Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rogue River Awareness


Please visit this site and sign up for Rogue River news updates.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rogue River Campsite Reservation System

PLEASE, it will take two minutes to fill out this survey! The Rogue River needs a campsite reservation system. Now is the time to let your voice be heard.

Click here to go to the survey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dude, where's my water?

Man, we should have checked the flows:

Dropping into the White Salmon below Lower Zig-Zag involves a somewhat brutal carry for a raft.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Please Join American Whitewater

Please join American Whitewater today. This amazing organization continues to be the political force and voice for hundreds of whitewater enthusiasts everywhere...

Join today and join boaters, kayakers, and whitewater enthusiasts from all over the United States.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Three Greatest River Beers

One of the challenges of multi-day rafting trips is finding a good beer to float with. With space sometimes an issue, glass bottles can take up too much room. Cans are the obvious choice when it comes to beverages, however, your options of beer shrink considerably when you go that route.

Through careful experimentation, I have narrowed down the three best beers to take on the river with you - and they are all in cans! No more bad beer! No more King! From here forward, it is your own darn fault if you bring bad beer with you on the river.

First Place: Caldera IPA, brewed by Caldera Brewing

The IPA is not the only excellent micro brew these guys make. They have a killer Amber and last year made a special addition "Smoker Stout" in appreciation of Smoker Oars made my Sawyer in Talent, OR. Caldera Brewing is based in Ashland, OR. Dock sales every Tuesday. A lot of the bars in Ashland carry their Amber as well.

A Caldera IPA scouts Green Wall rapid on the Illinois River in Oregon:
Second Place: Dale's Pale Ale, brewed by Oskar Blues

This excellent Pale Ale comes from Lyons, Colorado. Quotes from their website:

"Why cans? We thought the idea of our bold, hoppy pale ale squeezed into a little can was hilarious."

"At Oskar Blues, we dig bodacious beer."

Third Place: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Duh. Who could argue with that? There's a reason it's called the Blue Ribbon... Oh, it says on the can: "Selected as America's best in 1893." And, besides, at least you'll be able to find this one.

Honorary Mention: Red Dog, brewed by Miller Brewing Company

At least you don't see it every day. In fact, its rarity creates an artificial "freshness" that fends off the bad taste. This one gets props because of three things: 1) It is in a can, 2) Cases are normally on sale (if they're not, start off a conversation with the cashier by going "Hey man, it's Red Dog for christ's sake..." and, 3) Dogs are cool and man's best friend, right?

That is way too much Red Dog. The inside of Dan Thurber's (Team Kettle Chips Member) car.
This was his packing for a 25-day Grand Canyon Trip. Notice the lack of... um, food?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wake me up when September ends...

For many, September marks the end of a great summer of boating. For others, the eyes turn to fish and snow. For a few folks who can't get enough rafting, the coastal river gauges start seeing a bunch more hits and traffic. Rain - and lots of it - is the catalyst for some of the best rafting in the West.

Rivers that are too low elevation-wise for snow or just have too small of a drainage for snow-runoff have a special aura to them. Predictability is pretty much non-existent for many rivers and creeks. The obvious is nearly always true: When it rains rivers will rise and when it is dry these same rivers will fall. The window of opportunity is wide for some and narrow for many more. The sense of calculation adds to the adventure and the feeling of success when all that you have planned comes true.

There are a lot of great websites that can help you find these special rivers and creeks.

Punching through on a big water trip (11,000 CFS at the mouth) at
Oregon Hole Rapid on the Smith's Oregon Hole Gorge (courtesy of OregonRafting.org):

PNWwhitewater.org is a website designed specifically for boaters in the Pacific Northwest. It features a forum page, photo gallery, and member profiles. Lots of great information can be obtained from this site via the forum (member input) and the river gauges displayed on the home page.

Yahoo has a section designed for groups of people with the same interest. The best Yahoo group for boating that I've found is RiverTraders. Lots of stuff comes up for sale and it's an easy place to find a buyer for your river jang as well. Other whitewater groups include PNW, Idaho Whitewater, and PDX Kayaker. These three groups are region-specific to help stay on topic, but rarely do. If you don't like getting a lot of mail, just sign up for the "daily digest."

