Thursday, June 5, 2008

River, Lake & Ocean Flatwater Circa the Willamette Valley

Michael Carpenter, is a very stoked Standup Paddler. He recently bought a 12' Ron House SUP board and Kialoa Nalu Stand up paddle from us at and is exploring the flat water options in the Willamette Valley, Oregon area and the nearby coastal waters of Florence, Oregon. Thanks Michael for your stories and great local knowledge about this part of Oregon. Florence, Oregon is about a 4 hour drive from Bend, Oregon.
Hi Randall,
Looks like a lot is happening in the SUP world on your side of the Cascades! Despite the wet weather here in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, recently I have been getting out several days a week to the local reservoirs. Last weekend I paddled on both Dexter and Fall Creek Reservoirs in complete glass with absolutely no wind. Talk about glide! I have been scoping the Willamette, but with the high water and strong flows, it feels rather intimidating. I have yet to find a smooth safe section of the river and source a good PFD or wake vest for standup paddling.

Two weeks ago I was on the Oregon coast for three days getting a good feel for my equipment and trying it out in different conditions. Friday morning in Florence, Oregon, the air temp was a clear and very sunny ninety degrees with howling offshore winds! I spent the first half of the day surfing and paddling the mouth of the Siuslaw River between the jetty's. There is a good put in site with a sandy beach in a rocky cove near the crabbing pier on the inside bend of the south jetty. From there it was a short paddle to a mushy but fun left/right peak that was breaking knee to waist high on a shallow sand bar in the middle of the river. I paddled over to the popular left the breaks along inside of the south jetty but as I got closer, it seemed a little bigger than I was ready for. With a lot of water moving around, swells rolling in at all kinds of angles, a offshore wind blowing me toward the ocean and the slack tide beginning to change, all I could manage to do was stay on my board and paddle back to calmer water.

The following day I returned to the Siuslaw to do a little more surfing and cruising around among the many curious harbor seals. The swell and wind had dropped significantly, so it made things a bit more relaxed. Later that day I went back to the my campsite along the Siltcoos River between Siltcoos Lake and the ocean. This is a great stretch of flatwater river paddling, where you can paddle a good distance in the estuary on out to the ocean. There are lots of shore birds and wildlife, the water is calm, somewhat shallow and comfortably warm. The campground is peaceful and there is great hiking and secluded beaches as well.

Hope to see you soon for a paddle,

"I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding." John O'Donohue

No comments:

Post a Comment