Newsletter of the Cascade Canoe Club

- November 2003 -

News  ~  Schedule  ~  Reports  ~  Misc  ~  Feedback  ~ 

Welcome to the November Newsletter!

We're coming to what most of us consider the end of the paddling season. Thanks go out to all those folks who've stepped up as trip coordinators: you all put together some really great trips!

I'll be taking a few months hiatus from the newsletter: it will likely resume in some form in February 2004. To everyone who has sent in material over the past year: THANKS! - it wouldn't have been much of a newsletter without your contributions.

See ya next year!
-- the editor

---: News :---    

Willamette Trip Presentation - Nov. 4th

Omar Nelson will present a slide show of his recent ten day Willamette River trip at the November meeting of the Cascade Canoe Club. Omar and his friend Jack Hart paddled the entire 222 mile undammed portion of the Willamette River from Dexter Dam to the city of St. Helens. Part of their trip coincided with the Willamette Riverkeepers 'Paddle Oregon' event (Junction City to Newberg). The presentation and meeting will be at South Eugene High School, Room 202, 7:00pm.

Willamette Rec. Guides Almost Gone

There is just a handfull of the guides left. Contact Jeff Woodall or come to the next meeting to get one before they're all gone.

The crew gets a soaking in Wapanita. ( click to enlarge )
Deschutes River, September 2003 - commerical photo

---: Schedule :---    

Willamette River, Jasper to Island Park - Sunday, November 2nd

This is a 10 mile Class 1/1+ trip right in our backyard. Meet 10:00am at Island Park to set up the shuttle. See Soggy Sneakers #73 for additional info. Please call to confirm.

Contact: Mari B. - marib@efn.org / 683-1248

CCC Meeting - November 4th, 7:00pm *Winter Location!*

Slide Show! Omar Nelson will make a slide presentation of his recent canoe trip with Jack Hart on the entire 222 mile undammed portion of the Willamette River from Dexter Dam to the city of St. Helens.

Other agenda items are below:

  • discuss dates and logistics of proposed Kalamath River trip
  • discuss future of newsletter
  • open floor to any other issues


  South Eugene High School, Room 202
  400 East 19th Avenue
  Eugene, OR

Date/Time: October 7th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Directions: See www.sehs.lane.edu

---: Reports :---    

MF Willamette River (Soggy Sneakers run #71), Oct. 5th, 1300 cfs

On a cool and foggy Sunday morning 7 of us got together to float the MF of the Willamette River from Reservoir to Reservoir, Hills Creek to Lookout Point that is. The brave souls were Clarence('lake'(!) kayak), Bob(whitewater kayak), Lana (canoe), Lee and Ellen (canoe), Horst (IK), Jeff (IK). Chris and Kathy J. from Oakridge met us at Westfir Bridge where we scouted Hells Gate Rapids. Chris then guided us to the put-in, 2 mi. above Oakridge, an undocumented access point he had researched earlier (see detailed description below).

By the time we reached the put-in the sky had turned blue and stayed clear throughout the day -- until we returned back into The Valley. Too bad, we had to dress down and stash away our fancy raingear.

The launch was an exciting moment: all but myself have never been before on the Middle Fork, and I had only done the documented stretch once, two years ago -- and I always love to explore new territories The first two undocumented miles turned out to be very nice and busy class 2 water, more than just a warm-up for the rapids between Oakridge's Greenwater Park and Salmon Creek. All of us did well and we stopped for lunch past the Salmon Creek rapids. Between Salmon Creek and Hells Gate the river keeps you busy with several class 2/2+ rapids. On that stretch we had three swimming events, one w/o any 'good' reason in fairly slow and shallow water, the other two in class 2+/3 rapids, Hells Gate included. Everybody recovered w/o bodily or boatily injuries.

Past Hells Gate the action slows down a bit, though there still remains quiet a bit class 2 fun. The only damper was the wind kicking in at the last third of the trip. Some of us had to work hard, and the solo canoe even harder. Still, running those 12 miles in less than 4 hours (time for lunch and rescues included) gives you an idea about the overall pace of that stretch of the river.

I had the impression that everybody had a good time, and personally, I remember this trip as a nice conclusion of my whitewater season for this year. Many thanks to Chris from Oakridge for scouting the upper put-in, which added an extra kick to our adventure.

On a general note, our club had a pretty active season, with a wide variety of trips, and several new folks taking the initiative to coordinate a trip. Thanks to everyone! And special thanks to Jeff, our tireless editor, who kept us all informed and going!

- Horst


Directions to upper put-in: East of Oakridge from Hwy 58 go right on Hills Creek Rd. At the 1st fork take a right on FR-21; just before crossing the MF of the Willamette take a left onto a dirt road, and go to the end to an undeveloped boat ramp; this is the put-in (it's river- right, just to make it clear). To avoid vandalism drive car back to road fork after unloading. I didn't look at my odometer, but road sections mentioned above are within quarter-mile range.

Shortening the run: if 12 miles are too much, and you enjoy splashy class 2+ action I'd suggest to include the upper 2 miles and to cut short at the lower section, somewhere below Hells Gate rapids. We didn't look for alternative take-out spots, but there are roads on both sides of the river.

Umpqua River/Winchester Bay Overnighter - Oct 25th & 26th

(from Phlog - a SiMpLe journal: gopher://beaker.mdns.org)

Sun Oct 26 17:38:57 PST 2003

Just got back from our Winchester Bay trip. Nice sunny weather but oh the wind: we were bouncing around on both crossings and I was actually thinking about which way I'd be floating when I capsized. None of us swam but it definitely could have happened.

