Just Chillin'
another fun 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 commercials.

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 underwater vegetation. 

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 groups.

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 issue. 

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 paddle.

Willie making it look legit.

Christine bombs yet another class 3.  

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 blew by....

Everyone else eddied out to go soak!

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 me.   

...ans now for the real reason you are reading this, to see yourself blasting through monolith!


More dominic




more Liane

and more Liane.

Sometimes you don't need a whole picture to capture a moment.

Well, it was a new paddle.

Below monolith.

Willie stern squirts on the river like it's a nervous tick.

Next up:  the boulder garden!

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 hole.  Oops!  

The end of the road,  and the reward for a job well done!

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