Another excellent use of Yahoo Groups is organizing your own private trips. If you have people all over the place and need a central location to post messages / files, Yahoo Groups is a good way of doing it. Just start a new group, set it to "private," and then invite the trip participants. When the trip is over you can delete the group or use it for corresponding with each other.

When it comes to specific rivers, the best websites for each one are the following:
* Smith River (CA) - Kevsmom.com and OregonRafting.org
* Tuolumne and Cherry Creek (CA) - CaliRiver.com and C-W-R.com
* Rogue (OR) - OregonRafting.org
* Illinois (OR) - OregonRafting.org
* Wind (WA) - PNWwhitewater.org and CaliRiver.com
* Washougal (WA) - molallakayaker.blogspot.com
* Clackamas (OR) - molallakayaker.blogspot.com
* Scott (CA) - OregonRafting.org
* Box Canyon of the Sacramento - OregonRafting.org

The best site for flows in the Pacific Northwest is Pat Welch's.
Oh, DreamFlows.com kicks butt as well!

Happy Boating!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here we go again?

Middle Fork of the Salmon at the MF Lodge during the "Log Jam of 2006":
Middle Fork of the Salmon at the MF Lodge on July 22nd, 2008:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Clavey River Equipment: New Website

Clavey River Equipment has a new look online. Their new website, which is up and running as a tester at www.clavey.us has the same great stuff as the old one, but has easier navigation and spectacular photos. Check out this photo of RiverGuides.ning.com user Jeff Kellogg (also owner of Clavey) at Prelude rapid on the Illinois river in Southern Oregon.

For those who want the best gear on the market but are short on cash, Clavey has a special section just for sale items. Aside from the sale page, perhaps the greatest new feature is the ability to create a personal Clavey account online. Just fill out one page of information and you are one click away from the Clavey newsletters, your purchase history, and lots more.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Camp Closures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

Article from the Idaho Mountain Express
"Fires Close Camps on the Middle Fork"

by Jody Zarkos

Fires that burned into the Middle Fork of the Salmon River corridor last year impacted several river camps, according to Kent Fuellenbach, public information officer with the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Fuellenbach said fires damaged a total of 16 camps on the Middle Fork in 2007, leaving behind burned trees, holes, loosened rocks and soil that could pose a significant danger to campers, especially if the weather turns nasty.

"If we have a high intensity weather event, it could cause some problems in those areas," Fuellenbach said. "Forest Service crews will we going through the camps to mitigate the problems."

In an effort to keep the public safe within the limits of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, five camps not considered "reasonably safe" will not be assigned to floaters on the Middle Fork. The closures could make for a long first day on the river, as the majority of the impacted camps are located in the first 25 miles of launch sites at Boundary Creek and the Indian Creek Guard Station, according to Fuellenbach.

Four of the larger camps that will be closed are Lake Creek (mile 14.9), Johns Camp (mile 15.2), Greyhound (mile 15.9), Dome Hole (mile 15.9). Horsetail Camp at mile 52.7 is also closed for the 2008 season.

"People might have to go a long first day, or a short first and long second," Fuellenbach said. "We’re going to have to do some juggling this summer. Two small parties might have to share a big camp."

The Monument Fire burned the first four camps. In assessing the number of hazards that may have to be mitigated, Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisor Bill Wood has decided to let those four camps in the upper section be shaped by natural forces and reassessed for next season.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weyerhaeuser Access: Molalla Area

Posted by: Ryan jumpdawg2@yahoo.com

Wed May 21, 2008 8:31 am (PDT)

I just got off the phone with QSI, the organization that is running the permit system for Weyerhaeuser. Some of you may not be familiar with the North Fork Molalla, but it's a great class IV creek. I have boated it several times this year and have been trying to secure access ever since.

