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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a good river town in Oregon, preferably with a hospital in it or nearby. I'm a Paramedic and ER Nurse.

I'm a Class III-IV kayaker, mostly river running and creeking, but I'm getting into play boating.

My perfect town would have this kind of paddling within 30-60 minutes or less driving time with a fairly long paddling season. Class II or a playspot within a few minutes of town is good also.

I prefer someplace much smaller than Portland. I currently live in a town of about 2000 in western North Carolina. I love where I am now, but always like to have backup plan for career and paddling.

Thanks,
Steve


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Hood River, OR sounds like it would meet your requirements. Has a little of everything within a 30 minute drive.
 

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+1 for Hood River... Kayak, Snow Ski, Windsurf, Mt. Bike year round within 30 min of home. I believe there is a Providence Hospital in town, but it is not very large.
 

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The first city that came to mind was hood river. then I thought a bit and came up with a few less conventional cities:

1. Stayon Drainage N Santiam
2. Grants Pass Drainage Rouge
3. Roseburg Drainage Umpqua

How far are you willing to drive 20 mins a day would open up some more areas.
 

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Check out southern Oregon like Ashland, Medford or Grants Pass. Big hospitals for employment as a RN and lots of good rivers. You're also not too far from some good rivers in northern California.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, good info. Some areas I had looked at and others I had not.

How long is the paddling season in Oregon? Can I paddle year round if I have a dry suit and don't mind a little cold? I've been out in 22 degree weather with snowing and thought it was fun! :cool:
 

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Thanks, good info. Some areas I had looked at and others I had not.

How long is the paddling season in Oregon? Can I paddle year round if I have a dry suit and don't mind a little cold? I've been out in 22 degree weather with snowing and thought it was fun! :cool:
Boating is year round with a large variety of rivers in the winter and spring. The summer and fall is more limited, but there are still dozens of runs available around the state.
 

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Thanks, good info. Some areas I had looked at and others I had not.

How long is the paddling season in Oregon? Can I paddle year round if I have a dry suit and don't mind a little cold? I've been out in 22 degree weather with snowing and thought it was fun! :cool:
Boating New Years day is a thing around here. The season is 365 days on several rivers.

The long season runs In the NW part of Oregon:

-Clackamas - year round Class III+ to IV

-North Santiam - Year round Class II+ to III (Below Big Cliff Dam) seasonal above - including Opal Creek which is an absolute classic run that I'll probably never see Lower Opal Creek

-White Salmon - Year round (Just across the river in WA) Class III+ to IV. The white salmon has a number of year round runs. Green Truss, farmlands, middle, lower lower etc...

-Klickitat - late sep-June - class III+ to IV-.

-Sandy Gorge - Early Oct-July Class III to IV
-Sandy (Revenue Bridge) Sep-July Class III to III+

It is common to see paddlers all through the winter here. Dry suit is - of course - mandatory. The only downside is that because we don't see a lot of snow, many access roads are not cleared when we do have snow at elevation.

Hood River is probably one of your better bets. It is a reasonably small town that has a hospital and a lot of options for year round boating. Not to mention a GREAT community of paddlers. Living in the eastern part of Multnomah county (The county that Portland is in) wouldn't be bad either, you would be close to the clackamas river, Mt hood, and near enough to commute to a number of medical facilities ~20 minute drive. Cities of Estacada or Sandy.
 

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+1 for Soggy Sneakers and for Stayton (N. Santiam area).

My wife and I both teach and just made the move out west from Minneapolis for better paddling, and a longer season. I used Soggy Sneakers throughout my job search. It's a great guidebook for OR paddling.

I got a job on Stayton and we just moved (like a week ago) to Silverton, which is like 15 miles to the north. Both towns are just under 10K people, and there are some other small towns nearby as well. Not sure about Hospitals except in Stayton, which I know has one because I just got drug tested there. :)

Only paddling I've done there so far was on the N. Santiam and the McKenzie. Both were excellent - cold, crystal clear water (esp. the McKenzie and Opal, which we just scouted). Met some super nice boaters too.


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...Stayton (N. Santiam area).
...
Only paddling I've done there so far was on the N. Santiam and the McKenzie. Both were excellent - cold, crystal clear water (esp. the McKenzie and Opal, which we just scouted). Met some super nice boaters too.
Soggy sneakers is THE guidebook for Oregon. I just wish they would put out a new edition because there have been some dam removals since the last one (Hood River, Sandy etc..)

I love the North Santiam - I get on it 10+ times a year, but it has a bit of a shelf life. There is really only one year round run on it and it is fun, but is really a Class II+ run with one no consequences Class III. Beautiful and worthwhile, but if I lived on it, I could see tiring of it as a "backyard" run. The upper North Santiam (Bruno Mt Run in Soggy Sneakers ) has some class IV water, but also very limited season (spring).

