Monday, August 4, 2008

North Umpqua Weekend

What a great weekend. What started out as an escape from the smoke turned into a seven kayakers going to a new river and camping for the weekend. The North Umpqua sits just east of Roseburg in Central Oregon, about 4 1/2 hours from Arcata. There are 5 different class 3 sections to kayak, hot springs, great camping, hiking, waterfalls, and world famous steelhead fishing. What a recreational hotspot. After all the planning, the trip ended up being Tressie, Neil, Bren, Travis, Beth, Teresa, and myself along with Diego (Travis' dog). We loaded up Travis's Subie and my Tacoma and headed North on Fri. afternoon. We pulled into camp late and promptly passed out in the tents.

Diego waiting for his turn to go in the river.

The Taco loaded up and ready to go.

We had a couple of fairly new boaters in the group, so we settled on a stretch of river (Segment 1) that had class 2's and a couple class 3's that could be walked around if needed. This was going to be Bren's second time down a river in a hardshell as well as Beth's first time on a class 3.

This stretch of river was fairly shallow and quick without a lot of pools. This made for some fun floating without a lot of flatwater paddling, but the shallow nature also meant that flipping over in the wrong spot might lead to a helmet knock. Right off the bat was a class 3 that every did great on. Teresa and I went first to find the lines and set safety, while the rest of the group followed, Neil would go last as sweep. That's how it would go for the weekend. We found some nice play holes on this stretch.

This is Travis surfin' it up on the first day.

And a mini surf session by Teresa

We continued on down river with only one swimmer for the day, Beth. She got flipped by a curling wave and ended on the wrong side for a roll. We quickly got her to shore and drained the boat. Bren also flipped on the same rapid and nailed her combat roll. The next clas 3 that came up flipped Beth again, and this time she rolled up perfectly. It turns out that this was her first "combat roll" which is an amazing feeling. It was great to see the smile on her face as she rolled up.

Beth taking a nice line down one of the great rapids along this river.
Tressie gettin' her groove on.
After a long day on the water, we made it back to camp and started making a feast. Teresa roasted garlic in the fire for garlic cheese bread, Bren and Neil made a killer salad, Travis grilled up some mean chicken, and Tressie topped it off with a steak grilled with melted blue cheese. Add to that wine and beer and I was one happy boater. We finished up dinner and cleaned up and headed to the hot springs. The paring is about 4 miles down a dirt road and was full of cars when we showed up. These hot springs are pretty crowded during the summer. Thankfully not everyone parked were at the springs. You have a to cross the river on a log and the climb up a fairly short but steep hill to get to the springs, but once you do , you are rewarded with an incredible view. The springs, which consist of several different pools (each one cooler than the one above), overlook the river from about 200 feet up. All you see is the North Umpqua, trees, and sky. The travertine which is a mineral in the ground, creates natural tubs of varying sizes and colors. A pretty amazing site. Apparently they are even more amazing in the winter with snow on the ground. I will definitely be heading back. We did not get any pics, there was just too many crazy naked people running around for cameras.

The next day was even better than the first. the river changed its character from shallow and continuous to more of a pool drop nature. There were many more combat rolls this day and a few swims, but no one was hurt and everyone had a great time. We have a bunch of pics and video from this day. Thanks for the camera work Teresa and Travis.

Beth, Tressie, and Bren enjoying the sun and the water.

Teresa getting upside down on one of the tougher rapids.

Your author also getting upside down on the same rapid

Beth making it look easy

Neil spotted a nice cliff along the river and decided he would practice his seal launch. As crazy as it looks, the seal launch is a practical tool to have for the river. He gets a little inverted here.

He convinced me to try it as well. Stupid human Trick #1

Here is a group run down one of the gentler rapids on day 2. Teresa is on the camera with her amazing commentary and I am on safety down below.

A nice group shot, minus the Teresa. Don't ask me what Neil is doing, I have no idea.

1 comment:

h2oflow said...

Looks like a sweet time was had by all.