Thursday, June 26, 2014

Alsea Falls Trail System, OR (Opening Day, 6.22.2014)

Oregon certainly has a lot of mountain biking areas to choose from, and you can now add another high quality series of trails to the list – Alsea Falls! I first heard about this area during its early stages, from one of my good buddies and key figures in its development, Eric Emerson. Eric, along with the rest of the Alsea Falls Trail Builders (Team Dirt - IMBA chapter) were hard at work establishing the first phase – currently, 6 miles of trail (of a planned 20+). Although there were a few existing mixed-use trails that would be revitalized, they were mostly working from scratch, drawing on their previous trail building experience and vision to guide them. The work started in late 2013 ( in coordination with the BLM), and between then and now there have been many trail build days, all of which I unfortunately missed. For the record, I blame my absence on one of my other great passions, whitewater kayaking, which was in prime season.

Fast forward a few months, when I received a Facebook invite from Eric to attend the opening day for the Alsea Falls MTB trail system (phase 1). The event would have shuttle support as well as food and Team Dirt merchandise for sale, with the proceeds from this fundraiser going right back into trail building/advocacy! Feeling a little guilty about not getting my hands dirty building trails, I paid for my shuttle pass (which was a bargain) and volunteered my photography services for the event. With the opening day scheduled for June 22nd, a Sunday, I decided to get in a road ride at Crater Lake on Saturday, which was also having an event – a vehicle free day on East Rim Drive! If you own a bike and are in the area during this event, drop everything and do it, you won’t be disappointed. Here is a trip report I did from the vehicle free day in 2013.


Still a little tired from my Crater Lake road ride, I didn’t get as early of a start as I would have liked, so I wouldn’t be catching the first shuttle ride of the day. By the time I got to Alsea Falls (about an hour drive from Eugene) it was around 10:30am, and by the time I was ready to ride it was nearly 11am. At the check-in table I was greeted by Amanda, Eric’s fiancĂ©e, who is also a friend of mine. After signing the waiver and putting on my name tag, I found Eric and gave him a big bro-hug, before loading up in the back of the box truck, which would be taking me and my bike to the top of the hill. After we had stuffed 15 to 20 of us in the back, the driver fired up the engine and we rolled out. Luckily the road is paved so it wasn’t too unpleasant, even with the few bumps along the way. As we made our way up the hill, I studied the trail map that I had grabbed from the check-in table. At this point in the trail area's life, it appeared that we would have two main avenues to get back down to the bottom; 1) “High Baller” into “Springboard”, or 2) “Bailout” into “Dutchman”. Since the former was the new / mountain bike specific trails, I wanted to hit those first!

One by one we unloaded from the back of the truck and made any final adjustments before dropping into High Baller. Since I was planning to take photos, I tried to jump out ahead and set up before the others came through. I had brought plenty of lenses to play with and the weight in my pack certainly reflected that. The first part of the trail was quite narrow with lots of twists and turns, and even a few roots to deal with. Before long I pulled over at what I thought would be a good spot and broke out the camera gear. By the time I was setup most of the riders had ridden past, but I did get a few of the riders near the back, which included a tandem --- how cool is that?!


A typical root crossing near the start of High Baller

Givin' chase

Jim Collins on the top part of High Baller

Jon Robson settles into a groove

Tandem!

After everyone had cruised by, I loaded back up and headed down the trail, which continued its narrow/techie character for a bit. Eventually the trail widened and entered a flowy section, complete with high banked turns to rail around. Of course I had to stop at a few of these to set up for more photos, and luckily I had some time before the next truckload of riders started coming down. Knowing that it would be a little bit, I decided to try some off-camera flash, which I had never done before, at least for action photography. Although flash only adds a fourth element to exposure (the others being shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), it adds a great deal more of control and complexity -- getting your light’s location and intensity dialed in is a real challenge but can also make for some amazing shots!
 
Just about the time I had my light & camera set, and taken a couple of test shots, I heard the next pack of bikers off in the distance and headed towards me. As they came through, I fired off a shot for each rider, since the flash really doesn't allow you to shoot in burst mode. I actually spent more than an hour in this section of the trail, trying different lighting setups (i.e. angle, location, exposure, flash power), which gave me many photos that were pretty bad but also some that I rather liked. Here are a few of the better ones from the bermed section of upper High Baller.


