Gorge Action 2021
The Gorge, June 18, 2021 exactly one month before my 46th Birthday. I have a lot to be thankful for. It’s all here in this video. Adventure, community, friendships, and good times.
I’ve been coming to the Columbia River Gorge since the late 90’s, not on a consecutive basis until around 2013. In July of ’13 I was able to do my first true down wind in the Gorge on an OC-1. This changed everything and every way I looked at this magnificent place. I literally stopped mid run to sit there and take it all in with amazement. I was sold.
For the next several years I would come back to Hawaii and vocally share my experiences with friends and the paddling community here. They would all look at me with question in their eyes when I would tell my stories of the downwind runs I would get and the fun I had paddling in a river miles from the ocean. Slowly a couple people would decide to take the trek with us to see it for themselves and come home without disappointment. Their stories of the fun runs they did began to spread which led to the curiosity amongst other paddlers and in a sense, the rest is history.
For a couple years now I’ve wanted to back up my stories with proof, video proof, so that the excitement in my voice is understood when I speak of my experiences. With last weeks trip, we had the presence of Hayden Ramler coming up for some paddling time, but with this came the opportunity for some of his time behind the camera. A priceless account if anyone has seen any of his videos. We were able to catch a little more than just the Gorge, with Haydens guidance we made it out to the coast and captured some different scenery and also saw more potential with possible downwind runs off the Oregon coast. The water temp was cold but once you got moving it was easy to handle even for us thin blooded Hawaii guys. The coastal scene was pretty epic.
Thursday the wind made it back to the river so the plans came to the table and we discussed the possibilities of when and where to capture some downwind action. We had a couple game plans in the mix but once we hit up one spot we felt that we achieved enough to showcase some fun downwind action. Of course there is much more we could have accomplished but time and placement is critical on the river plus we had to get in another run in while it was good. With contemplation on our next move, Allan Lipp sent me a message saying they were celebrating his 60th birthday over at the Fair grounds in Stevenson so we decided to pack it up and head over to enjoy time with some of the NW paddling community. They have been very good to us over the years and it’s always great to catch up with them when we are out this way. Al and I paddled a bit together as well way back when at Lanikai Canoe Club as well so we’ve had a friendship for more than 20 years.
The following day was one for the books. The winds were heavier than forecasted and the river was just ridiculous. We didn’t document it but thatʻs ok, we all have a mental picture that will last for a lifetime.
We hope you enjoy Haydens video, we are very thankful to be able to feature our experience in his creation.