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Old 11-04-2012   #11
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
Also on Stillwater: I tucked the trip's only river map into a Crazy Creek that was perched on the edge of a canoe several days away from the confluence where it blew into the river. Pure guesswork to meet our jet boat on time... Same trip I forgot to pack any type of silverware or utensils. We were carving up our disposable 2 gallon water jugs to make spoons.

I've seen this on multiple trips: no plates.
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Old 11-04-2012   #12
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
After loading up the flatbed at Diamond Creek, my friend put his rolled up new Hyside on top and somehow forgot to tie it down...meanwhile, my brother and I jumped in the flatbed with the driver and the rest of the group followed in the shuttle van and away we go, with us in the lead. in less then a mile Joe"s boat bounced out of the stakebed but the bowline caught somehow with the end result--his boat dragging down the road at about 30 mph.

The shuttle van behind us said they honked numerous times, tried to pass and otherwise get our attention, because of the dust plume that the truck kicked up and the noisy diesel engine and road noise--we heard and saw nothing. We made it all the way to the pavement (many miles) outside of Peach Springs when they finally got our attention.

His boat started out being a 14'3"...ended up with about 6' left.

Oh, did I mention he flipped in Lava and 209 and broke 3 oars? He got out of boating after that.

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Old 11-04-2012   #13
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
As a former outfitter, full time guide, now occasional guide and active private tripper in the Grand since 1976, I've run Lava many, many times. I love the right side but it's much less comfortable now that the Room of Doom is in play, after the Prospect Canyon flash of '95. Until last week however, I'd never been in it.

I was on a private and was first boat out of six. Heading right, all looking good. Line up for the V waves, perfect... Uh oh, right V wave mellows out just a bit as I drop in and my boat doesn't even slow down... Hmmm, starting to drift right as I head for the bottom holes. We should be OK... Hit the right side of the bottom hole just as it breaks, boat stalls, surfs right up onto the black rock, still thinking I'll be OK... Nope! Big surge into the Room and life gets interesting very quickly. On my first attempt to spin the boat off the rock my right oar (upstream) gets pulled out of the lock. My fault, I tried to take too deep a stroke. The hoopie lanyard holding it to the frame actually breaks (old hoopie) and off she goes. Now I've only got my rock side oar to use. It's surging way too much to try to grab and install a spare. Plus I want out of there NOW!

Rafts 2 and 3 pass by as I try desperately to spin us off the rock and downstream. Raft 2 actually glances off of my boat. Scared to death that he was going to hit me full on and slide under me.

The surge in there is about 3 feet. At one point I'm thinking of having my wife and friend jump onto shore (bow is pointed at shore) but the surge is mean and it seems too risky. A good friend and the foremost guide down there once flipped in the V waves and ended up swimming into the Room, only to go deep, get flushed through a sieve and end up in the eddy below the black rock. Needless to say, that was on my mind the whole time.

Every time I spin the boat (at the top of a surge) we slide part way into the hole and get slammed back up on the rock and into the eddy. High side! Damn, I really don't like this. Finally, on the fourth or fifth attempt I manage to get the timing right and spin the boat into (maybe onto is more accurate) the bottom hole and out we go, safe and sound. Gotta say luck was on my side as we could have flipped numerous times in there.

As I noted, I've spent a lot of time down there, running oar boats, motor rigs and kayaks and that was the scariest place I've ever ended up. I hope I never go back into the Room!
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Old 11-04-2012   #14
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 427
Originally Posted by wildh2onriver View Post
His boat started out being a 14'3"...ended up with about 6' left.
That kinda makes me sick to my stomach. What a sinking feeling that must've been.
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Old 11-04-2012   #15
floatingk's Avatar
Waha, Ida'maho
Paddling Since: 01
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 93
This must be the best thread ever, Im sure of it.
Simply in between swims
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Old 11-04-2012   #16
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Rotorua, NZ
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
Two years ago after moving to NZ the first weekend I was here got on Whakapapanui creek with some AUCC kids. They said it was supposed to be easy grade 3 with maybe a 4. No one had done the creek but the guidebook said the same. It was pissing rain and misty as all get out so visibility was a bit of an issue. Get on, run two drops a third was borderline 4-5 ran it no issues. They took their time running it wanting safety etc... Finally re-group and I'm in the lead headed downstream.

Anxious to keep rolling I was getting a bit loose with catching micro-eddys. Come around a corner and see what looks to be a gorge/horizon line. I try to catch an eddy on the right, missed it... shit... missed the next one.... shit shit shit... Next thing I know, I'm rolling over the lip of Matariki falls. One thought is in my head that Keck said to me before I left for here, "be careful bro shit is a bit different down there" Thinking about these words of wisdom from the Huckin duckie I peer into the abyss. I had no fucking idea how big this thing was and I thought that was the end of the story. I start to fall, tuck up, and after what felt like an eternity I go deep in the soft, soft goods. I come up and instantly get shucked to the right against an undercut wall. I fight off of it and catch an eddy below this monster.
I rip myself out of my boat and see my new friends standing on the lip with the biggest eyes I've ever seen. I catch my breath and settle my heart down from its 300 bpm. No worries the rest of the day just mellow grade 2-3 and a great story for the pub.
Kind of an interesting way to start my adventures here in NZ!!
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Old 11-04-2012   #17
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Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
The year I bought my first raft and took my first Rogue trip (1975), I told stories of my adventures to anyone who was interested--or too polite to tell me to give it a rest. One couple I had known for quite awhile got excited and wanted to get a raft of their own. They got a little $30 Caravelle vinyl raft, knowing that it wasn’t a whitewater raft, but all they wanted to do was drift on “Huck Finn” water. For their first float trip, they drove to Salem (it’s only a half-hour drive). With some sandwiches and a few drinks they set out for their Sunday afternoon float to Wilsonville—a distance of nearly 50 miles on the river.

They floated lazily down the river, apparently not noticing that it took half an hour just to get out of sight of the launch ramp. After an hour or two, they decided they’d better start paddling downstream. Three hours later, they were sincerely wishing they had brought more food and drink. By the time some shade started to reach the river, they were thoroughly burned, although they didn’t know how thoroughly until later that night. With no idea where they were, but certain that the Wilsonville bridges would come into view around “the next bend,” they doggedly paddled downstream into the evening.

When it began getting dark, they finally decided that they’d better find a place to get off the river. They spotted a fisherman on shore and paddled over to ask where they were. They were at a Greenway Access park at the Marion/Yamhill County line, having floated eleven miles—a very long distance when there’s no discernible current, but still 39 miles short of their destination.

About then, a state cop appeared and told them that he was just about to lock the gate for the night. They asked him if he could take them to Wilsonville, but he said he was going the other direction. The fisherman offered to take them as far as Newberg, so they hurriedly squeezed the air out of their raft and stuffed it into the guy’s trunk. He let them out on the St. Paul highway and wished them luck. After walking for an hour in the dark, with their plastic paddles and rolled up raft, they managed to hitch a ride to Wilsonville. They got out where Wilsonville Road goes under the freeway and then made their way down to the river at the old Boone’s Ferry landing.

When they got there, they realized that their car was on the other side of the river—an easy mistake. So they blew up the raft (by mouth, because the pump was in the car they left in Salem) and paddled across the river. Dizzy from hyperventilation, they were unable to compensate for the breeze that pushed them downstream as they paddled across the river.

Coming to shore a quarter of a mile below the boat ramp, they waded along the shore through mud, blackberry brambles, and slime, back upstream toward the ramp. Occasionally, they came to deep spots where they had to swim with the raft in tow. An overhanging branch snagged the raft and ripped a hole in it, so by the time they got to the boat ramp, it was mostly deflated. They were so discouraged and disgusted by then that they stuffed the raft into a trash barrel. They got to their car a half-hour before midnight. Even the fast food restaurants were closed by then, so they drove to Salem to get their other car.

When they got there, they remembered that they had put the keys for it into the little side pouch in the raft they had ditched. There was nothing to do but drive back to Wilsonville and go dumpster diving. Arriving home in Portland about 2:30 AM, they took cold showers and sprayed each other with Solarcaine. The next day they had to go to work. They actually admitted to all of this, rather than saying that they had been mugged by hippies who tied them up in the sun and stole their raft. That would have been my story, if I’d done that!
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Old 11-04-2012   #18
Plunk your magic twanger!
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
Floating down upper C in July we experienced black skies, then wind, then hail followed by cold rain. We found a camp at Benches and were relieved to finally dry out and warm up. Feeling too lazy to find dry kindling, Bill suggested pouring some of his white gas on the wet wood to get it going. It lit right up but burned off before the wet wood could begin to dry out. Bill then decided to add more white gas to the smoldering flames. I guess he thought sprinkling the gas would not be the same as pouring a stream into the fire but the flame traveled up to his fuel bottle regardless. Thinking quickly, Bill turned to the river and threw the bottle probably 100 feet. It flew through the air, spewing flames as it cartwheeled across the sky, and we all held our breath as we realized it was heading directly towards our rafts. It landed, miraculously, between mine and Bill's rafts, in the water one foot from the shore. Bill walked over and picked it up like he intended that outcome. When he turned and looked at me, I was shaking my head in disbelief. We then burst out laughing!

Shortly afterwards, we heard a raft approaching with crying children. They pulled up to our camp and the father was in a panic. He had recently purchased a bucket boat and was told the upper C would be a good family outing. The raft had taken on a lot of water at Yarmony and the three kids, all still in diapers were waterlogged and screaming. With a nice warm fire now blazing in camp, we invited them to join us and warm up. My wife went so far as to help the father set up his brand new, never out of the box, TEN person Coleman tent. In the meantime, the rain stopped and his kids were walking off with our Bocce balls midgame. I later found out, when I had a mouse scurrying around, that they had gone into my tent. The father was appreciative of all our help. The mother never said a word to us.

In the morning, Bill and I contemplated how cheaply we could buy that bucket boat that was surely on it's last voyage with that frustrated family.
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Old 11-05-2012   #19
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655

Twice in the same summer, we ran across some lake type canoeists, first on the Sandy river (Dodge to Oxbow) then on the North Santiam (Packsaddle to Mehama) We questioned them both at the put in, and both did not have any ww experience, and these were both loong lake canoes, no flotation, outfitted with Walmart's finest orange vests and plastic paddles. They were both young couples, the guy at Dodge park disregarded our advice and inquisition as to what they were doing. They shoved off with jackets strapped to their hull and managed to broach two large rocks, just out of sight of the park, approaching Pipeline (The only class III on the run) The guy gets out in 3 feet of rushing water running under the center of the boat, the boat now 75% full of water, and tries to lift up on the higher end of the boat with her still in it. ( I laughed, but was afraid he was going to entrap himself) We landed river right and offered throw ropes, but "he had this". He then got her out on the upstream side and then both tried to lift the boat, no dice. He then accepted my rope offer, I told him to 'bine off to the canoe and send her first, one at a time. ( I had 75' strung across 3-4 feet of rushing water) He goes first, and she takes up right behind him. So I had to have my dad hang on to me so I didn't float off, trying to keep them. Rescue successful, I paddled my Force XL out to the canoe, landed just below it and clipped my boat off to it. I got under the high side and lifted it solo slowly, until it came free. The wood was broken in the center of the fiberglass boat, and the hull was creased. I got it and my boat to river left (the bottom of the island) and we took off from there. I hope they had fun getting their boat back, at that point I didn't want to make it easy on them.
A few weeks later, similar situation on the North Santiam, but this guy listened. We told them they could stay with our group for the run, and we helped them portage Spencer's and Mill city falls. They avoided Carnivore and took our advice to heart. They had planned to go all the way to Mehama, but they took us up on the offer of a ride back at Mill city with us. (It was 6 pm by then, Mehama was still 7 miles off) That couple was cool, he chose to listen to the locals, and we had a hand in making it a successful day for them. Oh, and his shuttle was a ten speed hidden under the bridge at Mehama...
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Old 11-05-2012   #20
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Originally Posted by Hermonbird
Great Topic and I'm laughing out loud as I read these. I've had so many epic fails on river trips I don't know where to begin. I was TL and chief food packer for a 4 day Dolores trip for 20 people and forgot coffee. Yeah...forgot coffee. I got to redeem myself the next year as TL/Chief Gear Man for a 20 person Stillwater Canyon trip and forgot toiler paper for everyone. Nice!

Anybody wanna go on a trip with me? I swear I got us covered.
Hopefully it was experienced river folks, as we always bring our own stash of tp and coffee. And a water filter and backpacking cook kit.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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