Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Das Hagan Creeken

Let me just take a moment to tell you how excited I am about being done with this semester... I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy happy happy happy! :) I think that about does it. I am finally getting time to go paddling and that's about all I want to do. Today, after a few days of heavy rain...and I do mean heavy, Josh, myself and a few Hood River and PDX kayakers headed up to Hagan Creek.

I have been wanting to get back on Hagan for years now after my first time down it with the flu. Let me just say that I did more walking than paddling the first time down so I was stoked to return and actually paddle everything! Hagan is considered a class 4+/5 run and drops 260 fpm. The hard part with Hagan is there are no guarantees. Hagan doesn't have a gauge so you have to check the EF Lewis and Washougal to figure out how much water is in Hagan. It is also heavily impacted by freezing levels and with it being winter, we had to consider that. We managed to hit it while it was a medium, ish flow. Way more water than the last time I was on it. Perfect flow for clean lines and less elbow bashing! EF Lewis was at 3300 and the Washougal was at 3800 for your own reference.

There are four major drops on Hagan: Hagan Daaz, Euphoria Falls, Teakettle Falls, and Crack in the Earth. For a full, comprehensive write up, check out . Jason Rackley has a bomber site for us, Oregon paddlers to use. He pretty much rocks my stinky socks...

Please note-the memory card filled up above Teakettle and Crack in the Earth so I supplemented the head-cam with footage from our handheld camera :) Enjoy!

Below: Snug as bugs in a rug

Below: our crew chillaxin'
Below: Me runnin' Hagan Daaz
Below: Nick Jacob rockin' the Remix on Crack in the Earth

My view through Euphoria...

This is definitely one of my favorite creeks in the Pacific Northwest. Quality drops SO close to home. Amazing. I wish it ran more often but that's part of the charm :)
Hope everyone is getting ready for Christmas and out on the river enjoying the winter!

Stay tuned for photos from my trip down Copper Creek!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tis the Season for Kayaking!

Behold! My BEAutiful Christmas tree. I'm particularly fond of this one as the bubble lights are on and working. :) You can't have a Christmas tree without the bubble lights. You also can't have winter without the paddling...or gingerbread cookies (but I'm behind on the cookies).

Last week I headed on up to the East Fork of the Lewis River for some fun in the Yep. It's the Pacific Northwest and in the winter, it rains everyday. WOO HOO! This means that although we all look like we haven't seen sun in years, we have SWEET paddling...everywhere. Anywho, last week I drove up to the EF for some good ol' class 4,4+. We were hoping that flows would stay high enough to run Copper Creek to EF but they dropped off too fast. BUt EF still seemed like a good idea. The flow was about 1600 cfs which meant that the gorge would be fun for sure and last time I ran this, I didn't get to run Horseshoe Falls...I have a bad habit of breaking things and that time, I broke my fingers :( (Not pottery class for weeks). Here is a vid that Josh put together since the helmet cam was firmly mounted on his noggin. Enjoy! :)

East Fork Lewis River, Washington from Josh Mckeown on Vimeo.

(Below) Das put-in
(Below) a pretty fuzzy photo of Sunset Falls thanks to the mist
(Below) Me catching my boat as it attempted to run the falls without embarrassing BAHAHA
(Below) Me on Horseshoe Falls
(Below) Just had to post this...pretty shot
(Below) Chris at the bottom
This is my "dead week" which we all know isn't really "dead". I still had class and am studying my bum off for finals on Monday. BUT, I can be excited because on Tuesday and Wednesday I'm goin' boatin'! :D
Stay Moldy out there and don't forget to get some sun....
-Tina Tina Bo Bina

PS In the event of a spontaneous Monopoly game...I'm ready with ma money!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Paddle

Last week, I got to spend Thanksgiving with Josh's family in Bend. Fortunately (and unfortunatly) we were going home in the middle of the first big snow storm of the season. My sis and I followed eachother down hwy 197 and were confronted with some of the worst black ice I have ever driven on. UGH. I was convinced we were going to slide off the road several times. Felt great to hit snowpacked roads as opposed to ice. As we all know, nothing can help you with driving on ice....other than going SLOW. 5 hours of driving later and we were soaking in the hot tub while the snow fell....pretty awesome start to the holiday!

On Thanksgiving day, we woke up to clear skies and 18 degrees. We decided to celebrate Turkey day in the best way we know how...kayaking! :) We opted to run Riverhouse as we guessed Dillon and Lava would have been snowed in. over 2 feet were up there and we didn't feel like getting our vehicles stuck!
In true Thanksgiving spirit, here is a joke for ya that I'm particularly fond of :

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. Theparrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious
and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to
change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only
polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could
think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot.
The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and theparrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation,
threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the
freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked
and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet.
Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened
the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out
onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I
may have offended you with my rude language and
actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate
transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I canto correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a
dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very
softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"


The view at Josh's house
Josh trying to "get to the river"
"I'm comin in hot!"
Me on Ogre
It's official: winter is here!

I am almost to finals week and the boats are permanently on the roof of my car. FINALLY!!!!! I have one more semester to go before my capstone and it couldn't come any sooner. I am over it. What I'm trying to say is that there will be more posts from me over my winter break :) I know how to paddle? ;) Stay warm out there and enjoy the season!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Race 2010

Photo by: Crystal Gustin

On November 6th 2010 the 15th Annual Green River Race began at high noon with Isaac Levinson leading the pack off the starting line due to injuries from Pat Keller and Andrew Holcombe. John Grace thought that it would be fitting that he put me in the pack with the boys since I did end up 17th last year tied with Brian Kirk. So with my number 18 bib and between Jules Campbell and Brian Kirk off I went. My whole family had hiked in this year which includes my mom, dad, my sister and her loving boyfriend. I was trying not to think about my line at gorilla with my family standing at the notch when I left the starting line at Frankenstein.

