Saturday, June 30, 2007

Road Trip to the Wenatchee

By: Christina Russell
Photos by: myself and Josh McKeown

Last weekend, Josh and I took a road trip up to the Wenatchee River in Washington. For two months we'd been planning a trip- we just didnt know where to go. A week before school finished, Josh called me up with a suggestion: "What if we headed up to the Wenatchee?" I thought this was a kick ass idea and jumped on it. Classes finished on June 14th and early in the morning on June 15th, we were out of Bend. Our plan was to drive up on Friday and come home Tuesday. We would have made the trip MUCH longer but Josh was flying to Cancun on Wednesday morning. Yeah I know...Cancun.

Friday: I headed over to Josh's around 7:30 ( I was running late because a particular frying pan was eluding me) After loading up we stopped by Safeway in Madras for some caffeine (josh is very much addicted to Rockstar) and headed on up 97. Our drive in total was around 400 miles. We crossed the border (ha ha that sounds great) and switched drivers. Josh is over 6 feet tall and Im 5'4'' so Josh grabbed two for me to sit on and another for my back. I have to say the TAcoma seat is not as easy to adjust as we thought.

We got to the little town of Cashmere around 3:00 and decided to hit the agua. Our purpose for heading to the Wenatchee was to surf Granny's Wave. It's got a sticky foam pile and nice bouncy incoming water. Granny's wave was sitting at about 6400 cfs after a short rainstorm. Primo is at 5200. Let it suffice to say that the wave was pretty stompy at 6400. Each of us had our fair share of beatdowns...atleast they're on video right?! :)

Here's a couple shots from our first day out:
The Granny's Wave put-in

Getting a feel for the wave

Josh throwing a backstab

And the hike back up to the wave

Here's a good time to mention something about Granny's. The eddy sucks. Unless you got mad skills, you have to float down to the end of the rocky island and then walk back up. You'd think it would get old but eh, Granny's was too good. Nothing was gonna phase us.

After our surf sesh, Josh and I headed up to Icicle Creek to look for a campsite. On the way, we decided to scout the middle section....The first drop we checked out turned out to be a portage....hmmm looks like you could run just might get sucked in the sieve...that's all

Looking downstream on Middle Icicle Creek

On the way back to the truck, I was grabbed by a caterpiller! But it spit me out cuz I smelled like boater....josh was thankful-who would cook the scrambled eggs?!

In Icicle Canyon- amazing place

Anyhooo....continuing with my story....
As it was the weekend, the RV's had migrated to the many campsites on Icicle. We managed to snag one on the upper section of Icicle. As soon as the truck was unloaded we decided on mac and cheese...oh mac and cheese has never tasted so good. We had two boxes of the stuff and finished it off with some chocolate chippers.


On Saturday morning, Josh learned about my sleeping habits. I was up and ready to go at 6 am...Josh was not, but he was a trooper. I got up and cooked us some scrambled eggs before we migrated back to Granny's for another day of surfing.

6AM...lets check the boats...yep, still there

Let me just say that Saturday was an awesome day...the flow was still a little high- around 6200 this time, but we thought it was great. We who live in bend are NOT picky cuz we have virtually no playboating.

Josh getting ready to throw

Christina throwin a blunt

and another blunt....

That night we decided to camp up in Tumwater Canyon. There's a great class 4+/5+ run in the canyon (which we unfortunately didnt hit...ran out of time) Tumwater was blessed with a ton of mosquitos and we couldnt get a fire started! NOO! We bundled up until only our eyes were showing-well, atleast I did.

Sunday: WOO HOOO! I got up even earlier this morning...5:00am. Josh was actually adapting to this so it wasnt so bad. Back by popular demand, I made scrambled eggs. mmmm mmmmmm

So overnight, Granny's slipped down to PRIMO! 5300 cfs! We were stoked to see the difference. (Thanks to Fluid kayaks for letting us mooch their internet)

On Monday : We decided to hit lower Icicle Creek. Online sites rate it at 4+ but the locals and a few books went with class 5.

After much scouting we headed on down. It turned out to be a sweet run where the name of the game was hole avoidance . On one particular drop, I got surfed in a hole for two minutes. Longest side surf of my life. ugh. I think I was upside down for about half of it but atleast I came out. As I have continued to creek, I've learned that things Josh can go through, I cant. He weighs almost twice as much as I do (and that's NOT a fat joke....Im just really really tiny for 20 years old) and my 98 pounds makes me a hole magnet. Let's just say that after that episode I wasn't going to let anymore holes get me.

Following our trip down Icicle Creek, we headed back to Granny's for a goodbye surf sesh.
After a few hours of surfing, we were pooped. We loaded the Tacoma and hopped on the road. Our point of desitination- Maupin. Josh had to drive to Portland the next day and was flying to Cancun on Wednesday. Our drive to Maupin was about four hours and would allow us to get to bend early on Tuesday- as Josh pointed out "time for Josh to do laundry". We pulled in our campsite above Harpum Flats around 8:30 or 9 pm. This is when we discovered we had a flat on the drivers side front tire....bummer. Atleast we were only 90 miles from Bend. Josh decided he wasnt up for changing the tire that night so we put if off till the next morning. I think in retrospect, we should have driven as close to maupin as possible with the air left behind....things are always clearer in retrospect.