In the middle of the berm section of upper High Baller

Lovin' the burms

Terry Tiessen gets high on the turn

Another rider, another shot

Finishing up the turn

Jon Gustavson leans into it

Tim Maddux on yet another banked turn

Michelle Emmons and Shawn Litson, enjoying the flow on Upper High Baller

After spending more than enough time on upper High Baller, I once again packed everything up and headed down the trail to find another good spot. Not far below the trail dropped onto a road, before immediately heading into lower High Baller. The lower section continues the flow while also kicking it up a notch, offering more banked turns, some high speed sections, and some nice kickers to get some air, if you so choose. Even though there is potential to 'go big', it's certainly not mandatory -- this is what makes this trail so cool, it can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a dirt friendly bike. While taking photos in this section I saw folks of all ages and abilities, and the two were not necessarily linked; in fact a couple of the younger kids were really throwin' it out there! One thing that was universal was that everyone seemed to be having an amazing time and really enjoying the trail.


A youngster going big!

Followed by another. "Hey, what are you lookin' at?!"

Another rider on lower High Baller

A great trail for everyone!

Diggin' into one of the great turns on lower High Baller

Finishing the turn with speed

One of the faster sections on High Baller

Look, more berms

All too soon, lower High Baller ended at a road crossing, but the fun did not, as "Springboard" started immediately on the other side. Although it is only rated as a green (High Baller is rated as a blue), it was still thoroughly entertaining. Basically it felt like one long pump-track, with a few tight switchbacks thrown in for good measure. There are also some nice straight shots to speed through, but be careful, because at least one of the turns can really sneak up on you. I must say, I was really impressed with how well this trail pumped, and once you got into a rhythm, you could build up some nice speed without pedaling and rarely braking -- now that's flow! The way this trail is routed also gives you an impressive length of downhill, for a fairly minimal amount of elevation loss. This really gives you some bang for your buck, especially when you don't have shuttle assistance. Another thing to note about this trail is that although it's mainly downhill, there is a mild amount of climbing and even the pumping can tire you out a bit; all in all it makes for a pretty good workout. Eventually, Springboard intersected with another trail (Dutchman), where the gradient tapered off and the trails led back to the bottom trailhead. There were still some fun bits in there, but nothing like the stuff above.


Somewhere on Springboard

Watch out for this turn

Exiting the turn

Larry Desaulniers finds some sun

Trevor Griesmeyer in a speed section


A great pump section on Springboard

In the zone

More great terrain

Michelle Kinser finds some flow

One of the young guns gets ready for some jumps

Gettin' a boost

Finishing up a fun series of jumps

Now back at the bottom, I went up to my car to eat lunch, before heading back up in the shuttle truck for another round. This time I didn't take as many photos and spent more time just enjoying the trail. On my third time down the mountain, I decided to ride upper High Baller and then head south to take Bailout and Dutchman down. It is my understanding that in the future both of these trails will be designated as climbing only, which from what I saw would make a lot of sense. They certainly aren't flow trails and are more similar to the type of riding you would find in Oakridge -- hiking trails that are used by mountain bikers and other users, as opposed to MTB specific trails. That said, they're still super fun, just more of an XC style affair. Since I was trying to get down to the bottom before the last shuttle left, I didn't get any photos of these trails. Although, since I didn't see anyone else on them, the photos would have been pretty boring anyways. For the record, I didn't make it to the bottom in time to catch the shuttle... =(


After hanging out at the bottom parking area for a bit, I biked the short distance up the road to my car, where I changed back into my street clothes and loaded up my bike before leaving. I did make one more stop at Alsea Falls before heading back to Eugene, since I had never seen it before. Of course I'm always looking at creeks and waterfalls through the lens of a kayaker -- Unfortunately, some wood buildup near the bottom of the falls has rendered it unrunnable, at least for more reserved boaters like myself.


Conclusion:
If you read the above, it will come as no surprise that I really loved the new Alsea Falls trail system, even if it is a bit limited for the time being. I think that Team Dirt did a fantastic job both designing and building trails that are/will be enjoyable to riders of all skill levels, which was especially important to do for the first phase. The flow of both lower High Roller and all of Springboard are probably the best I've ever experienced -- this includes all of my riding in BC, as well as nearby Blackrock. Speaking of Blackrock, it would be hard not to compare these trails to Bonsai Downhill, its flagship flow trail. Probably the most notable difference between the two is that the trails at Alsea are formed entirely from dirt; in other words, you won't find any wood stunts/sections on these trails. Another nice feature is that the trailheads are very well marked, with signage at every trailhead, and a few boards with an easy to read trail map (.pdf can be found here).


