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The Gearboat Chronicles

Hells Canyon Graduation Party

Lots of water on the move out here in the northeast of Oregon. Things warmed up, it rained like the dickens which made the snow melt like the Tolstoy which caused the rivers to jump up like the Kerouac.

Starting to settle already, but it was a dandy of a flush. Creeks up to their brim and the Grande Ronde went from 5,000 cubic feet per second to over 20,000 in a day. But she’s coming back down and we’ll be settling into easy times and summer rafting.

Our last expedition was celebrating the graduation of the Enterprise High School seniors with a three-day float from Hells Canyon Dam to Pittsburgh Landing.

Tom Farnam and I were rowing the gearboats and went on ahead to camp. Wild Sheep Rapid was just beginning to change moods when we stopped to scout. At flows in the upper 20,000 cfs range, the run in Wild Sheep begins to migrate from our usual left-side slot and the Idaho side becomes more attractive.

Still spicy, though, and when the boats got to camp they had to wring a few things out to get them dry. Like the potato chips from the lunch box.

Granite Rapid was a joy. Green Room wide open, offering a straight shot thoroughfare right down the middle and right over the lip.

Mike Baird reported excellent fishing, hauling in lots of smallmouth bass and some trout from the boat. The sturgeon rig provided at Salt Creek and a catfish even got on.

The kids loaded up in a jetboat at Pittsburgh for a cruise back to the dam and I wish them all well. Great bunch.