North Umpqua Raft

July 3-5, 2004

Sixteen whitewater enthusiasts enjoyed a fantastic Independence Day paddle raft On the N. Umpqua river. Nonmembers Terri Peterson and Bari Swartz joined members Barbara Schomaker, Rick Ahrens, Charlie Van Deusen, Judy Terry, Guy Strahon, Chris Stockdale, Sharon and Jim Duncan, John Agnew, Nora Nicolaidis, Marilyn Kerins, Beth Kodama, LaRee Beckley, and leader Bob Huntley for a weekend of boating, hiking, camping, and sight seeing. We met at the lodge on Saturday the 3rd at 9:30 in the morning to load the ice chests, food, and equipment in the vehicles. Most of us caravanned down, stopping at Colliding Waters Viewpoint Visitor Information Center along the way. We had reserved Ballpark Forest Group Camp for the weekend. This place has a large picnic shelter, eight tables, and a softball field on which to pitch tents. After lunch ten of us went for a hike. Our camp was on the N. Umpqua Trail, so five of us drove five miles up the road and hiked back down to camp. The other five hiked upstream. When we met we did a key pass. This trail is well above the river and in the woods so good Views of the river are few and far between. After a spaghetti dinner, we sat by the fire and debated why the smoke always seems to blow toward certain people.

Sunday, after a leisurely breakfast, we met Ouzel Outfitters at the take out at 10:15. They had a van which took us to the put in. There were 3 rafts and 1 inflatable kayak. Charlie and I shared time in the kayak. Marilyn and Bari were the first to go for an unscheduled swim. Lunch was provided by the outfitter. I tried the kayak after lunch and tipped over a couple of times. Everyone arrived at the take-out safe and sound, though. Being on a cold river on a hot day is a good thing. Rick Ahrens headed back to Springfield to catch Riders in the Sky that evening. Did you make it Rick? We had a traditional 4th of July hamburgers and hot dogs dinner that evening. Monday after breakfast folks went their own way . . . Some of us watched the fish trying to jump Deadline Falls, then we headed home.

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