Typical trail signage

A huge shout out to Team Dirt, the BLM, and any other volunteers/donors that helped make this new ride area possible. The first phase is amazing, and based on turnout/feedback from opening day, it's going to be very popular. I'm already looking forward to my next visit to the area and can't wait to get Emily and other friends out there to experience it for themselves. I'm also excited about the next phase, which is already being planned; maybe this time I'll actually go out and get my hands dirty to help make it happen!


A typical lap at Alsea Falls (riding up the road and down High Baller & Springboard:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lochsa River, ID - Memorial Day Weekend 2014


Every Memorial Day weekend, a core group of buddies and I head to California for some classic kayaking down granite-laden rivers and amazing weather. Unfortunately, the multi-year drought that the state has been going through had soured our yearly tradition, especially these last two years. In 2013, we ended up driving far too many road miles for far too few river miles; although we did get on the MF Stanislaus, which really surpassed our expectations, in both beauty and quality of the whitewater. Although that run was great and we always have a great time just camping and hanging out as a crew, we told ourselves that if Cali suffered another low-water event, we'd head elsewhere the next year.

As Memorial Day 2014 approached us, it became clear that California would once again be hurting for water; in fact, even more so than 2013. With snowpack averaging ~25% for our favorite drainages, we started looking elsewhere, with Idaho being near the top of the list. For years, a good buddy of mine, Joe Bushyhead, has been trying to get me to go to the Lochsa over Memorial Day weekend, where hundreds of boaters and spectators (of all types) convene for the Lochsa Madness river festival. Knowing that going south wasn't much of an option, it wasn't too hard to convince the crew that our best bet was to head east. Of the core Memorial Day crew, we'd have Roman, Chris, Shawn, and myself; with the only person missing being Jason, who couldn't make it due to work commitments. We'd also be joined by Alex and his girlfriend Nichole, and of course, we'd be meeting up with Joe and a bunch of his Idaho buddies.

Aside from the Lochsa, I had hoped to get on some other runs in the area, like Lolo Creek, Kootenai Creek, and one or two of the runs on the SF Clearwater. With our departure date approaching, it became clear that we would have plenty of water, due to heavy snowpack and unseasonably warm weather. I was actually concerned we'd have too much water, limiting our run options.


Our levels. We would be there from the 23rd to the 26th.

From Eugene the drive was ~10 hours, and since Roman (who I was driving with) wasn't able to leave town until after noon on Thursday, we only planned to make part of the drive, getting as far as we could without pushing it too far. We ended up camping just east of Walla Walla, which is famous for its sweet onions as well as a recent onslaught of wineries. Waking up on Friday morning we reconnected with the rest of the Oregon crew in Clarkston (WA), where we got some food at a local diner before finishing up the drive to Wilderness Gateway, the campground where almost everyone would be staged during Lochsa Madness.

Once in Idaho, we drove upstream along the Clearwater River, which contained an impressive amount of water. While pulled over at one spot to go to the bathroom, I was in awe at the amount of water and how fast it was flowing -- apparently the forecasted flows had been correct. Our first glimpse of the Lochsa came near Lowell (ID), where it converged with the Selway to form the MF Clearwater. From Lowell the campground was ~25 miles upstream, conveniently located between the Upper and Lower runs on the Lochsa. Once we reached Split Creek we kept our eyes on the river, since this was the take-out for the lower run and it would allow us to get an idea of what we were in for. Before long we reached a rather large gathering of people, who were hanging out at one of the pullouts, which could only mean one thing, we had reached Lochsa Falls. It's at the falls that folks sit back and watch the shitshow unfold, as rafters, kayakers, and other crafts roll the dice on getting through upright, sometimes with dynamic consequences, which always brings cheers and jeers from the carnage-hungry crowd. After hanging out for a bit, we decided to head up to Wilderness Gateway to find and setup our camp for the weekend.


Roman, workin' the crowd

A Creature Craft finds its way into Lochsa Falls

Cowboy up!

