Hood River (III-IV) 5/30/2010, 1 run, 6 miles. Iowa Drive to Tucker, 40?fpm, 4.25 feet, ~1000 CFS. This level is considered low but it was enough water for a paddle raft no problem. Paddled kayaks with K in her Huck, me in my Embudo. Lovely day, enjoyed the river. It is smallish, fairly continuous. Bouldery in places, no horizons that you can't see over, channels that look like they go, do. Rapids substantially changed in 2006 flood, since the Soggy Sneakers writeup. Not anther soul on the water! Saw one couple fishing, a few fancy houses with no people in evidence. The road is beside the river at the end, but it's a twolane and the whitewater keeps you busy enough that you forget about it. The last mile has the best whitewater, semi-continuous class III with some IVish options, a few channels with push, lots of eddies, quite a few lovely small surf waves and holes.
The putin is traditionally up at a place known as Dee, but it is privately owned now and because it is a lovely riverside spot the owner has had to crack down on partiers. So it is posted posted posted posted no trespassing. If we'd been able to put in at Dee there would have been another mile of smaller water. But we opted to do the legal putin, which involves lowering your boat down a steep slope into the woods, then traversing a goat path to the last final dropoff of 12 feet or so, a climb over the roots of a tree. I was glad I had my rope, but our shuttle driver tried to make off with it, and I had to run all the way back up the bank to get it from him just before he drove away. People here don't recognize my rope. They don't know that I want to carry it in my boat, and that if they get stuck under a rock I'm coming after them with that rope.
K swam the biggest rapid, a rocky class IV-, from the top, after missing two rolls at the foot of the previous rapid. She was a little beat up but basically fine. She held onto her boat and paddle the whole time.