Newsletter of the Cascade Canoe Club

- August 2003 -

News  ~  Schedule  ~  Reports  ~  Misc  ~  Feedback  ~ 

Welcome to the August Newsletter!

Its summer in Eugene - and HOT. But not as hot as it was last weekend down on the Rogue. Thankfully, we had an oh-so-nice river to dunk ourselves in (sometimes unintentionally) plus all those fun rapids to splash our way through. If you missed this trip - and most of you did - you'll have a second chance in a few weeks (see schedule). Thanks again to Mari for putting together another memorable trip.
- the editor

---: News :---    

Welcome New Members!

The Cascade Canoe Club welcomes the following new members:

  • Brock and Karen Krizan
  • Andy Poynter
  • Mary Monette and Kathryn Reed
  • Leontina Hormel and Jim Ekins

Hope to see you all on the river soon!

CascadeCanoeClub Wiki Page

As an experiment, a Wiki page has been made for the purpose of making collaborative trip planning easier. A Wiki page looks just like a simple web page but its modifiable by anybody - no login or password required! To try it out in a "safe" environment, point your browser at http://wiki.euglug.org/index.php/CascadeCanoeClub, click on SandBox and then click Edit (lower left hand corner). make some changes then click Save to see your changes.

Bob Huntley caught a little more than the eddies on the June 29th Middle fork Willamette trip - photo by Jeff

---: Schedule :---    

August Meeting, Potluck and Paddle - Aug 5th, 6:30 PM

The August meeting will be held at the Alton Baker Park shelter on Tueday, August 5th at 6:30 pm. We will share potluck goodies while reviewing club matters and planning upcoming trips. After the meeting, depending on interest, we will either float the Willamette or paddle the Canoe Canal past the Pond. For directions see Shelter(2) on our Locations map. Canoe Launch(1) and Pond(3) are also on that map.

  • Signup Form: Mari B. has put together a signup form for use by trip coordinators. The need to collect current contact information for both members and guests in event of a mishap is important and not currently done.
  • Review of Current Webpage: The current webpage is looking a bit dated and is wanting with respect to navigability. Reducing the number of pages and grouping like information would improve its "user friendliness". In particular, a trip coordinator page containing guidelines and pertinent forms is needed.
  • Eugene Celebration: Having a presence at the Eugene Celebration in September increases the club's visibility and can lead to an increase in membership. We will need to have a few volunteers and printed material available for handout.

Rogue River - Hog Creek to Graves Creek - Aug 16th & 17th

(from Lana's CCC-list post)
I'll be leading a trip on the Rogue, Aug 16-17. This is the same stretch of river Mari led on July 26 & 27 - Hog's Creek to Grave's Creek. We'll boat on Sat and Sunday. There are lots of class I+ rapids and one class II. Let me know if you're interested.

Lana : 683-1409

CCC Weekend at Summit Lake (Cascade range off OR-58) - Aug 22-24

A club gathering has been planned at Summit Lake for the weekend of August 22th through the 24th. Summit lake is in the Cascade range and approximately two hours from Eugene off OR-58. There is a small primative campground (no potable water; vault toilets) which appears to be fee-free. The lake is stocked with trout but is shallow and consequentally not popular with power boaters - perfect for canoes and other motorless craft! There are also excellent hiking opportunities. For latest details watch the list or check the CCC Wiki Page.

Lower Deschutes near Maupin - Labor Day Weekend

This is the same trip as last year which was a lot of fun. Don't expect peace and tranquility - Labor Day weekend brings this popular stretch of the Deschutes its last big crush of humanity. A campsite has been reserved but space is limited. Please see the Wiki planning page for more info: http://wiki.euglug.org/index.php/LowerDeschutes
Coordinator: Horst ~ 687-5796

Riverhouse Trip Schedule

The Riverhouse has the following classes and trips scheduled:

  1. Willamette River overnight Aug 23/24, pretrip Aug 18. $114.
  2. Clear Lake Aug 9. $36
  3. Kayak 1 lesson series evening Aug 7,14. River session Aug 16,17

Call 682-5329 for more info or visit http://www.ci.eugene.or.us/rec.

---: Reports :---    

Umpqua River near Elkton: Kellogg Bridge to Smith Bridge - by Jeff W.

I had originally picked this trip due to its proximity to Eugene and the description of its two mile "bicycler's shuttle" in Soggy Sneakers. What I failed to realize is that the run's length, geology and bank ownership make it a decidedly difficult day trip.