A boater gets side slapped in Lochsa Falls

About to get barreled

A spectator watches a ducky blast though the falls

Now that's a tongue!

A captain buries his crew

Bracing for impact

The calm before the storm

Even though it was only early afternoon on Friday, almost all of the campsites were spoken for, but luckily Joe had shown up the day before and secured us a nice spot. By the time we had set almost everything up, Joe showed up after running a lap on the Upper Lochsa. After a small celebratory reunion, a few of us cracked into the beers, to the point that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to put on the water that day. Joe, who was also looking to get in a lap on the Lower, was only able to convince Alex to join him for an evening run. I offered to run their shuttle and take photos along the way, which they graciously accepted. Both had good lines throughout the run and as I met them at the take-out, Alex shared his excitement on how big it had felt with the relatively high water level, which was ~18,000cfs at this point. Even though this is a solid flow already, temps that day had hit near 90 degrees, so we were pretty sure that it would be even higher the next day.


Joe suits up for a lap on the lower run

Joe and Alex starting off the run

Finding the first of the good stuff, below Fish Creek.

Joe enters House Wave

...and gets a huge boost off the crest

The boys in the middle of House

Dropping into Grim Reaper

Joe lines up the meat line on Lochsa Falls

Gettin' pitted

Joe & Alex get into the thick of it

Alex, partway through the Pipeline wavetrain

Finishing up at Split Creek

That night we met a bunch of Joe's buddies from Idaho, who were all extremely friendly & welcoming, and all had better than average looks. For the most part, the whole campground turns into a bunch of intermingled gatherings, where the whole night could be spent walking from fire pit to fire pit while engaging in good conversations with great groups of people. Being a homebody, I mostly hung out at our camp, but I still had plenty of opportunities to meet people as they popped in and out of ours. Eventually the fire started to dim and one by one we headed off to bed, looking forward to getting on the water the following day.


Camp

Shot-Ski!

Tall tales around the campfire

The next morning I woke up fairly early, so I decided to take a stroll down to the river to get some fresh air. Usually when waking up during a camping trip I'd be adorned with a warm jacket and stocking cap, but on this morning the temps were quite mild and I probably could have gotten away with just wearing shorts. As I reached the river it was visibly higher than the day before, just as we had assumed. Since there was no cell reception, we wouldn't know by exactly how much, but the river itself appeared to handle the extra water well. That said, it certainly looked full and was moving extremely fast, which I knew would only be exaggerated by being on the river in our kayaks. Looking at the gauge once I got home indicated that it had gone over 20,000cfs.

Our Saturday morning ended up being a fairly lazy one and we wouldn't actually get on the water until almost noon, which was just fine by me. As we drove over the Lochsa, coming out of the campground, we discovered that we were not the only ones that would be putting on for a lap at this time, as the river access point was already jammed up with people getting ready to launch -- this was certainly a different experience from our traditional Memorial Day trips to Cali, where we'd usually have the river to either ourselves or shared with a couple other small groups. When we finally got down to the water to put on, I was still trying to figure out who was actually in our crew. When all was said and done, I believe we had nine people, which was certainly a bigger group than I was used to paddling with.

Author's note:
Since this river was not really conducive to taking photos while on the water, all of the photos that support the narrative were taken during other laps from the weekend, that I wasn't on the water for.

Once I was all geared up, I pulled away from shore and paddled into the current. Paddling under the road bridge and dropping into the first rapid, if you could even call it that, I immediately knew that we'd be dealing with a lot more water than I'm accustomed to. Even though it was more riffles than anything else, the water had a surging feel, which was also visually apparent in the eddy lines that blocked the slack water along the banks. Just about the time I was telling myself that this would be no place to swim, two kayakers from the group behind us were floating down the river, sans their crafts. With two empty boats and swimmers in the water, everyone jumped into action to corral the carnage before it floated further downstream -- I was actually surprised with how fast they were pulled to shore. One thing that was obvious from this little event was that my usual safety gear, a throw rope and pin-kit, would probably prove useless in this environment.


