Trip Report: Sandy River - New Year's Day, 2021 - 3800 cfs

Annual New Year's Day Float on the Sandy

Submitted by Kimberly Long with guest contributor Samantha Moore

01/01/21 Dodge to Oxbow, 3800 cfs 

Sandy Bruce Eicher.jpgOn January 1st, OWA members rang in the New Year on the Sandy River as they usually do; however, with some differences this year due to Covid.  Usually this New Years Day run is a collaborative event with Team River Runner to provide veterans an opportunity to explore our beautiful river along with OWA.  Paddle boats tend to be plentiful as it’s a good way to bring along new boaters. The float is generally followed by a barbeque and potluck at Oxbow park with much food and socializing.  

T502.JPGThis year OWA kept the float tradition going with 24 boats setting off on the Sandy from two different launch points at Dodge park.  OWA members set up their boats in their masks or mindful of space. Most arranged their own shuttles according to their level of comfort.  There were fewer paddle boats than usual of family or close knit groups and plenty of IKs, catarafts, rafts, a kayak and a paddle board.  The river was running at 3800 cfs. 

Photos: submitted by Bruce Eicher and Scott Harvey

Cheers.jpgWith people all dressed in their brightest drysuits and tutus, we painted the Sandy like confetti in celebration of the New Year. Everyone seemed just as excited to see each other for the first time in months as they did to share the river together.

Scott Harvey, the newly elected president, invited everyone to pull off and share in a champagne toast at a beach large enough for our crew to spread out. Continuing to social distance, now outside their boats, members caught up with each other and dreamed of boats they wanted to add to their collections. ank you to Scott Harvey for your enthusiasm by kicking off your presidency with a champagne toast on the river.

Photo: by Bruce Eicher

T507.JPGIt was a peaceful float with no incidents to speak of and fair weather most of the run, mid 40s with just a few sprinkles.  The rain was polite enough to wait until after we were off the river, just as Scott asked it to.  Despite the distance and pandemic precautions, boating the Sandy was truly a great way to kick off the New Year.  The takeout was busy as there were a fair number of people on the beach at Oxbow.  It was a bit sad to see the orange barrier fencing wrapped around the group pavilions to discourage people from gathering - but we will gather again . . . 

Thank you to Val Shuall for continuing with the tradition even if it could not be coordinated with Team River Runner this year.  Hopefully next year, we will fill the river with paddle boats of veterans and stuff ourselves with pulled pork.  If you would like to learn more about Team River Runner, visit the website or ask Val.  Thank you to Scott Harvey for your enthusiasm by kicking off your presidency with a champagne toast on the river.

Photo: by Scott Harvey