lava is a class 4/5 section just below the rafter's Big Eddy. What makes it so dangerous is the lava tubes and sharp lava rock you deal with in the event of a swim.

We arrived at the top of Lava Island falls at around hour of light left with about 7 miles to go...WOO HOOO! There was basically no stopping other than applying wax to paddles.

Meadowcamp surprisingly had enough water in it and the diversion pipe was actually shootin' water! For once, the water isn't being diverted via canals. Diversion Dam and Amazing were big and fluffy as usual. The last rapid is the "race" rapid where I serve as race official and Adam and Kim race down. Adam currently has the advantage: 2-1.

We arrived at the take-out just as it got dark. Temps immediately dropped and our pfd's began to freeze up. Yeah right about then, we decided that fleece pants and a heated car sounded REALLY nice.

*Note: I apologize for the lack of photos on this blog. I was unable to upload due to a computer issue with Blogger. hmmmmmmm trying to fix it now. HOpe you enjoy the only two photos up here! As soon as the problem is fixed, there will be more photos and video for ya!

Happy Paddling!

-Christina Russell

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