Chris leads off the rapid just below Boulder Creek

Once the swimmers and gear were secured, we regrouped and started heading downstream once again. The few miles between Wilderness Gateway and Fish Creek really didn't contain any rapids of significant size, but I was still feeling a little out of place in the big water and wasn't really sure I wanted to head down below Fish Creek, where the bigger drops on the run resided. Furthermore, there were a lot of logs floating down the river with us, of all shapes and sizes. After pulling into an eddy for a few minutes and receiving some words of encouragement, I got my head back together and decided to give it a go, reinvigorated for an exciting day on the water!


A common site on this day

It may not look like it, but that's a big piece of timber

Below Fish Creek we had a couple more miles of warm-up water, which suited me just fine. Then the river made a sharp left turn, where Joe motioned for us to make for the inside of the turn. As we wrapped the corner I could see why we had stayed away from the right side, which appeared to have a uniform pour-over hole and not really a place you'd want to be. This rapid also contained some fun rollers, which we paddled back to the center of the river to catch. I later learned that this rapid is called "Otter Slide".


A cat boat sinks a pontoon in Otter Slide

Not far below Otter Slide was a fun series of crashing waves, and then Joe, who had been giving me beta, told me that we were approaching "House Wave", one of the best drops on the run. This rapid was easily identified by a cliff wall along the left, and giant lead-in wave that broke from the same side. As I slid down the green tongue leading into the rapid, it certainly felt like we were paddling into the belly of the beast. Even though I took a more conservative line further right, it was still huge, with a giant wavetrain that continued for quite a ways below.


Chris, startin' off the goods

Shawn picking out his line

Chris enters House Wave

Going for the hero line at House Wave

Chaos!

More big splashy water continued below House, until we reached another big drop, "Grim Reaper", which I had remembered seeing from the road. Two things had struck me about this rapid, 1) it didn't have the cleanest entrance and 2) there was a big nasty hole on the bottom-left of the rapid, which I definitely wanted to avoid. Joe confirmed that it was in fact that rapid, just before dropping out of sight and into the maelstrom. Hot on his trail I dropped in and battled my way through the choppy offset waves that did their best to capsize my small craft. Making it though the drop upright, I peered over my left shoulder and caught a glimpse of the hole on river-left, which I was pretty happy to be clear of.


Chris enters left on Grim Reaper

A boater digs at the chaotic entrance to Grim Reaper

Getting surfed toward the bottom of Grim Reaper

Another fast mile below Grim Reaper was a large set of haystacks, which if timed properly, would allow for huge water-boofs off the crests of them. It's hard to put into words the experience riding up & down these monster waves, but it feels like you're riding down the back of dragon, who is in mid flight.


A fun wavetrain below Grim Reaper

Follow the leader

More juiced up boogie water followed, until it let up a bit where a large gathering of spectators lined the bank on river-right. Of course this could only mean one thing, we had reached Lochsa Falls. A few of us decided we wanted to give it a quick look from the road, so we hopped out of our boats, climbed up the rocks, and walked downstream to the viewing platform. The good news was that the whole rapid was flushing through, with no holes that would hold a boat for an extended period of time. The meat line was center-right, through the gut of the converging waves, which was followed-up by a large wavetrain. After watching a few boaters take the hero line (with varying results) and still not completely confident with my big water combat roll, I looked to see what some of the other line options were. The one that looked best to me was certainly more conservative, entering center-left with left angle. It still had some fun wave-holes to deal with, but it was much more straightforward and I was confident with my chances of getting through without issue. With my line picked out, I headed back to my boat to give it a go.


Lochsa Falls traffic

Waiting for the show

Chris takes the smooth line at Lochsa, center-left

Joe, going for the gut once again

Jimmy drops into Lochsa Falls

Threading the needle

Getting a face full!

Another dynamic outcome at Lochsa Falls

Marty proves that Lochsa Falls is certainly surfable

As I climbed into my boat, snapped on my skirt and slid into the water, I was held up by a large group of catarafts that were lining up for the falls. I had absolutely no desire to drop into the rapid with one of those floating undercuts, so I decided to wait them out. After what seemed like an eternity, a spot opened up so I grabbed it while I could. I aggressively ferried into the current and toward the left side of the river -- even though I was still well upstream of the falls, the current was moving downstream in a hurry. Once I was lined up where I wanted to be, I patiently floated toward the lip of the drop. The first move was driving up and over a medium sized lateral, which was followed up by some steep green water into another larger lateral. My line went about as well as I could have hoped for, and I barely got my head wet. Now below the crux of the falls, I watched as several other crafts came down the wavetrain, through a thick layer of fog that had settled at river level - it was like watching ghost ships pass by and then eerily disappear.

