Dec 10, 2011

The Year Of The Metal Rabbit - moving picture show

I've always had a special little place in my heart for the winter months. I enjoy the unforgiving sensations and bleak gloominess. Winter offers solitude. I don't know if it's the snow which causes amplified silence or simply the desolate nature of being in a dark canyon, but winter calls to me. 

I do love spring, playboating the Wenatchee. Icicle Creek. Little White Salmon. The long days and warm nights soothe and lead to the warmth of summer as well as the higher altitude gems that run late. The Ohanepecosh, Upper Upper Cispus, and of course the Grand Canyon Elwha which I have yet to get on. Late summer offers dam- release runs like the North Fork Payette in Idaho and Chelan. As the last of the snow melts from the peaks a feeling comes over me as I wait for the fall rains. 

I first experienced the burning of winter time boating before I had my first hardshell. On a late February trip with my good friend Mike Grim, I paddled the full 9 miles of the Skykomish in 2 wetsuits and a duckie. By the time I was at the take out I could no longer feel anything below mid shin... except the most intense pain I think I've ever experienced. I crawled up to the van and trailer from the river's edge on my hands and knees. I couldn't walk. My feet hurt so BAD and were a shade of whiteish gray I've never seen since. I took my Converse tennies and neoprene socks off as I sat on the side of the trailer. I could feel my skin cells shattering as I prayed for bloodflow to return. Someone else carried my boat up to the trailer and since I still couldn't stand up I just rolled off the side into the wet sandy nastiness. I learned a reverence for the river that day I've never forgotten. In fact, I honor the river and show my respect every winter by wearing a drysuit. 

I have admitted to myself this year, my addiction to rivers and have fully conceded to the hopeless pattern I am destined to repeat, year after year. Don't pray for me. I am content biding my time until the inevitable... spring melt. I like sharing my pain with all of you, my fellow Creek Siders. Whether summer or winter, Creek Siders have a similar reverence for water flowing over rock and whether on the river or on the couch looking at pictures of a river, we are usually content just the same.

Just in time for holidays, I put together a slideshow of some of the images I've captured this year. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it. I included a list of most of the rivers in this presentation. Happy Holidays y'all. SYOTCS

Here is a fairly complete list of the places in this little slideshow. I'm sure it isn't perfect. If I missed one, let me know.  

Top Tye
Robe Canyon (SF Stilligaumish)
Deer Creek
Ernie's Canyon (NF Snoqualmie)
Fall In The Wall (SF Snoqualmie)
Canyon Creek (Stilly)
Canyon Creek (Lewis)
East Fork Miller
Tumwater Canyon (Wenatchee)
Nason Creek
Peshastin Creek
Icicle Creek
Wenatchee play run
Chelan Gorge
Green Truss (White Salmon)
Little White Salmon
Clackamas River Fest
Upper Upper Cispus
Chinook Creek
Lower Lewis Falls
Matheny Creek
Fool's Canyon (MF Satsop)
South Fork Skokomish
Upper Canyon Creek (Lewis)
Tshletshy Creek (Queets)

Nov 21, 2011

Fall Wanderings

Just got a new van and I'm STOKED!!! Picked it up Thursday morning and hit the road. 4 days and 800 miles later my weekend has ended. Got a good feeling with this one. 

Pretty much sums it up.

First stop, PDX Kayaker Film Fest sans photos. Lots of great entries this year. Ryan Scott submitted a great piece on rafting in the PNW with some long time legends like Shane Turnbull. Of course our very own Scott Waidelich and JP were in there. Nate Herbeck, keeping the competition tough, took home the cigar box!! The Film Fest was a great event, my first! A lot of people came out of the woodwork for this one. 11 years and going strong!! Thanks Luke Spencer, Next Adventure and everyone who pitched in, helped out AND submitted films!!! Good times, y'all. I'll be back for this one.

Paranoia, a Creek Sides fave

Of course the good times were bound to continue in the next place Creek Siders like venturing into.. the woods. This weekend was full of tromping through the woods in one of my favorite locales, the O.P.

I LOVE my new drysuit.

Jeremiah Johnson.. snowshoeing with Crocs

a classic in the making..

...the good woods

found this near the 'elusive' good woods

yep.. 'Ilusive'

having a look at the put in

a little frosty this morning on the O.P.

looking down into Matheny Creek

a fraction of the Matheny crew

making our way into the O.P. goodness


Jon Almquist



Arn & Mary


i smell bacon

thawing gear..   and bodies

the popsicle I need to find my way in to

By Sun the cold had cut off the water supply so we ventured into a canyon none of us had been to. I had scouted Fool's Canyon a couple years back on another trip to the O.P. It had a LOT more water last time, probably too much. This time was low, but still so very cool. Here was the only drop we could get out for, toward the end of the canyon. Fool's Canyon is in the Satsop drainage near Montesano and if you haven't been in there, I suggest a visit.

a shot inside Fool's Canyon


Ellie likes getting her boof on.

'Otherworldly' is one word I would use. This was one of the widest spots in the entire mile long gorge. Definitely a beautiful place to spend the afternoon.

parting shot of Toria taking in the magic that is 
the Olympic Peninsula

Until next time everybody. Stay warm and safe. Happy Holidays.