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Old 06-12-2016   #1
 
Grass Valley, California
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 33
Grande Ronde

Read the post covering the inspections on the Grande Ronde- glad to hear that is occurring.
We just got off the river this past week; here are some stories from our trip...

First day we camped at a site above Sheep Creek Rapids( commonly referred to as "Black Sheep".

We set up camp , our kitchen but not our tents and broke out some snacks and cocktails because it was hot. Not too long afterward and group of two boats arrived at our campsite and 3-4 people got out and began walking through the campsite. They told us they were raining for a trip the following week and just wanted to "scope out" the camp site. They remained for about 10 minutes walking all through the camp and then pulled out.
We were a little dumbfounded...
The next am as we were beginning to breakdown camp( around 0900) one of our group was still on the groover as a new group pulled in. They tied up, let their three dogs out and asked if we were leaving. We said yes- and they broke out their chairs. As we would break down a portion of our camp they would move into it. The dogs roamed the campsite and our gear.
One of them asked if we were familiar with the river and when we replied that we were, he answered" well, have fun in the next rapid, and laughed"..
We left and scouted an empty campsite a mile above Bear Creek- there we found old clothes, toilet paper and human waste and a hypodermic needle.
We moved on and camped at BC.
The next am a single boat came into the eddy, hitting our two boats, snagging a fishing pole and breaking the lure free when it caught onto their boat as they bounced off our boats and dragged along the shore.

I have been running rivers for a long time, and have never experienced fellow boaters who were so rude and imposing. Every campsite had a fire scar and trash. I am tolerant and expect that not everyone is an experienced boater, but there is a minimum level of respect and etiquette that should be displayed by all river runners.
On a side note- we are from California and while driving home, we noticed a small sign in Owyhee county announcing a "watercraft inspection station". In all the other places we had boated- we have never been asked to be inspected- at least in California- only motorized boats are inspected. So as we drive by, not really realizing what or where the inspection station was located( it was a broke down 1970's travel trailer in a dirt lot, with small cardboard sign that read " not a rest area") we drove by it. We were soon pulled over by a deputy. We told him that we did not see the station, and he berated us that not being from an area is an excuse for "running a check station". We tried to apologize but he kept cutting us off and threatened to write us a $ 90.00 ticket. We had two pick ups, one with the boats and gear and one with just people. Once we entered the station, the woman staffing it was very nice and apologized for the deputies demeanor saying" his bark is worse than his bite". He then approached the second truck and asked if all three members were licensed drivers, all three were. He then threatened to issue them a ticket for being an "inattentive driver". He also told one member that he could not leave the vehicle to have a smoke...
We again tried to apologize and expressed our concern over the transport of invasive species and that we understood the problem- he then told us that we better move on before we were issued a ticket- but that he was currently not going to write us a ticket because they were working two car accidents and did not want to tie up the airways with this..
We left.
All 5 of us are in the emergency services, with four of us working for very large agencies. None of us would ever treat a citizen that way, even when they made a mistake. As is often the case the message was lost in the delivery.
So- if you are from CA and driving through and see some vague signs- pull in. BTW- if they determine that you were in infected waters- they will pressure wash your boat with 140 degree water...

Even with all of that- the GR is a great trip and we- as always- enjoyed our trip..

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Old 06-12-2016   #2
 
Pullman, Washington
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 336
Oregon has had a reputation for a while for chasing down those not stopping at their boat inspection stations. We have seen it happen in front of us at the station on 93. Too bad the deputy was an ass, especially to out of staters not familiar with the system. I think we all agree on the invasive species problem.

We didn't stop at the Idaho boat inspection on I-84 last week and were looking for flashing lights. The entrance ramp to the weigh station was backed up and by the time we saw the boat inspection sign it was too late to get in. The semis on the ramp provided the cover we needed

Horrible to hear that the GR was trashed it is a pretty run and great for little ones. Haven't been on it for a couple of years but it has always been a bit hit and miss. I hope it can get cleaned up and given the respect it deserves.
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Old 06-15-2016   #3
Was here
 
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Southern, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2011
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I live in Oregon and try to raft that water once per year. It's a beautiful stretch of outdoors, but I'm sorry to hear about the others who degraded your river experience. Been there myself (somewhat), not too fun... I hope that's the worst you'll see while you're still able to recreate in this sport. I know I'm counting my years as my body ages. Don't give up on the beautiful GR.

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Old 06-15-2016   #4
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
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The GR sees a lot of traffic beyond experienced floaters schooled in leave no trace. It's known a DIY river for the inexperienced. Due to that traffic one will find messes such as fire rings left from others who really don't know better. A ranger with a heart of a teacher would really go a long way.

Also worth mentioning is Grant's efforts who owns the Minam raft rental and guiding service. Every year he rehabs all fire rings and hauls out boat loads of trash.

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Old 06-15-2016   #5
 
NE, Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2013
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What the Steelhead fisher-people have done to the Wallowa is disgraceful.
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Old 06-16-2016   #6
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie 1.5 View Post
What the Steelhead fisher-people have done to the Wallowa is disgraceful.
I concur, I would say that 75% or more of the trash/fire rings are from winter/early spring steelhead trips.

I have been griping at the rec managers to get out there for the last 3 years to do some patrols. I am glad they have finally got on it. Now they need to do some winter trips too and bust some serious fisherman balls.
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Old 06-16-2016   #7
 
seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 90
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
I concur, I would say that 75% or more of the trash/fire rings are from winter/early spring steelhead trips.

I have been griping at the rec managers to get out there for the last 3 years to do some patrols. I am glad they have finally got on it. Now they need to do some winter trips too and bust some serious fisherman balls.
Good luck with that. Oregon is broke and does not have the resources for it. Everbody bitches about the government untill they personally need it. You guys are way past do for a sales tax.
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Old 06-16-2016   #8
 
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
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Originally Posted by bucketboater View Post
Good luck with that. Oregon is broke and does not have the resources for it. Everbody bitches about the government untill they personally need it. You guys are way past do for a sales tax.
Boating on the Grande Ronde is managed by the BLM, a federal agency, not the State of Oregon.
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Old 06-16-2016   #9
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Originally Posted by bucketboater View Post
Good luck with that. Oregon is broke and does not have the resources for it. Everbody bitches about the government untill they personally need it. You guys are way past do for a sales tax.
Once again fool shows his usefulness, BLM rec managers out of Baker City, not the state, run management of the wild/scenic corridor. We should tax folks coming down from WA to run our rivers too since you all didn't seam to come away with any good wilderness multiday rivers, and have to go out of state if you want a week long roadless river to run.
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Old 06-16-2016   #10
 
seattle, Washington
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Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
Once again fool shows his usefulness, BLM rec managers out of Baker City, not the state, run management of the wild/scenic corridor. We should tax folks coming down from WA to run our rivers too since you all didn't seam to come away with any good wilderness multiday rivers, and have to go out of state if you want a week long roadless river to run.
That makes sense. I just assumed eastern Oregon looks like a third world country due to your bad economy.So many people think we don't have wilderness multis up here and that's just fine by me.
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