Sunday, June 23, 2013

Deschutes River (through Bend)

Deschutes River (through Bend)

The first kayaking event of this very long weekend vacation was a quick easy splash-in on a slow moving part of the Deschutes river that runs through the middle of the little central Oregon city of Bend.

View Deshutes River, Bend in a larger map

We started out in the grassy field right in front of Tumalo Creek Kayak store (oh, stop in and look at their wide selection of Kayaks !!). There seems to be a direct correlation with places to land kayaks and Goose shit, but enough of that. This particular location is just up stream for a bridge and dam. So you need to pay a little attention to heading up river, but really the current was only 1 knot or so and not a big deal. Just don't float down stream to see what that roaring noise is.


Back on the up stream paddle (ignore that screaming in the distance) we are now traveling through the Old Mill district (now the New Tourist Trap district) and seeing the lovely clothes and high-end fishing stores go by. Oh, is that REI? And Cold Water Creek (some very nice dresses there, let me tell you). Off to your right is the river floating put-in (or perhaps take out), which is a large sand ramp leading from the river to a very pretty little park, complete with large mod art, a playground, a music stage, and a dog run. The river is maybe 60 yards wide at this point; moving slow and stately. The water this time of year is pretty cold. But the sun was out and it was a very pleasant day. Lots of people out along the river walking and biking. Many down enjoying the river. So cool to be able to paddle through a little town like this, especially one that has so incorporated the river into the daily life of the people.

REI is under those smoke stacks.

New Condo along the river.

We paddle up further and the cliff wall on the west bank comes in close to the river for a very nice view. Large orange-yellow boulders and scrub pines. Sort of south-west looking. Modern office buildings up on the bluff overlooking the river.

Along the way we are seeing some nice wildlife. A muskrat. Lots of Canada Geese. A River Otter was reported (perhaps they saw the muskrat). Then you turn a bend and you are at the end of a long canyon and the river suddenly becomes not so lazy. Up ahead you can see rapids running until you loose sight of the river. We all came up to the very start of these rapids (they are flowing toward us, so no chance of going over them by accident) and we just played in the currents and did a little moving water practice. Fun. A little scary at first but not very dangerous.

Playing at the base of the rapids

After that, just a pleasant light paddle with the current back to the starting point. We paused along the way to take in the views. My partner picked me some forget-me-nots from the riparian shrubbery. But very shortly we were back at the cars. Oh, look at that, a brew pub in the same parking lot. How convenient !!

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