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Trip Report: 100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!
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Trip Report: 100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

Trip Report: 100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

When: 
8/13/2018

Location:
100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

Conditions:
The trip was spectacular! Conditions were great throughout the trip. Plenty of wildlife sightings along the river, (otters, eagles, deer)
There were a few moments when we'd have to paddle into the wind and charge pretty hard, but with great communication, we took breaks for a bit to recharge.
However, with fires in southern Oregon at the time, there were some air quality warnings in Salem. It was a bit hazy in the morning after we launched. Thankfully our river itinerary for that day was short. The air cleared up and nobody in my pod had any issues.

Duration:
The Paddle Oregon event had participants launch on August 13th in Harrisburg, and off of the water at mile 100, in St Paul on August 17th.
There was an option to camp out at the St Paul Rodeo the night before we launched (8/12). This way you could get an extra night of camping in, and not have to drive down at 6 a.m. So I hitched a ride with a friend and we camped out. (highly recommend)

Difficulty: 
This event is great for paddlers of any level! From Beginner to advanced Sea Kayaker. You have the ability to pick a preferred pod. Some pods are geared more towards nature and river education, some just wanted to go really fast! My pod wanted to paddle leisurely and enjoy the scenery. There were definitely groups that had more canoes, so if that's something you're interested in, it could be arranged.

Usefull links:
willamette-riverkeeper.org | paddleoregon.org | nextadventure.net

100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

The Full Report:
I had the opportunity to volunteer as a safety boater for this year’s event, Paddle Oregon, with the Willamette Riverkeeper.

The trip is a non-motorized watercraft paddle on the Willamette River to create awareness and explore the waterway and its surrounding environment, with the theme being (RE)CONNECT. PEOPLE • NATURE • WONDER

It's a kayak-canoe-glamping 5-day long summer camp, for adults! SO- if steak and crab catered dinners, sunrise yoga, vineyard tours, and massages don't sound appealing. Then... what?!

100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

We paddled 100 miles with 5 full days on the Willamette River, tucked away from the busy hustle and bustle of Portlandia. I thoroughly enjoyed my time being taken with the current, flying over pebble beds like I was on a magic carpet, and playing in eddylines. I gained strength and knowledge practicing self-rescues with my group, learning river language, and agate hunting. Lots of agate hunting.

Each group took turns listening to presentations on the river, my favorite was about the Freshwater Mussel Research presented by Travis and the Willamette Riverkeeper. One of our lunch spots was actually on an island that the Riverkeeper group had purchased. I enjoyed my catered lunch and learning about what the group is up to, from reforestation including invasive removal, planting, and restoration work parties.

Camping- or "glamping" was 5-star rated. 2 paddles way up! Each night there was a fabulous dinner and dessert. Followed by beverages, craft beer, and live music. My favorite camp location was at a Vineyard, the sunset was gorgeous, food spectacular, and hot showers! (there was shower access at most of our campsites)

Mornings started off each day with Sunrise yoga and other activities to get you going. Did I mention, COFFEE!

100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

Also--
Gear that you didn't need on the water- like tents, and sleeping bags, were put on a Ryder Truck and shuttled to the next take out. So, no unnecessary weight with you on the river. However- don't bring an inflatable mattress. I mean, you could... but be considerate of space and how many people are also on this trip.

If you have the opportunity to participate, do it!! If you don't own a kayak or canoe like me, check out the Next Adventure Paddle Sports Center, and they'll get you ready- PFD, paddle, dry bags, the whole 9 yards. (Grab a beer while you're there and say Bailey sent ya)

I can't wait to participate in the 2019 Paddle Oregon, look forward to seeing new faces on the river, creating memories, and finding more agates!

Take a minute to browse the Willamette Riverkeeper website to check out upcoming events and volunteer opportunities

100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit! 100 Miles on the Willamette, Dammit!

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