I woke up early again all excited to change the tire. I work on my own car so it's fun stuff for me. Letting Josh get started, he crawled under the car. As a confused look appeared on his face, he said, "Christina, I dont know how to lower the spare." Ok ok scooch over Josh. I lowered the tire and jacked up the car. When ready to break the lugnuts, I realized the wrench wasnt the right size. "Josh! you dont have the right size wrench for your wheels!" Josh replied, "Oh yeah I put new ones on, I think the wrench is at home." hmmmm this presented a bit of a hickup. He went over to the RV parked nextdoor and asked for a star wrench. No luck. With no way to change the tire where we were, we started hiking toward the next campground, hoping for a wrench that would work. About half way there, I had the idea to find an air pump and try to head up to Maupin's auto shop. It was a slow leak so it would work. We returned to the RV and found a bike pump...yeah a bike pump. Josh went to work and had it inflated in no time. We threw all our gear in the back and flew up to Maupin where they had the right socket to change it....woo hoo for air wrenches! Problem solved. We even managed to get out of town at our desired time: 8:30 am! Go team! All in all our trip was friggin AWESOME and Im already planning the next. Next week Im heading over to Japan so when I get back, the next road trip will begin! Stay tuned for the next post and hopefully no more flat tires!

Happy Paddling

Watch out for rogue machinery.....

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Back to Area 51...

June 18, 2007:

Earlier this week before I came down with a super gnarly cold thing that put me in bed for three days straight.... Adam Craig and I were able to sesh a bit at Area 51. We even saw some aliens while we were out there. They specifically requested their photos not to be posted. Sorry folks!

After laying in the sun for an hour or so, and confusing ourselves with cloud shapes (there was totally an elephant up there), we made it into the water.

Beach balls are rad. (Photo by: Adam Craig)

Adam throwin' his Ronin 59 (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Looping the Pocket Rocket (Photo by: Adam Craig)

(Photo by: Adam Craig)

(Photo by: Adam Craig)

Carthweelin' (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Pepper dog on another drive out to 51. (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Cartwheelin' (Photo by: Adam Craig)

Setting up... (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Sweet! (Photo by: Kim Russell)

As if one hour in the sun wasn't enough, we proceeded to burn ourselves to a nice shade of pink over the course of the next few hours. hahaha. We definetly looked like Neapolitan ice cream people.



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sister Run

Sister Run on the Local Meadowcamp Run

Class IV-IV+

Date: June 2, 2007

A couple weeks ago, Kim and I decided to take a morning run down Meadowcamp for some good ol' sister time. The sun was shining and it was 80 degrees....perfect!

Christina Russell

Kim Russell

(Above) Dammit

Kimmers on Dammit
Photo by: Christina Russell
Paddler: Kim Russell

Kim halfway down Dammit

The second part of Dammit contains the Diversion pipe. It shoots water out into the middle of the river, consequently shoving all the water into the "eddy of death". The "eddy of death" IS in fact pretty sketchy. At higher flows, the logs that are normally exposed sit just under the surface, if you flip here, there is a high risk of getting sucked under the logs and into the sieved out boulder backin' up the eddy....

Behold! My diagram of Dammit ...arent you enthralled?
We got some cool rock here in Bend :)

Christina on Amazing

Amazing is followed by two more's a technical log jam and the other is a pretty cool constriction. ....more lava dont want to swim on this run. It's super fun though. Make sure to give us a jingle if you are in the area and we'll take ya right on down it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Second Descent of Kenobi Gorge

Hood River, Oregon

May, 2007:

Todd and I scouting Sarlacc Falls (Photo by: Erik Boomer)

What do you do when school is almost out and you are dying to go creeking?! You go to Hood River!

A few weeks ago, Todd Baker and I were able to get out and do just that. Check it out!



After a long night dreaming of all the super gnarly awesome drops to be run in Hood River, we woke up pretty early and hit the road.

On the way out, we decided to find the "Big-Shit" wave, a pretty trashy shallow, but epic wave (for Bend, Oregon) found in a local canal, that, let it be known is pretty hard to find, at least taking the back road. After getting lost for about an hour, taking super random detours, and discovering the meaning behind the sign, "Airport-Next Right," which really meant that the airport was NOT the next right (they lied!), we made it to the canal.

After all the detours, we never did find the "Big-Shit" wave, but we did find a small, semi-steep wave that we played on for a few hours. Sweet!


Todd Baker, Erik Boomer, and Ryan Scott scouting Sarlacc Falls (Photo by: Kim Russell)

We met up with Lana Young and Ryan Scott (, Erik Boomer, and Keel Brightman to make the second descent of Kenobi Gorge located on Little Goose Creek in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. It's a pretty rad creek with everything from manky boulder gardens to forty-foot waterfalls. The gorge itself is beautiful with its basalt walls, freshwater springs, and old-growth cedars and pines.

(Photo by: Kim Russell)

This day, Todd Baker, Erik Boomer and Keel Brightman were the only ones to run it....

The forty foot "Kessel Run" slide at the put-in for the Gorge (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Erik Boomer lining up (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Todd Baker givin er' (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Ryan Scott (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Sarlacc Falls (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Todd Baker dropping Sarlacc Falls (Photo by Kim Russell)

Erik Boomer huckin' Sarlacc (Photo by: Kim Russell)

The boys: L to R: Erik, Todd and Keel (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Check back for pictures from Sunday's trip down the Green Truss of the White Salmon River,Wa at 4.0 feet!