liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival 2008

Twas the 25th anniversary of the festival today, and we stood on a bridge over the Clack and watched many different craft float through the rapid and miss most of the slalom gates. I went with a couple of old friends from NC and CO, and a few newer friends. It was really good to spend time with people that I have known for decades. It was also great to get out into the world and the sunshine, too. We borrowed a raft and floated a few miles of river. There was a sexist pig bricklayer in the front of the boat with me and I made my way to the other end of the boat as soon as I could, and ended up guiding. The river was so high and still rising (11,000 CFS in the morning, rose all day) and when you were on it there was a sense of hauling ASS. The last few days have been a heat wave and there is great snow on the mountains, so it has finally begun to melt at the higher elevations. The festival reminded me of river events in NC in the 1980's. Most of the competitors were not highly skilled, and the rescues were largely inept. Good thing the river is forgiving. I don't think that a single boat of any type actually made all nine of the slalom gates. The water was high enough that lots of boats, both rafts and kayaks, were getting surfed and flipping. They also had constructed a tall ramp like a ski jump that the kayakers were flying off of. It was silly and enjoyable just to hang out. Many thanks to my tried and true friends who were there for me today. It takes time to make friends like that, and here in Oregon I have not done it yet. But it will come. I am looking forward to this summer, when I will have time to simply enjoy life again. But first, I must study for more exams.
Tags: friends, oregon, river

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