Not far below Lochsa Falls we regrouped with our crew, at "Pipeline". At normal to lower flows, Pipeline is considered one of the best play spots anywhere -- a large glassy wave that is frequented by kayakers and surfers alike. Although it was surfable at the higher levels that we had, your only real chance was to catch it on-the-fly, have a fast boat, or a combination of the two. For me, just riding through it and the following wavetrain was entertainment enough.


Joe sizes up Pipelne

Past Pipeline the river mellowed out a bit, with "Termination" essentially blown out and pretty uneventful, unless maybe you were hard river-left against the wall. Split Creek Rapid and the one just above it did have some fun wavetrains, with offset haystacks that did their best to slap/flip you from the both sides. In fact the upper rapid did take me down-- I was pretty happy that I was able to roll up in the middle of it quite easily. Split Creek also happened to be our take-out, where we used the conveniently placed stairs on the other side of the footbridge that crossed the river.


Getting a nice water boof of the top of a wave --
Plenty of opportunities for this on the Lochsa!

Chris and Shawn, after another lap on the lower

Joe, taking advantage of the takeout amenities

I was super happy that I had stuck it out and finished the run, after being a little apprehensive and feeling a bit out of my element in what felt like an ocean. Even though I'd had a great time, I called it at one lap for the day, and instead of joining some of the others for a second lap, I drank beer and played photographer. That night went pretty much like the night before, with plenty of beers and stories around the campfire, until one by one we all snuck off to bed.


An end to a great day on the water

The next day we did another lap on the lower, after getting a pretty late start. The weather this time around was wonderful, with bright sunny skies and temps in the mid to high 70s. The run felt much more manageable, mainly because I knew what to expect from the bigger rapids, but also because the river had dropped a few thousand CFS over night. Probably the most significant change was how much less wood was floating down the river, which made it a lot less sketchy. For this run we only had Chris, Roman and me, and I don't think anyone even flipped on this one. Of course I was still taking fairly conservative lines and I'm sure things would have been a lot different had I been running more aggressive ones.

On the Sunday before Memorial Day, we did do the bottom half of the Upper (Nine Mile down), which is below the most of the big stuff and proved fairly uneventful; that said, it was still fun and only whetted my appetite for getting on the stuff above. Unfortunately it wouldn't happen on this trip, since we ended up breaking camp and making half of the drive back to Oregon that evening.


Starting off the run, with a little less water
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

The author in the middle of some Lochsa boogie water
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

Chris gets vertical at the entrance to Grim Reaper
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

Roman gets lost in Grim Reaper
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

The author in the calm water below Grim Reaper
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

Chris takes another run at Lochsa Falls
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

The author goes for the conservative route through Lochsa Falls
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

Past the meat
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

The author in the middle of the Pipeline wavetrain
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

Bringin' it home!
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

The author makes a rare cameo
(photo by Shawn Haggin)

Parting thoughts:
What a great weekend on the Lochsa with old and new friends! It was also a great backup plan for our normal Cali trip. I mean really, what can you say about the Lochsa that hasn't already been said many times before? It's big, friendly and a whole lot of fun! Although it's Idaho class III/IV, if you're not used to paddling big water, it's certainly going to feel like the top end of that rating, especially if you're at all unsure about your big water roll. For the lower (Wilderness Gateway to Split Creek), which is the only section I can really comment on, pretty much all the rapids only require one move. You basically line up the rapid and then hold on/enjoy the ride. With only a few holes to contend with, the only real hazard would be the potential for a long/cold swim, especially at the boomin' flows we had. I was actually a bit surprised with how many people I saw swim, with most getting out relatively quick.

Would I go back? Absolutely, especially if California is dried up again next Memorial Day weekend. I will say that it would have been nice to get in some different runs, like Lolo Creek or one or more of the runs on the SF Clearwater. Unfortunately everything else in the area was running a little too high and/or people weren't that motivated to venture beyond the confines of the Locsha -- It's more of a hangout & party atmosphere, as opposed to a trip where you are trying to hit a bunch of different runs. Even so, it's a great place to be over Memorial Day, and one that every boater should experience at least once!

Some footage from the weekend: