Archive for March, 2008



I’ve been trying to get out as much as i can on the Willamette for attainment practice. I’ve spent way more time on the river in my vintage boat than in my play, surf or creek boat. Its addictive. I think its really an efficient way to stay fit and i embrace the challenge of keeping the boat straight paddling up stream (forwards and backwards). Its reminiscent of my of my slalom days. My first boat was a green dancer and paddled very similarly to the saber. I cant help thinking to myself that todays boat are so much more forgiving and thats great because I think it encourages more people to stick with the sport and progress at a much faster rate than in the ‘ol days. Here’s a picture of the beauty in all her glory.



The Willamette

The Willamette River winds its way from its source high in the Cascades, south of Eugene until it meets the Columbia river, close to Portland. As it meanders through the central valley it affords those of us who live in Corvallis a backyard opportunity to float with it (and the central valley’s pollution) for a while. Paddling this section of river allows kayakers to experience sights such as the Wondrous Walls of Willamette. Yesterday, Sera and I had the same idea; it was a sunny day and we both wanted to do a local run right after work. Sera has a slalom boat and I have an vintage perception Saber and both boats are great for upstream attainment and downstream sprints. We put in in Peoria, 7 miles east of Corvallis.

 walls.JPG  kate_willamette.jpg

Photos: Sera and I pausing for moment to take in the beauty of the Willamette walls.

The run was  flat water with some fast current pushing us along.  On this occasion, we were treated to a particularly sensory experience. The scenery was lovely in parts, with a glorious view of sunset over Mary’s peak, but the accompanying smell was slightly less appealing with tinges of sludgy fertilizer, chemicals, and paper mill. Yum. We managed to convince ourselves it actually smelled like hops and hence like a brewery- I’m sure the Rouge would love to hear that! At least the thought of beer made that river section tolerable.

sera2.jpg  sera.jpg  willamette.jpg

 To be fair, it is great to have a river like this in our backyard. And we did see a beaver.