Along the Oregon trail and through Hell’s Canyon
Heading out of Hood River was heartbreaking. The wind was cranking, my friends were staying for a good while longer, and when I shipped my kite gear to Florida, a tear may have started to form in my eye. On my final day, Curt and I constructed a roof rack for my honey bee (new moniker for the bus). Felix came by and offered a software coder’s point of view on the subject, and between the three of us (i.e me) the job turned out road- and bus-worthy. The total sum for the materials (one 2 by 4 and four eyebolts, two beers) was less than $10 and the project was completed in one afternoon. That included picking up my new Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board that the rack was built for. We ended up going out for my send-off in town enjoying some of Oregon’s finest live Bluegrass. When we stared out the window of the bar about 2am, we realized the trees were moving…hmm it’s windy. May have to do a little final session! On borrowed gear and under the cover of darkness (new moon) We proceeded to kite out of the familiar event site, and managed to return to shore without injury or death.
I set out the next day with four hours of sleep and drove straight to Hells Canyon where the Snake river North and eventually joins the Columbia. It is dammed in several spots and provides power for both Idaho and Oregon. I took advantage of the smooth water between the Oxbow and Hells Canyon Dams to go for a paddle with my new toy, going for swims, watching the fish jump, and taking in the view. Further down past the Hells Canyon Dam, the river is left to run its course, and the resulting rapids draws kayakers, river rafters, and they even run a jet boat for part of the river. I did a short hike along the river , and swam in some of the milder currents. I made a note to come back for the spring melt some time and float down the rapids — seems like it would be fun…