The upper Little North Santiam is a classic, but also very very short season. And Opal Creek is one of the few runs that is hard to get to in the winter. 4 wheel Drive often required.

The Breitenbush is near there and is class IV, but has a very limited season.

The Mollala river isn't too far and has a limited season, but it is probably runnable 5-6 months a year. Look up the "Three Bears" run.
 

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Soggy sneakers is THE guidebook for Oregon. I just wish they would put out a new edition because there have been some dam removals since the last one (Hood River, Sandy etc..)

I love the North Santiam - I get on it 10+ times a year, but it has a bit of a shelf life. There is really only one year round run on it and it is fun, but is really a Class II+ run with one no consequences Class III. Beautiful and worthwhile, but if I lived on it, I could see tiring of it as a "backyard" run. The upper North Santiam (Bruno Mt Run in Soggy Sneakers ) has some class IV water, but also very limited season (spring).
I assume you are talking about Packsaddle to Mill City. What about the Niagara section. Also if you look south of Stayton it's not too far to the Middle and South Santiam for some additional class 4. Another quick internet option to see what is around in Oregon is: Oregon Kayaking
 

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I assume you are talking about Packsaddle to Mill City. What about the Niagara section. Also if you look south of Stayton it's not too far to the Middle and South Santiam for some additional class 4. Another quick internet option to see what is around in Oregon is: Oregon Kayaking
Yep, I stand corrected. I never run this section because the undercut ledge at the narrows doesn't seem worth it and most of my crew isn't crazy about Niagra either.

If you are going to fire up either of these, be sure of your line and set safety. I have heard bad things about the "green room" at the base of the Narrows and the boils and currents at the base of Niagra are no joke.
 

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I agree with everything posted so far here, all great info. If you stay in the northern part of the state, think east of I-5 towards the Cascades. There are several runs in the Coast range too, but the season is fickle and short. I haven't seen anyone post about the Trask, Wilson, Kilchis, Salmonberry, or NF Nehalem rivers. They are mostly class III with some class IV sections or certain rapids, but season is short.
I don't boat to the South too often, usually the Rogue or occasional North Umpqua float, both beautiful rivers. The towns change significantly from the Portland Metro area ( I live pretty much on the boarder of it) to Salem, to Eugene, and more when you hit the Roseburg/ Grant's pass area. I haven't spent any time in Ashland, so I can't tell you much about it. Honestly if you are looking to move here, I think I'd land in PDX, drive up to Hood river and the White Salmon area, and then drive south on I5 as far as you want to go. It doesn't take long to get a feel for the regions you pass through to gain an understanding of them.
Hope this helps.
 

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Soggy Sneakers - New Edition coming

Soggy sneakers is THE guidebook for Oregon. I just wish they would put out a new edition because there have been some dam removals since the last one (Hood River, Sandy etc..)
Then you'll be glad to know that a 5th edition of SS is in the works. Deadline for input is August 2015.
If you are aware of changes needed (driving directions, rapids descriptions, recommended flows, new runs, or anything else useful for the paddler heading out on a run for their first time) send that detail to Laurie Pavey at [email protected]

WKCC is an active club with trips organized most every weekend.
I'm leading a club trip on the North Santiam (Packsaddle to Mil City) next week (8/30), let me know if you'd like to participate (membership is optional, just need to sign a waiver).

Ahoy!
Malloy
 

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Rogue valley is an awesome place, particularly Medford, we have some really cool class 3+ and 4 within 15 minutes ie nugget falls and powerhouse that is a multi chute class 4 that is great to run laps on. Multiple class 3, 4 and 5 creeks within a half hour to an hour...some great 10 to 20 foot falls and a great small paddling community. Big retirement community with two hospitals here in Medford...providence and rogue valley medical centers. Year round paddling!!! ...and as stated before, real close to some great nor cal rivers...and a long warm season!!! Couldn't ask for more!!!


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the info. Medford has been on my radar. Maybe time for a road trip. :D


Rogue valley is an awesome place, particularly Medford, we have some really cool class 3+ and 4 within 15 minutes ie nugget falls and powerhouse that is a multi chute class 4 that is great to run laps on. Multiple class 3, 4 and 5 creeks within a half hour to an hour...some great 10 to 20 foot falls and a great small paddling community. Big retirement community with two hospitals here in Medford...providence and rogue valley medical centers. Year round paddling!!! ...and as stated before, real close to some great nor cal rivers...and a long warm season!!! Couldn't ask for more!!!


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