Photo by Dan Thurber, North Fork of the Molalla:
As it stands right now, ALL access, including walk-in must have a permit ($270) and check in with the gate attendant prior to entering Weyerhaeuser property. This is in effect year round. (Not just May 24 to Nov. 30.) However, I have put in my comments to open access for the boating community outside the current drive-in access window. They will review this request along with at least one other off season request from a hunting group at a later date. Access will most likely not change until next season (If we're lucky, we might be able to get on the North Fork Molalla by next spring.) I'll post more information as I get it. Hopefully we can once again enjoy this river.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments.

Ryan Morgan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

River People Heaven

In River People Heaven you hang out next to rivers, drink Sierra Nevada, and have your burritos delivered courtesy of Freebirds Delivery. Here are some recent shots from River People Heaven:

Danielle, chillin' in River People Heaven and waiting for her burrito:

Ryan, doing the same:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Introducing LiquidMilitiaProductions.com

To all those who live great adventures,

The time has come to introduce the world to a new style of women in adventure. Welcome to Liquid Militia Productions. Our mission: To continuously produce adventures that inspire others to get out and do.

Liquid Militia Productions began with a group of women who love sports, water, and great experiences. Inspired by water as an ever changing medium, we developed a passion for turning each activity into an adventure worth documenting and displaying. Enjoy it, follow it, and share it!



Jen Karcsinski, Holley Gardel, Sarah Dentoni, La Baker, Susan Mol, Andi Moore, Jaime Goode, Keitha Kostyk

Monday, April 7, 2008

Season Kickoff Party

FREE entry.
The 2007 West Coast Champion, Oregon Rafting Team paddles again. Join us to kick the season off right with a party, raffle & LVM whitewater video premiere. Proceeds help with travel and race costs as we compete across the region preparing for the National Championships in June.
APRIL 16th 2008
Fire On The Mountain Buffalo Wings
Raffle Items Include:

River Trips
Whitewater Gear
Local Gift Certificates
and more…
Featuring a Whitewater Video Premiere of:
Things Just Aint the Same for Gangsters
Showtime – 9pm
Canyon Creek and Wind Race footy before 9.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Product Review: Clavey Mesh Mini Skirt

The Clavey Mesh Mini Skirt is the best piece of rafting gear that I have purchased in the last year. You know all the loose odds and ends that are around after you have rigged your raft? Loose cam straps, the empty put-in beer can, and extra jang that normally doesn't have a place... now does. Introducing the Clavey Mesh Mini Skirt! I run it in front of the cooler I sit on while rowing but it could be secured on any part of the frame.

Here's the text from the Clavey website about their Mesh Mini Skirt:

"Empty cans, sunscreen bottles, throwbags and Barbie dolls. Cam straps, water bottles, Pelican boxes and biners. With the Clavey Mini-Skirt hanging off the front of your Cooler (or any other crossbar on your frame), now you’ve got a place for everything that didn’t already have a place. The dual heavy duty YKK zippers make access both easy and secure while the plastic coated polyester mesh will stand up to years of abuse."

For more information about this product, visit the Clavey site by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wilderness First Responder Course

May 10-18, 2008
Fort Jones, California
$550 (Lodging and Food available)

*Nationally recognized curriculum
*Convenient recertification process
*Accepted by Outward Bound, NOLS, American Camping Association, Boy Scouts of American and all state and federal guide licensing applications.

Application forms are available at www.wildmedcenter.com! For more information, contact Chris Ball at (530) 468-2305 or at drball@sisqtel.net.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

MF Salmon Flow Contest

The Middle Fork of the Salmon High Water contest is back... Check out the new site for the oh-so-popular high water flow contest. Pick the time, day, and high flow for the Middle Fork in 2008 at www.MiddleForkContest.com.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wind River Race

Upper Wind Downriver race, March 22nd-23rd.

March 22nd, Saturday 1st practice run @10am, 2nd practice run @1:30pm.

March 23rd, Sunday – Races start at 11am. Class (IV+ - V). ~3 miles, mass start by class at Stabler Bridge to approximately 2 miles below Climax. Take out will be river right above High Bridge. Classes include; kayak (all lengths), cataraft, and paddle raft (6 paddlers or less, boats 14 feet or less in length, 3 thwarts), and unlimited.

