2009 was another busy year for everyone at Blue Sky Rafting. We started the year with plenty of rain and a good snowpack which led to another year of great water levels in the Clackamas.
Pete punching one of the big waves in Toilet Bowl on the Clackamas River
Neal dropping into Powerhouse on the Clackamas River at high water
We had an interesting trip filming a video for Columbia Sportswear. We had two camera crews chasing us down the river in vehicles trying to stay ahead of us and set up for filming. With the high water, they were constantly radioing us to slow down and wait for them. Not always the easiest thing to do with the water pushing us at 20 mph. downstream!
Eventually the water levels dropped to summer flows and the weather warmed up for many great days of rafting. We had a very interesting July 4th this year with a small forest fire along the river near the take-out. It didn’t affect our rafting but it closed the highway while we were on the river so we couldn’t get back to our base at the end of the day. There were only two ways to detour around the closure. The first option was a long drive over to the eastside of the Cascade Mountains and the second option involved a shorter drive on a gravel road over a short pass high above the river. We opted for the more adventurous second option with about 10-15 other cars joining our 4 vans, trailers and rafts for the dusty trip through the woods. We all made it successfully about 2 hours later.
At the top of the Clackamas Canyon with the Blue Sky guides
( Mt. Hood is just visible by the nose of the boat with the yellow stripe)
The rest of the summer was filled with lots of warm, playful days on the river. We helped a film crew shoot an ad for Lucozade sport drink. During the photo shoot the guides pumped out 12 laps on Toilet Bowl in about 4 hours which has to be some kind of record. Here is the result of the photo shoot:
Warm summer days mean lots of goofing around on the river. Unlike a lot of other rafting rivers in the area, the Clackamas has a wide variety of spots to play in addition to the rapids. One of our favorite activities is surfing the rafts. Here is Pete standing up his boat at the surfing spot below Rock ‘n Roll with Bill Winchester’s annual group rafting trip. Great fun!
Everyone was super busy all the way through Labor Day on the Clackamas which is the end of our busy rafting season. We celebrated the end of another great season with a 5 day trip on the Snake River through Hells Canyon. This is an incredible trip with amazing scenery and two HUGE rapids. We had wonderful weather for the whole trip and a great group of guides, friends and family to share this wonderful trip.
The Hells Canyon crew
Thanks to all the guides and clients for a fantastic 2009 season. Hope to see you all next season!