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! For more information, contact Chris Ball at (530) 468-2305 or at

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

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 :

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, 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!
Oregon Rafting on Facebook