• To reach the put in, drive north past Carson about 8 miles. There will be a storeand a road on your left (This is Stabler). Take a left, cross over the bridge, after about 100 meters take a right, stay right, and follow that road down until it dead ends at the river. Unload quickly, park your vehicle off to the side of this short access road or park back up on the main road. This is a residential area, please be courteous and minimize traffic.
• To reach the take-out, drive north past Carson, take last left before crossing High Bridge, take first right, next right, follow all the way to river (turns into dirt road).
• Carson has gas, a small store, cafĂ©, camping in the area, and cabins. Stevenson, Washington is about 6 miles away and has hotels, a supermarket, and many restaurants.
• High water cutoff is 9 feet, low water cutoff is 5.3 feet.

Schedule of activities:
1. Saturday 1st practice run, shove off time 10am. 2nd practice run shove off time 1:30pm (Timed sprint for cataraft seeding from the put in).
2. ~ 4pm Saturday; “debrief”, snacks and refreshments near the cabin at the put in area.
3. 8-9am Sunday; race registration at the cabin near the put in. $15 per competitor which includes ACA insurance and a bowl of chili after the race. Starting positions determined by who signs up first (except cat boaters).
4. 10am racers meeting at the put in area.
5. 10:15am, safety boaters and camera crews launch. Race coordinators begin boat and gear inspection.
6. 10:30am, begin staging racers. Kayaks first in line, paddle rafts next, followed by the cats and the unlimited crafts.
7. 11am SHARP. Mass start kayak race.
8. 11:05, paddle rafts.
9. 11:10, catarfats.
10. 11:15, unlimited.
11. 12:30pm, all racers gather in eddies and on shore at the finish for final head count. Proceed downstream once the paddlers at the finish match the number of
12. 2:30pm : Begin Chili Feed and Awards Ceremony at the cabin near the put in.
13. 4:30pm : Start headin home.

• Cataraft sprint time trials for race day starting positions will occur at 1:30pm Saturday from the put in. IF all cat racers agree, a mass start format will be implemented on race day vs. heats established by the seeding process.
• If the level is below 5.3 feet, an R2 format will be adopted for the paddle raft class.

The 1st Annual Upper Wind River Race is part of the Western Whitewater Championship Series (WWCS) which is coordinated by the Oregon Rafting Team (ORT). All participants are required to be safe, have fun, paddle hard, and support river communities in any way possible.

Questions contact USRA President Tim Brink at : nomadyellow@yahoo.com

Danielle Morgan enjoys a day on the Upper Wind in early February:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Conoeing at the Dentist's

Early this morning, I wrote the article that follows below. I thought that you might enjoy reading it. Before reading it, however, perhaps some background information to put it in context would be useful to you. I have been a member of the Lower Columbia Canoe Club for the last twenty years. The article was written for the club. I paddled a canoe on whitewater with the club until last May when I switched to an IK, as my legs and knees would no longer tolerate the compression of kneeling in a canoe.

I am new to rafting. Last September, I joined OWA and bought my first raft. I have found rafting to be great fun. I now have a play cat on order.

Canoeing at the Dentist

by Gordon Taylor

Have you ever paddled your canoe while having a tooth drilled at the dentist? Even with Novocain, I hate having a tooth drilled, so I need some way of refocusing my mind from the drill grinding into my tooth. Only by imagining paddling my canoe have I been able at the dentist to refocus my mind. Nothing else has ever worked.

At the dentist, I always paddle on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in the cool early-morning sunshine. The other boats in my group are ahead of me or behind me, but they are always out of sight, so it is as if I am alone on the river. In my mind’s eye, I can feel the body mechanics of my forward stroke. I am in no hurry. I want to move my canoe only a bit faster than the current so as to be able to guide it. I want to move slowly to allow enjoying all that I am traveling through. I want to move quietly, so that I do not startle wildlife. In my mind’s eye, I can feel my torso rotating forward to plant the blade for the next stroke. I can feel the blade plant and then catch. I can feel my torso unwinding and my paddle coaxing my canoe gently forward. I lean my canoe gently left, and I can feel the hull carve left. I lean my canoe gently right, and I can feel the hull carve right. I can feel my canoe carving gently back and forth. There is no need to carve; I carve just for fun; I carve just to feel the canoe carve. And with each stroke, I also can feel the canoe glide. I take a stroke, and then I pause momentarily while I enjoy feeling my canoe glide forward. For me, the magic of canoeing has always been the feel of the unique body mechanics of canoe paddling, the feel of my canoe carving, and the feel of my canoe gliding. For me, the combination of whitewater rivers and canoeing has always been absolute magic!

