Opal Creek, Oregon. Small World Alumni Reunion

Michael staying focused on a tricky lead in above a juicy hole

Ah yes, just over 1 month behind in the ol’ blogging world.  But, better late than never!  Back in April of 2012, Don and I joined up with a crew from Portland to have an Ecuador reunion paddle on one of their favorite backyard runs–Opal Creek.

Megi (representing Newport) running a sweet slot just below “Big Ugly”

Opal Creek is actually the Little North Santiam River, and is an incredibly beautiful run.  Reportedly, this is one of very few drainages in Oregon that has not been logged.  Consequently, the soil and nearby forests are still in tact and when this run is flowing its waters are crystal clear.

David styling the line at Thor while Joey looks on capturing it all on GoPro
Since the river was flowing at ideal flows (ok, maybe a schmigen higher than ideal), Michael and Shannan rallied a crew from Portland and Newport; all but two of whom had been kayaking with us in Ecuador this past winter.

Darcy, just a blur, since she is going so damn fast in her Zen

We had sunshine, 80 degree weather, beautiful water, fun rapids, and a great crew.  You really can’t ask for a better day of paddling than that, now can you?

The gang enjoying sunshine and clear water!  From left to right it’s: Darcy, Craig, Joey, Shannon, Michael

I’ve tried to do my best to get the names of the rapids right, but those of you who know better, please feel free to correct me if I’ve messed them up!  You can also check out Joey’s Video of the day to see some more action.

Craig boofs his way towards a cold take out beer as Darcy and Joey look on

In other news, Small World’s Summer Gear Giveaway is still on.  We are giving away kayaking gear and goodies every 2 weeks through October, and the prizes are just going to keep on getting bigger!

Joey–da boof!  I can’t remember the name of this rapid…

On June 15th, 4 lucky people will each win one of the following prizes: 1.) a spray skirt (Whitewater EXP)  from Snap Dragon Designs, 2.)  a Thin Skin from Immersion Research, 3.)  a one year subscription to Kayak Session Magazine, 4.) a copy of Wildwater from Forge Motion Pictures.

Shannon dropping into Thor.  You can see Thor’s hammer in the background
So, enter now!  To enter, go to Small World’s website.  Go ahead and read through our homepage because you are going to need that information to answer a few easy questions.  Then click the “win” link.  Answer the questions, hit submit, and then kick back, relax and wait to see if you’ve won.  You can keep tabs on us and the contest via our Facebook Page as well.

The gang at the take out celebrating a successful day: Shannon, Michael, Darcy, David, Joey, Don, Megi, Craig

Thanks to the Portland/Newport crew for an awesome day on the river.  I think many of you are coming back to Ecuador this winter so that we can have many more incredible days of boating together.  In the meantime, happy paddling and safe travels to all!

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