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Old 12-12-2015   #1
 
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Now, That's an Eddy!

The flow today at Willamette Falls is around 125,000 cfs (high, but well within the normal range). But check out the eddy that has formed on the downstream side of the huge concrete pylon:



For scale, the pylon is about twenty feet wide. The lateral waves at the top of the eddy are about four feet high. But what I found amazing was the way an actual rapid formed where water flows into the eddy at its lower end (on the right-hand side of the photo). The chute is about twenty-five feet long, flowing straight upstream, with a drop of four feet. There are actually standing waves in that chute.

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Old 12-12-2015   #2
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Wow! That looks like it could be one nasty little cauldron!
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Old 12-12-2015   #3
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Big cauldron!
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Old 12-12-2015   #4
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Hydrology is so freakin cool! Thanks for sharing, this is a great shot and great find.
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Old 12-13-2015   #5
 
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Willamette Falls, in the background, is a 41-foot drop. At extreme water levels, the pool below fills up, and somewhere around 160,000 cfs the falls starts to look runnable. At least with one of these:

Two Creature Craft Rafts hand crafted white water rafts
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Old 12-14-2015   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
Willamette Falls, in the background, is a 41-foot drop. At extreme water levels, the pool below fills up, and somewhere around 160,000 cfs the falls starts to look runnable. At least with one of these:

Two Creature Craft Rafts hand crafted white water rafts
I remember maybe 15 years ago we saw a floating house "run" the falls at levels similar to those - all that exited was splinters. I haven't seen the spectacle of the falls at high water in a long time. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 12-14-2015   #7
 
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Looks pretty runnable at lower levels:

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Old 12-14-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
Willamette Falls, in the background, is a 41-foot drop. At extreme water levels, the pool below fills up, and somewhere around 160,000 cfs the falls starts to look runnable. At least with one of these:

Two Creature Craft Rafts hand crafted white water rafts
Would never think of running the falls in one of those boats, 18" long!?!
It would need to be at least,,, two or three times that size!
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Old 12-15-2015   #9
 
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Looks pretty runnable at lower levels.
Thanks for sharing that video. I live on the riverfront just above the falls, and I heard about the kayak run, but this is the first time I've seen it.

The water level in the video is intermediate. When the flow is low, most of the water goes through the power plant, and the falls itself is mostly dry. The run in the video involves a careful approach to avoid the spillways to the right and the power plant intakes to the left.

And even then, you can't drop over the dam just anywhere. In most places, you'd land on rock. These kayakers knew what they were doing.

At extreme high water, the falls smooths out, but there are still HUGE hydraulics. I'm not tempted to do it.
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Old 12-15-2015   #10
 
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I would never think of running the falls in one of those boats, 18" long!?! It would need to be at least,,, two or three times that size!
I wouldn't try running ANYTHING in an 18-inch (18") boat--or even one two or three times that size. Luckily, the Creature Craft in the ad is an 18-foot (18') boat.

But there really are water levels (well above flood stage) where such a craft could make the run. The photo in this thread was taken at two feet below flood stage.
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