run on the June Creek section of the Clackamas
Last weekend if you
were a boater in Portland you did one of two things, you either
went for a meaty class 4+ run the Crooked River, (hey,
invite me next time) or if you were a super hardcore bad-ass sick
kayaker, you ran June Creek!
On the roadside next to
Bobs, Mike gives his best, "whatchu talking about willis?"
scowl. On the drive we developed a running joke that if you
mumbled when you said you were going to run the MIDDLE white, it
sounded like you were going to run the LITTLE white.
One thing that totally tickles
me is just how many chicks (I'm not supposed to call them chicks am
I) are boating these days. Twelve years ago it seems
like there was maybe 1 in 10 girl boaters, now it's like 1 in
3. Here Christine practices for a carreer in shampoo
There must have been 20
boaters at the takeout.
Not really part of the narrative, just an adorable photo of Liane.
On the rally to the put in we
got out to scout the class 4 Monolith rapid.
Paddlers try to hit the
middle, but even with a tree jammed diagonally in the right side, it
looked to me like everything went and everything flushed. It
looked pretty hard to get worked at this flow.
Tools of the trade.
It takes a long time for 20
people to get ready to paddle.... While waiting at the put in, I
was checking out the natural world when I noticed a pool filled with
I'm very curious what
conditions created this beautiful underwater garden.
Some oil got stuck on my lens
and I couldn't get the water spots off which drove me
crazy. This is what the put in would look like after two
tabs of LSD.
"Ok, that way is
downstream, if you try to go the other way, it's just not gonna
work, got it?"
"Hey, get out of my
way!" "What? you're in my way!"
We decided to split into two
Our motley crew.
The gradient here is 75 feet per mile but it didn't feel that steep to
me. I think with about twice the water this run would really kick
ass. We were at 2800 on the three lynx gauge.
Mostly it was class 2 boulder
gardens interspersed with some class 3 drops.
Logs were a bit of an
You need to keep your eyes
open, there were a few mandantory portages, most of which I just
ran anyways, which is stupid and not advisable. I've once
saw a guy get sucked under logs he thought he could boof.
Scary. Walking is the best plan.
I dig Willies new wooden
Willie making it look legit.
Christine bombs yet another
Tom in his blue mamba.
There are some very pretty places on this run.
It's always cool to check out Cali, or Utah, or even Southern Oregon,
but I love our moss and ferns.
Anyone who has ever driven up
the Clackamas has seen this steam pouring from the rock and the
adjacent roadside hot springs filled with, um, interesting
people. I didn't think we were going to check it out, so while I
Everyone else eddied out to go
Mike didn't want to see me
bomb off by myself so he chased me, and we both ended up at
monolith. (sorry mike) I was feeling pretty jealous that while
Mike and I were having our little man-party, eating cliff bars in
the rain, Willie was upstream getting naked in a hot pool with
the ladies. It turns out that they didn't actually take off
their drysuits, which is a pretty weird way to soak if you ask
...ans now for the real reason
you are reading this, to see yourself blasting through monolith!
and more Liane.
Sometimes you don't need a
whole picture to capture a moment.
Well, it was a new paddle.
Willie stern squirts on the
river like it's a nervous tick.
Next up: the boulder
This photo does no justice to
the half mile long beautiful mossy boulder garden at the end of June
creek. It was so nice I walked back up and ran it
again. I wish I could find a river that ran like this for
10 miles. The second time I tried to paddle as slow as I
could, using just minimal strokes. It was sweet like yoga
or dance. I was in a deeply peaceful place when I hit the
surprise ledge in the middle and just barely got a boof in to miss the
The end of the road, and
the reward for a job well done!
Back to Class 4