Call Us Today 1-877-426-7238
Info +
Menu +

The Gearboat Chronicles

Congrats Enterprise Grads

The class of 2014, fresh out of Enterprise High, was great company for our 3-day Hells Canyon trip. We floated from Hells Canyon Dam, where fisherpeople were reeling in salmon, down to Pittsburgh Landing and had a fine time at all points in between. Here they are atop the Suicide Point hike.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 11.05.42 AM

The weather came through with a nice graduation gift. We came home to reports of the highlands getting pummeled by wet weather, but aside from 14 rain drops that fell on the first day and a brief spatter we could see coming on Day Two, conditions were great. The canyon was all greened up and flowers were blooming.

What a trip for sturgeon. Three were landed at two different camps so we got up-close and personal with these aquatic dinosaurs. Here’s a release after hooking up with the fish at dusk and turning it loose in the dark.

Screen shot 2014-05-31 at 6.06.57 PM

Sturgeon masters Mike Baird and James Nash took turns rigging sturgeon lines and coaching the retrievals. Here’s James and Baird about to make contact.


Here’s Damon Walker being a pepper on the business end of a sturgeon battle.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 12.15.32 PM

Allieu Moiwa, an exchange student from Sierra Leone, get the ribbon for gutsiest move on the trip. Allieu isn’t overly familiar with the mechanics of swimming but saw no reason that should prevent him from jumping off a 15-foot drop into the river at Sturgeon Rock. We all wear life jackets, of course, and this spot is safe for jumping . . . but, still. Come on. That’s a bold move. Good stuff.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 11.09.56 AM

Back in Hells Canyon

Parent chaperones Randy Greenshields, Philip Ketscher and Jim Birkmaier were along on the trip. This was the second time around for Philip and Jim, who did their own senior trip ooooh, a few years ago, in 1980 when they graduated from Enterprise. Todd Nash, James’ dad, was also in that class. To spice things up, Mt. St. Helens erupted while they were down there and the folks on the trip had to wonder what all that ash was doing drifting into the canyon. Here’s a photo of Jim. To avoid confusion, I should mention this picture is from the recent trip, not the 1980 tour. That guy still looks 18 so it’s hard to tell.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 11.13.25 AM

Hannah Schaafsma cranked it up 11 notches in camp by breaking out her fiddle. Something about that music just fits right into that setting. Years ago Hannah and I were in Taekwondo class together. Pretty sure she could have beaten me up if she chose back then and suspect that hasn’t changed.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 11.11.36 AM

Smoke Stander

Mike Baird has a long and winding resume’, including years as a smokejumper and champion camp cook. Both disciplines were handy training for this burger grilling session with wind conditions that drove the rest of us ten feet back while Baird held the line. Nice work, Mike. My eyes are watering just looking at this photo.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 11.03.12 AM

Silje Christoffersen captained a paddle raft on this trip, nailed all the whitewater runs and also found time to pose for this portrait with clouds.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 11.01.37 AM

New Gearboat Living Up To Its Many Names

This was the first trip for our new 20-foot behemoth gearboat, and final judging is going on as we speak to select the winner of free swag from the Name That Gearboat Contest. Prizes will hit the mail shortly with a list naming the big winner and runners-up.

Todd Kruger can’t get in the prize running, according to our strict unwritten rules of employees already having a bunch of Winding Waters t-shirts. But he did come up with a pretty creative name for the boat he’ll be rowing.

Todd has taken to calling his boat: Bluega. As in Beluga, like the whale because it’s big. And blue because, uh, it’s blue. Nice one, Todd.

Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 10.59.16 AM