Crossings aside, the trip was rather pleasant. We camped on the edge of the north spit dunes adjacent from a smallish island that becomes a walk-over at low tide (would have been mucky). We found a small cabin hidden in the brush on the island which was furnished with two bunks, small table, various cans of food and a wood stove. It even had a ceiling light that runs off a car battery (not present). I found an old address book with several journal entries. Evidently the place is called "The Duck Shack" and there were several references to bagging ducks so I surmised that it was erected by hunters as a way to make the November nights a tad bit nicer.

Phil brought along Blue, his Australian cattle dog, for the trip. Blue was a bit anxious about being in the boat but perked up among the dunes. At one point he started barking in the direction of the big dune we were camped near; we all looked over and saw a good size black bear running full speed across the dune (away from us). The bear kept running right up to the end, jumped in the Umpqua and swam across! We all stared in amazement until I started wondering where he came _from_ and remembered I had my food bag in my tent up on the dune! I hurried up to the tent; it and the food bag were intact but the prints ran right past the upwind side of the tent. I can only guess that he smelled us before he got a whiff of the food and took off running. Whew!

In addition to land carnivore, we saw quite a few seals. I had the fastest boat and had it out in the surf on the south end of the island. The seals apparently gather there at high tide and appeared to just be playing. I got pretty close several times. They would rise up about 18 inches then slap a flipper down and dive.

We did some hiking; I was having problems with my sciatic nerve which tempered my explorations some. I would have liked to have gone on a night hike; the stars were out in full force and on the dunes it feels like you're on a different planet.

I took several pictures on the dunes which I probably post so other members can see them. I'll definitely be going back; there were few people around - surprising since its very scenic. So many places on the Oregon coast have gotten crowded in recent years; it was nice to find a place were you could feel like you were "away from it all".


We put-in at the Winchester Bay boat launch. There is a $5 launch fee which we paid so as to be able to park overnight in the lot near the resetrooms. We opted to launch adjacent the restrooms as there is a nice pebble beach. There were no problems getting in/out of the marina though one should definitely watch out for the larger boats as their wake can upset a tippy kayak. Paddling the bay is best done at high tide +/- 2 hours. At any other time there are significant currents and mud flats. The seasonal shift of the predominate winds is also something to consider if planning a Fall trip.

---: Misc :---    

Klamath River Trip Proposed for Next Summer

(paraphrased from earlier email)

Lee and Ellen Paulus have proposed a trip on the Klamath River in Northern California next summer, camping at the Tree of Heaven C.G. The date is open to suggestions, esp. for those who think they'd like to go but absolutely cannot certain dates. Ellen is thinking earlier summer, such as June, or certain weekends in July for a longer 4-5 day stay. It would be ideal to have a site reserved early in January. Lee has a campsite in mind will accommodate a fairly large group, which is across the driveway from the river, adjacent to a deluxe two room pit toilet, water and hiking trail. Overflow parking is available for free in the day use lot, about 100yd walk next to boat ramp. The water is warm, Class I/II, with the option for running 10 miles of class II/III just below Happy Camp. Estimated drive time from Eugene/Springfield is 4 hours max, about 230 miles. This proposal will be further discussed at a future club meeting.

For more info contact Lee and Ellen at 741-9824.

UO Outdoor Program Artic Presentation

(quoted from the UO Outdoor Program website)

Arctic Dreams on the Firth River
On the morning of the summer solstice, 11 Outdoor Program participants were dropped off by bush plane on the banks of the Firth River in Ivvavik National Park in extreme northern Yukon Territory, Canada. Over the next 10 days, while floating along 80 miles of the Firth River, the group saw no other human being. They did, however see a fantastic array of wildlife, including musk oxen, wolves, Dall.s sheep, golden and bald eagles, gyrfalcons, tundra swans, black bear, and grizzlies. The group also witnessed the migration of the Porcupine Caribou herd, 135,000 strong, as they traveled from the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) in Alaska across the Firth River into the vast lands beyond. The scenery above the arctic circle was amazing and the cultural history was rich as the same people have lived in the region for over 10,000 years; their ancient dwellings were visible throughout the valley. Come relive this amazing adventure through slides, video footage, and stories. Free.

Thursday, 7:30 pm: 177 Lawrence Hall

Ref: UO Outdoor Program's Fall Events

UO Outdoor Program Kayak Pool Sessions

The Gerlinger pool will be open the following Wednesdays from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm for kayak roll sessions: 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29 and 11/5. Fees are $3 UO students and OP Co-op members, $5 general admission, OP Kayak Rental $5 (first-come basis). Spots may be reserved by prepaying at the OP Office.

---: Feedback :---    

October Meeting Minutes

  • ten (10) members in attendance
  • It was decided that no meeting would be held for the months of December and January. Jeff announced that there would also be no newsletter for those months.
  • Donna R. mentioned a night paddle with the Lunatics
  • After much fiddling with TV settings, Horst, Lee and Jeff hooked up their digital cameras to the classroom TV and presented some photos (various trips). This was followed by a re-showing of Omar's Black Canyon slides.
  • Omar agreed to give a slide show of his recent Willamette trip at the November meeting.
  • Dick C. brought photos (the old fashioned kind :) from his Bowron Lakes trip this summer.
  • Remaining agenda items were deferred to the next meeting.

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 .