Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weekend Hucks!

By: Christina

Date: October 13,2007

(Left) Photo by Kim Russell

This weekend I picked up my sister from Eugene. Schoolwork was light so I made the trek over to the valley after classes to get her (her car needed work because of a blown coolant hose). Got back around midnight and this morning we proceeded to make a speed run down Dillon through Lava Island Falls.

(right) flatwater between Dillon and Lava

We met up with Adam Craig around 11:15 am at the Lava take out. The three of us headed on up to Dillon and following about three miles of flatwater and a nice waterfall, we made it to Lava Island Falls. A super fun class V section. The level has dropped about two hundred cfs since thursday when I last went but it was still fun. True there were a LOT of F*%$ you rocks everywhere, but there were no pins woo hoo!

(Right)Photo by Kim Russell

So after the sprint run, Kim and I headed back to town for some good Mexican food...I bow down for cheese quesadillas :D Following the fantabulous horchata and quesadilla, we drove back up to the falls for a park and huck. Wait, before I move on I have to ask, have any of you had Horchata before? It's amazing! It's this rice, milk, and cinnamon combo in a drink....super tasty. You should all try it sometime.

(Left) Fall is here!
Photo by Christina Russell

Kim and I have always shot from the river left side, today I decided to paddle across to the other side of the rio and shoot photos.

Let me just say, taking pictures from river left is much easier, however, you can't get the full scale of the drop. River right provides the full view of the waterfall and what's downstream. To get there: you have to hike near the edge of the lave field, through lots of thorny bushes and down a VERY unstable slope to get to a good shooting location.

Ok this is kind of an off note but... I just repainted my helmet and we have decided I'm like rudolf this helmet glows so well. Ha ha I remember Kim asking, "Adam did you see Christina's line on lava 2?" the response was... "No but I saw her helmet" ha ha that says it safety safety. I know it's so obnoxious and um...a wee bit bright but eh, atleast I'm visible if there are any problems!

(Below) I finally got around the big lava flow that blocks the direct trail down to the river. Here I'm standin' at the top of the lava field. It was gorgeous out...sunny, sort of warm, and just the two of us. Photo by Kim Russell

After the hiking, Kim ran the falls a couple times while I got pictures. This is when we realized just how much the water level had dropped since morning. Kim hit a rocky shelf as she landed and managed to bang her elbow up pretty bad. Not cool. She hiked her boat up to the top and ferried across to take pics for me....

Kim has been living over in Eugene for college...she's a Duck now! WOO HOO! I'm still in Bend going to college so the weekends are when I get to see my sis :D

Anyhooo, back to hucking......

(Left) Me taking the "Im going to save my butt and not hit the shelf" boof.
Photo by: Kim Russell

The falls was great today even though the flow was a little low. The lip of the falls is getting pretty shallow and the shelf at the bottom is right in the landing zone. Note to self- do NOT pencil....

FYI- at higher flows the rocky shelf on river left (visible in the picture just to the right of me) is completely covered with water. You can boof between the flakes.

Dill Hole(Right) This hole is the "Im going to eat you" hole. It's super sticky on the right side. Most of us run it down the tongue but that line often fails (you get sucked back in sometimes). I'm a fan of the far left line.....

Photo by: Kim Russell

(Left) Looking down the canyon.
Photo by: Christina Russell

It was a sweet day out on the river and next weekend, if it actually rains, I'll be hittin another creek :) WOO HOO! It all depends on how much water we have out West.

Hope everyone is getting out on the river!

Happy Paddling,
Christina :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Opal Creek

Date: October 4, 2007

Today I headed over to the Little North Santiam, AKA Opal Creek. Adam called up some of his buddies from Corvallis and at 8 am this morning, we headed out of Bend. It was about 35 degrees when we left and the clouds were screaming SNOW. Actually it was snowing about 15 miles south of Bend.

We stopped at the Sisters Bakery. A no-excuse, we must stop here, stop. Loaded up on a ridiculous amount of sweets and hit the road. It started to snow on the drive over the pass but by the time we arrived at the take out, things had warmed up.

Our stinkin was to run the Lower Opal Creek and possibly hit the Opal Gorge. Another possibility was to run Henline Creek but we soon discovered there was no where near enough water for that puppy.

Deciding on Lower Opal Creek, we loaded up shuttle and walked the mile up the forest road to the put-in. Lower Opal Creek is a class IV creek, super chill, and worth it for the scenery. SO pretty in the canyon.

The put in ------->
It was unusually nice for a creek :D

For about a mile and half, maybe more, there is just read and run stuff. There are always rocks JUST beneath the surface on this run so be on the lookout.

About half way down the run you come across a waterfall known as Big Fluffy. Big Fluffy is a sloping 12 footer into a big, sticky hole.... at this flow , the locals we paddled with wouldn't run it....decision made. We portaged.
<----- Big Fluffy: As you can see, there is a lot of wood on this section. Make sure you get good beta from locals before bombin' down .... Further downstream are more boulder gardens and ledge drops. Thor's Playroom is a fun drop. There are three doors at the top of the drop. Doors one and two involve a nice boof. However, today there was a riverwide log blocking the exit from the first two doors.

Door #3 was our door. It's a boof into a boily pool, followed by another big,slide- boof. Good fun stuff. Most of it is pretty benign at this flow but as more water starts churning through, there would definitely be some big ledge holes to boof.

After Thor's playroom you have some boogy water and then the take-out for the run...DONT miss the take out unless you plan on running Opal Gorge. We were contemlating running the gorge as well but....there is an Un-Un in there (un-scoutable, un-portageable) and with the amount of new wood we found on Opal Creek proper we decided on returning later to scout the gorge.

ha ha now comes some good stuff. We loaded the boats up for shuttle and proceeded up the forest road. Keep in mind we are very much in the middle of no-where. Apparently we weren't quite far enough out there because at the end of the road, was a forest service vehicle blocking us in! Are you kidding?! We tried driving around him on the mossy logs etc but that didnt work. Eventually the driver returned and moved his vehicle for us.

Ridiculous eh?

On the way back to the main highway, Adam and I stopped to check out Cedar Creek. Adam's run it before and he said it's a couple hundred feet per mile atleast. SUPER steep, very very tight- She's STOUT

Instead of driving back the way we came, we decided to take a dirt road up and over some "hills" down to French creek. Unfortunately it was almost dry but the ride was friggin awesome :D

I would definitely recommend Opal Creek to anyone wanting a chill creekin' day on the rio. Class IV goodness. We were stoked we got on the run when we did- normally it doesnt start up until November and it's snowing or raining when it goes. We had the sun come out for us! :) Hope everyone else can make it on a sunny day as well!

Happy Paddling to everyone!