I arrived shortly after 10am at Smith bridge to find Mari already there and scouting for anything that looked remotely like a take-out. The bridge is very high above the river and most of the banks are steep and/or lined with blackberry bushes. We finally found something suitable about an eighth of a mile downstream of the bridge, river-left, but the road to it was posted as private property of the Big-K resort. Clarence had arrived by then and offered to go check things out at the resort. Turns out the going rate for using the take out is $10/boat, but for kayaks and canoes they'll halve it to $5. Ah, the price to paddle...

By then Horst and Joy had arrived and we set off for the put-in two short miles up the road. Well - you guessed it - that's private property too and cost us another $5/boat. Incidentally, the put-in is under the south side of the Kellogg bridge: cross the bridge and take the first right, then right again into a grassy field with a pay box nailed to a post. A free alternative looked possible by taking a left on the dirt road just before crossing Kellogg bridge and driving down a little ways.

Due to the unexpected difficulties as well as some miscommunication we didn't get on the water until 1:00pm and some of us didn't get on at all (sorry Mari). Once we were on our way though things definitely improved. The run is 14 miles long and consists of 1-2 mile stretches of flatwater interspersed with class I/II+ rapids. At the low summer flows much of the river is restricted to narrow slots cut into the bedrock which has in turn been carved into a myriad of mortar and pestal shapes reminiscent of the sculptures of Henry Moore. In other places are boulder gardens with tufts of tall grass growing out of them. Both were big fun to run when not containing hazards (most were clear). And unlike most Oregon rivers, the water temp was a very pleasant 70F so a dump was not altogether undesirable.

As for hazards, we only encountered two serious rapids. The first was at the mid-point and is only a problem due to a large rock below the drop. In an IK it isn't really an issue but drift boats and more sensitive craft are best to line/portage it. Incidentally, its possible to bail out at or near this rapid and walk up to the Big-K lodge - which a tired Joy happily took advantage of. The second serious rapid is the chute just above Smith bridge. Clarence and I took the sneak-around (go river-right starting about 50 yards above the start of the chute and work your way through the narrow slots; a bit boney but quite doable) but Horst ran it in his IK. Here's what he has to say about it:

Yes, the last rapid, just before the Smith Bridge, is class 3 at the current level (1410 cfs/3.23 ft) *if* you run the narrow, turbulent chute river-left. The shoot is a couple hundred feet long and has a downstream facing log in the middle of the last quarter; because the log faces downstream a kayak wouldn't hang up in it, but a larger craft could get in big trouble because of lack of room to maneuver. Charley commented that the sneak route river-right is the 'way to go' (talking from drift boater's point of view)...

Fouteen river miles is a good deal of paddling, especially when you going into the wind, which was the case in several places. It was apparent that many folks were doing longer trips and camping below the high water mark. This is probably the best approach and lets you take advantage of the few public boat launches upstream and down for this run. As for us, we didn't get off the water until after 8:00pm: it was dark by the time we got back to the put-in. Although hungry, I was reluctant to drive the four bumpy miles to the Big-K lodge and evidently missed out on more than just dinner:

(from Horst's email)
When I entered the Big-K lodge at quarter to ten I found Joy surrounded by 2 of the 4 daughterss of the ranch owner, several grand children, and the only son, Charley. To greet me he stood up - but didn't seem to stop rising ... until he finally reached the impressive height of 6'11'' ! Before they were about to close the kitchen Joy had ordered 1 vegan, 1 roastbeef, and 1 turkey sandwich plus a couple of Mirror Ponds. I didn't mind taking care of the two meaty ones, but Jeff, your vegan is still waiting to be picked up (just kidding -we took care of that one too). We then sat around and listened to family stories: they homesteaded the land; now in the sixth generation; an operating ranch, 2500 acres which included most of the land river-left that we looped around(*).

(*) Footnote: I've often found, when pushing the envelope a bit, and not having everything planned out in all details I often end up meeting some interesting, local folks.

There are a few photos from the trip in the Pic-Bucket and for those interested in doing this stretch of the Umpqua, a map was aquired from the lodge which I believe is available: contact Horst. Oh and Horst - I want my veggie sandwitch!

Tahkenitch Creek: Hwy-101 Trailhead to the Ocean - by Horst

Some of you may remember my hapless attempt last August starting at the dam near Hwy 101, just below Tahkenitch Lake. I got slowed down by numerous log jams, and finally ended up high&dry at the Big One a few hundred yards upstream from the trailhead put-in. In short, don't repeat THIS.

We then scheduled a trip on Tahkenitch Creek for the end of April but had to cancel because of bad weather.

In mid June I gave it a third try, this time starting 100 yards below the trailhead parking lot (daily permit ($5) or season pass required )-: The weather was perfect but the water already a bit low.

The scenery is just beautiful and remote. One can divide the entire stretch into three sections: 1) creek meandering through dunes, 2) a wider and more open stretch following the major south turn of the creek; this part (looking south) is still sheltered from the ocean by low, brush covered dunes, 3) the last 1+ miles, already influenced by the tide, exposed to the ocean winds, and gradually getting wider and more and more shallow. I actually had to walk the boat at several places.

There is one major log jam in section(1) that can be portaged easily, and a few narrow spots where you can push the boat through without unloading.

Half of section(3), river-right, is the taped-off nesting area of the endangered Snowy Plover. An earlier question, if canoeing would interfere with the bird's habitat, can be positively answered: No, there is plenty of room to stay clear of the nesting area.

As for accommodation, I was tempted to accept the local beach bum's invitation to stay at his driftwood castle half a mile before the ocean. But then, being so close I decided to portage my boat across the brush covered dunes of section(2) and bivouacked right at the ocean, just in time to watch the perfect sunset (inflatable kayaks make excellent mattresses!)

I have not seen official data regarding the length of this stretch; it's probably around 4 miles. But don't get fooled, portage, shallow stretches, wind, and noticeable current in segment(2) require more time than an 8 mi roundtrip on flat water.

Topomap, 7.5 quadangle: "Tahkenitch Creek"

Forest Sevice link: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/siuslaw/rec/explore/tahkenitchcr.htm has been down while writing this, but their hiking map is saved on our site. General contact page for Siuslaw National Forest still works.

Rogue River: Hellgate Recreation Area - by Mari B.

We had a great time on the Rogue trip. Water was warm and daytime temperatures hot. I actually wore a cotton t-shirt on the water and was comfortable even though it was wet all the time. Makes me want to bag the McKenzie!

On Friday we did an afternoon float from Ennis to Almeda. We had some wind but not enough to bother the IKs. Saturday we went from Hog Creek to Almeda. I was very tired by the end of the day. I don't know if it was because of slow current or because I haven't been boating much this year or because I didn't drink enough water. The others didn't complain. Sunday we ran Galice to Graves Creek. Very nice stretch that I want to do again soon. We caught it at a very nice water level.

As for individual rapids, Chair Rapid was a challenge for the hard shell boaters. The water really pushed them against the side of the river. Chair was easy for the IKs and I think they wondered what the deal was. Our one IK swim was there but it was her first time in a boat.

Galice chute has rocks exposed in the middle so definitely run right of center. Nice ride.

Argo had some rocks exposed near the bottom and was a little pushy. It looked like a clean shot on the far right. Our group went various routes as did the dozens of other IK'ers we watched and all did OK. I think Argo wouldn't be as forgiving if the water level was much lower.

Almeda campground was noisy Friday night. Some folks in our group complained to the camp host and Saturday was much better. We had 2 campsites Friday night and 3 Saturday. I think the campground was full Friday night. I hadn't made reservations but many others had so I can imagine finding a space late Friday would be a problem. Donna arrived Wednesday and got our sites so we had no problems.

I rowed a cat on Sunday and it was great fun. I rented it from River Dancer in Merlin. $35/day. It was just narrow enough that I could car top it. Quite a sight. I liked the boat. It was a very responsive little craft. I ferried it back and forth across some of the rapids pretending I was trying to catch the must-catch eddie at the top of Blossom Bar.

    Participants were:
  • Lee and Ellen, canoe
  • Diane, IK
  • Jeff, kayak
  • Marilyn, IK
  • Mari, kayak, cat
  • Donna, IK
  • Dale, kayak
  • Anne, kayak
  • Carol, IK
  • Beth, kayak
  • Deb

Note from Jeff: I brought a waterproof camera along for for this trip and will have pictures soon.

---: Misc :---    

NOAA/COOPS West Coast Tide Predictions

Wondering when the tide is high in Reedsport? You can get NOAA's best guess at Tides Online: http://www.co-ops.nos.noaa.gov. In particular, there is a page with sea level predictions for the entire west coast. Having recently paddled the south slough in Coos bay, the need to accurately predict the ebb and flow of coastal waters is fresh in my mind.
- Jeff

---: Feedback :---    

July Meeting Minutes:

  • The July meeting was held at the EWEB park at Leaburg Pond. Nine in attendance, including two potential members.
  • Planned July and August trips and discussed Summit lake gathering.
  • After meeting several folks paddled upstream? on Leaburg pond to inlet and back.

Newsletter Contributions Wanted

Got something to add? Anything remotely canoeing related is welcome. Photos, stories, tips, whatever,
can be send it to the editor at    jeffwoodall "at" myrealbox "dot" com .