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Old 06-30-2016   #1
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Where to live/kayak in oregon

I have an opportunity to move to Oregon for work as an electrician.

Where is the best place to live for year round kayaking in Oregon.?

I can choose between bend and Portland.

I'm thinking Portland, any advice otherwise? I could also move to Washington.
I feel like Portland is a good choice it looks close to the east fork of the Lewis river. I would dig that big time.

Any thoughts?

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Old 06-30-2016   #2
Durango, Colorado
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I think that for paddling, Portland is probably better. Pretty close to the good S. Washington runs (E Fork Lewis, Canyon Creek) and only an hour from the Columbia River Gorge. Keep in mind though that the season there is mainly rain-fed (winter-spring). In the summer, you would probably be headed to the White Salmon alot.

Bend is on the dry side. Lots more sunshine but less water. However, the Deschutes runs on dam release all summer long. It has good class 4 and 5 (not on the quality level of the CRG) and now a playpark. has all the info you need.

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Old 07-01-2016   #3
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IMHO I think the question is are you moving just for boating or are there other outdoor activities you are looking to do as well and what kind of quality of life are you looking for? Portland is a big city and has all the pros and cons associated with it. Bend reminds me of Fort Collins because of the size, climate, bike friendly and breweries everywhere. But now imagine Fort Collins with class 4&5 running through town year round, about ten minutes to the put in from most anywhere in town . It has the driest snow in the NW on a quality mountain about 30 min away at bachelor. Mountain biking is really quality and again about 10 min away (Phills trail system). There is descent rock climbing in town at meadowcamp and world class rock climbing 30 min away at smith rock. With all the pros of bend the cons are that besides riverhouse, meadowcamp, Benham, Dillon and lava which are all on the deschutes it's going to take you at least 1 1/2 hours to get to anything quality like brittenbush, opal or canyon creek Oregon and then 2-2 1/2 to get to the miracle mile and the gorge. portland has canyon creek wa, EFL, the clackamas and other non reliable but quality when in runs really close by but the gorge stuff is still going to be an hour to hour and a half away from Portland depending on where you live. Portland is also about an hour and a half away from opal and brittenbush and you are also right by I-5 which means you have quick access to the ohanepecosh and cispus in the summer and you're an easy weekend trip to all the Seattle area stuff. Portland as far as mountain biking has the gorge stuff which is really good and includes post canyon and syncline as well as many others and then sandy ridge about an hour away. Black rock is also about an hour 15 away which is probably the best non resort free ride mtn biking outside of BC. The closest skiing is on mount hood which is a little over an hour but does have multiple night skiing options so you can go after work. There are climbing options around that I hear are descent but I haven't explored. Once again IMHO if the only thing you are thinking about is boating then Portland is better than Bend but overall if I had a choice there is no way I would go Portland over Bend.
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Old 07-01-2016   #4
Portland, Oregon
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Portland for more variety of water, but it comes with big city living, traffic and a crazy expensive housing market right now.

Bend for awesome weather, laid back town, and year round runs of slightly less variety and better skiing.

I live in Portland but vacation in Bend. If I could make a living in Bend I would easily move there but my job limits me to major cities.
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Old 07-01-2016   #5
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Given that the question was where to go for year round kayaking, the answer is Portland over Bend. Living in Portland you can paddle any day of the year with a maximum hour and half drive. Bend has some nice local boating, but lends itself less to winter paddling. If you are weighing other factors, the choice is less evident. Portland has plenty of paddling but you will have to drive. In Bend, less variety but it's right out your door. Also, Hood River or White Salmon are tough to beat.
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Old 07-02-2016   #6
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Portland and Bend have a completely different feel. You feel closer to outdoor activities in the Bend area, but winter is colder and things shift to Skiing more there. I live right on the very south west edge of the Portland Metro area, trying to get the small town feel but have the access to all that I like. I can be on the Clackamas or North Santiam in just over an hour, or I can be on the beach in just over an hour. We have Cascade range rivers to run year round, but the Coast range has many options in the winter too. We always have water somewhere. We have overnight trip rivers in Eastern Oregon, and yes, we have plenty of rivers in Washington to run too. Who would you be working for?
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 07-03-2016   #7
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Awesome ideas and suggestions here. I think we're going to take a ride up and see what it looks like. Sounds like there are no places to rent in Portland, hence the need for construction help. We'll see!
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Old 07-03-2016   #8
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Dundee, Oregon
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If you make it out here let me know, we can you get you out on a river so you can see what the local paddling is like.

Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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