Photo by: Michael Hood

I had my boyfriend yelling at me from river left below Frankenstein, I was trying not to think about what he would think if I crashed during the race…. My long boat was doing some of the lines that I had trained it to do but had a few bobbles. Pacing is important in a 5 minute race. Coming through Go Left I heard people shouting my name and yelling to go faster, I tried. I came around the corner at Chief and attempted not to look at the crowd for my family, came through the notch with my eyes shut and took a deep breath. I happily bounced past speed trap with immense speed and was off to run the slides.

Photo by: Michael Hood

At the end of the race I was so happy to see the girls timing but I knew that I hadn't gone as fast as I could. At that point it was all up to the other girls and how fast they went. I began hiking up the trail to do my second run, I had pats on my back, people handing me hot chocolate, water, whiskey. I ran into my family at the notch and they were all ecstatic that I had made it through my first run still intact, now I just had to go do it all again in a short boat.

Photo by: Crystal Gustin

Rolling up in the Notch

Needless to say I was so happy when I got into my short boat and I was off racing again, going fast and taking chances. I knew at the end of this run I would be with my family and friends drinking a beer and watching all the rest of the racers come through. It was a huge day and a tad stressful until I heard the results during the party at Woodys after an awesome dinner by the twins. I had won the Green River Race again, bringing home a sweet piece of glass for the third year in a row.

Now we have 362 days till the next one! A huge thanks to all of my sponsors who I couldnt do it without, Liquid Logic, Werner Paddles, Shred Ready Helmets, Immersion Research, and Astral Buoyancy Company. More photos to come soon.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Playing Hookie

Yes...I did it...but my teachers were cool with it ;) There was a good reason!
Josh's sister just delivered her first baby girl last Wednesday morning at 5:59am and Josh and I headed back to Bend for the event. While we were down there, we decided to go boatin'...YAY!!!
Here are some picks of our boatin...enjoy! We did a Dillon to Lava at about 1350cfs...nice and fluffy :)

PS Bend has CLEAN air. Holy cow. Atleast, coming from PDX, it sure smells fantastic!
PSS I forgot how bad the lava rock is on my boat!

Coming in to Lava one- the 'great swirly' (it only get's worse as the flow goes up)

Onward to Lava 2!
I think I remember how to do this.... Lava 2
Lava 2...AKA the rapid that will hand you your a$# if you aren't on top of it!
It felt amazing to be back in my boat. It made me realize just how much I love love love paddling. This may sound silly but it feels like there's a hole in my heart when I am not out paddling. :( Soooo this trip made the world look much better. Can't wait to get back out there! Halloween Truss paddle here I come! :D

Stay wet out there and enjoy fall!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh Be Joyful, We Are

Oh how Joyful it is. God gave us kayaks so we could kayak. So we did. After a sweet weekend in Buena Vista Colorado the Liquid Logic crew (and a huge southeast crew in general) made the migration to the snow covered peaks of Crested Butte, to get on a gem. We made sure to eat a hearty breakfast of a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon before the great hike into the cold waters of Colorado. Leland and Andrea also made the trek and they made our first day so much easier by driving their house across the river, only to later get stuck in the middle of the Slate on the way back. But that is for later. Grace stoked that he made it to the top. Biscuit doesn't know if she is in the right place and Tater is smart enough to just not care and enjoy the view. Slide in, go ten feet, drop 12 feet vertical immediately. What a great way to start a run. It only gets better from here. Isaac doing what he does best, sitting up straight. Same drop, different angle. Myself, stoked to be back on one of my favorite runs ever. So fast, so bumpy, so many amazing drops in a short period of time.

John Grace airing the right side out. Myself, sitting in arguably the coldest spot on the river. Note the snow behind me. John Grace going down S-turn getting ready for an amazing 8 foot boof, action alley for sure. Still going down the next slideGetting ready to turn the corner and get the goods. The goods. That's all I have to say for this drop. The beautiful 25 footer in the middle of the run. We hiked up and ran it again a few times. It is so worth it. 80 degree heat, in a dry suit, hot out of the water, perfect in the newly melted snow water. Everyone discussing their run off of the waterfall and deciding what to do next... hike back up and do it all over again? Go to the camp and drink whiskey? I vote another run!!! Grace and I looking happy but slightly dilapidated. It was so hot on the mountain side but then looking at the drainage there was so much snow and it was CLOSE! But melting fast for sure. We can't complain about the scenery either. Pat Keller dropping the sick boof after the normal takeout to drop right into Avalanche. This boof was well worth scaring the crap out of myself both days while running Avalanche.Grace styling the crux of Avalanche. I heard a rumor that all of the wood is gone from the bottom of this drop now, which makes the rapid not nearly as scary if this is true. But I also heard the last rapid in the run is totally unrunnable. The wood does have to go somewhere.. Turn the corner after Avalanche, grab a few breaths at 10000 feet, and get back into why this run is so amazing. Myself in the next long slide with snow covered mountains in the background. Colorado is not an ugly place :-)So, after all is said and done. Everyone came out happy, tired, and hungry. Back to camp life below the amazing drainage of the Slate river. Crankee and myself playing some football at camp after a great day of paddling. We got up and did it all over again the next day. It's not a bad life that we all live.

Get out there and go paddling!! A trip report from the Teva Mountain Games in Vail will be coming soon.

Happy Paddling!!