I am writing this in the middle of the night. I woke up awhile ago wondering if I could still paddle my canoe at the dentist, as I have not been in a canoe for nearly a year. What I always felt paddling my canoe has been drifting away, and I need strong thoughts to distract me from the dentist’s drill. I now doubt that I can paddle my canoe at the dentist, as now I have in my mind’s eye the body mechanics of paddling my inflatable kayak (“IK”). I doubt that paddling my IK at the dentist will transport me to the Middle Fork, as the body mechanics of paddling an IK while enjoyable are not magical, and an IK will neither carve nor glide. I guess that I no longer will be able to go to the dentist.

A River Guide Social Network?

Now, this sounds strange. River Guides now have a place to call home... Introducing RiverGuides.ning.com, the first social networking site designed specifically to connect outfitters, guides, and private boaters.

Here's what the site says: "River guides are a unique group of people. Spending time on the river is, of course, about the river, but also about the people you meet and become friends with. So, meet them here and grow your river network."

So, for all you river rats out there, sign up at RiverGuides.ning.com!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wind River Rafting in Washington

Dan Thurber and Ryan Morgan cruising down the Wind:

From L to R, Ryan Morgan, Danielle Morgan, Dan Thurber, and Will Volpert... At the take-out after a great run:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Get a job with Idaho River Journeys

Give them a call: 1-888-997-8399

These guys run a great outfit in Idaho and have a rare opening in their crew. If you have experience guiding trips and want to work on a great river now is your chance!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Need a summer job?

Kern River Outfitters guide school (click the image to enlarge):

Sawyer Oars Press Release!

For Immediate release:
Sawyer Paddles and Oars™ kick off their 40th Anniversary with Microbrew!!

Sawyer Paddles and Oars™ in conjunction with Caldera® Brewing Company of Ashland, Oregon celebrates Sawyer’s 40th anniversary with a special edition brew: the SMOKERS STOUT! Named after the largest, toughest oar in the Smokers™ brand line, this limited release 20 keg batch is a salute to all of our faithful Sawyer™ and Smokers™ oar customers out there rowing the rivers of the world. Smokers Stout kegs will be distributed to pubs & eating establishments throughout the Rogue Valley, ready for enjoyment after the first week of January 2008.

One of the things that many paddlers and rowers have in common is the enjoyment of good beer. Although the Smokers Stout will only be available for a limited time in the Rogue Valley, anyone can enjoy some of Caldera’s other fine microbrews…in a can! Tired of bringing the same old swill beer on your river trips? Caldera® offers a refreshing change. Caldera® offers their Pale Ale and IPA in cans, and will soon be releasing their Ashland Amber in cans also. You can even order their beer on the web at: http://www.calderabrewing.com/ . Caldera cans are great to take along on your next river trip. They’re lightweight, they won’t break or shatter like glass bottles, and they crush down and pack out easily.

What’s the connection between Sawyer™ and Caldera® you ask? Since Caldera started brewing in 1997, Sawyer Paddles and Oars has supplied Caldera with the Ash hardwood scraps that become the tap handles for Caldera brews throughout Oregon. The same Northern White Ash is used to make our Smokers brand oars. Smokers oars are found on rivers around the world, from the Futaleufu in Chile to Cherry Creek in California, and fishing waters all over the country.

At Sawyer we realize that one of the biggest influences to our oar sales is through word-of-mouth and from the experiences of the men and women rowing with Smoker and Sawyer oars. So to those rowers: We thank you, we appreciate you, and we raise a glass to you! …Salute!
Oregon Rafting on Facebook