Wednesday, February 24, 2010

OWA/OKCC Presidents' Day Rogue Trip

Nine kayakers, 25 rafters and 1 brave soul in an IK, mostly members of the OKCC and OWA, launched at Grave Creek Saturday morning on a flow of 8300 CFS. It was an overcast, dry day with temperatures in the mid 50's. Most ran the fish ladder, one brave soul took the middle chute and one raft ran the main falls, uneventfully. One kayaker took a 'sneak' line next to the middle chute and another hit the line on the main falls, only to swim at the bottom.
A quick scout at Upper Black Bar gave the opportunity for some action snapshots.

Our first night was at the enormous Horseshoe Bend camp. With lots of time in the afternoon, many of us went for a hike, in spite of the steep scramble up to the main trail. Our OKCC group prepared pasta dinner with all of the trimmings Saturday night. Dessert was homemade cookies cleverly placed in Costco boxes. Rain started around midnight and eased off just in time for breakfast.

Delicious breakfast burritos were on the menu Sunday morning, and we were packed and on the river soon enough to enjoy a steady light drizzle over 7300 cfs of Rogue. Yours truly opted to ride a raft through Mule Creek Canyon, then Blossom Bar, leading to a story he'll hear again and again.

Mule Creek Canyon did present its usual difficulties for the kayakers, but Blossom Bar, although big, was wide open. A number of rafts ran the left side of Blossom Bar, over a weak spot in the picket fence. The oarsman in the raft I was riding lost his wife and broke an oar while running this line. The story goes that I pushed his poor, helpless, innocent wife overboard. She was back in the boat quickly enough, demonstrating the safety awareness and capability of the group.

Our destination on Sunday was Tacoma camp, and we arrived by 3:00 to clearing weather. The sun even showed itself by late afternoon. Not much hiking was on the agenda, though, as folks dried their gear and talked over the events of the day. Dinner Sunday night was a famous and delicious chili and cornbread, preceded by made-to-order quesadillas. Monday breakfast was French toast and sausages. What a treat!!

At this higher flow, the float out was fast, and pleasantly dry. A pair of bald eagles waited on the left, at river level, just a couple miles above Foster Bar. The road through Powers was open, so the drive home was scenic and about as fast as it could be.

It was a fabulous time on a fabulous river with a fabulous bunch of kayakers and rafters. If you weren't there, you missed out!!

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