Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Intermediate Trip May 17th

Eight of us headed down the Washougal River on the OKCC Intermediate Trip last Sunday. It was the warm sunny spring day we all had been waiting for. Puting-in at the fishing access at mile 8 1/2, we could enjoy the many class 2 rapids above and just below Big Eddy. From the beginning, the plan was to portage class 4 Big Eddy. It's a bit of a chore, but it's pretty straightforward to scramble along at water level and get back on the water while still in the Clark County Park, avoiding the ' no trespassing' signs plastered all over the property below. My understanding is that we have legal access to the bank up to the high water mark anyway. Two experienced boaters in the group ran the rapid.

At the gauge reading of 5.60', the little 'Helicopter Wave' below the Mt. Norway Bridge was in, and most of us gave it a try. It's really a good place to get the hang of spinning in a reversal, although it gets to be pretty easy once you get it figured out.

A few of us tried the hole at about mile 5 1/2. It wasn't very retentive. I always seem to get blown out the left hand side.

Cougar Creek rapids were pretty fun. With the eddies well defined, eddy-hopping was the name of the game. Unfortunately, one of the guys flipped in the drop right by the creek and banged his head, eventually requiring 5 stitches behind his ear. After a brief recovery, he was able to continue.

From there on down to the fishing access at MP 3, it's boogey water. At this medium low level, there just aren't many playable features in this stretch. With the warm, sunny weather, a lot of folks were along the river banks, swimming, playing banjo, and having a drink or two.


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