2011 New Years Day Sandy River Float

January 01, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Annual New Year’s Day Float on the Sandy River

January 1, 2011 • Submitted by Brenda Bunce and Val Shaull

New Year’s Day on the Sandy River is a perfect way to begin the new year. Old friends and new friends gather at Dodge Park to run seven miles of Sandy River down to Oxbow Park. It was a perfect 27 degrees, no rain and 2,900 CFS. This was much lower than the last two years when we ran it at 4,500 and 9-13,000 CFS respectively. We were approximately 30 boats, 70 people and two dogs. A few people swam in a rapid but were quickly recovered. Even Katy the dog shook off a cold swim. The weather never rose above freezing as ice and icicles jetted out from the cliffs andthe river banks. Most folks felt the frigid temperature around the last bend to the take-out as the wind chill picked up, but everyone was still smiling and ready to fill their bellies with fabulous barbecue. The barbecue that followed the float was provided by the Disabled Americans Veterans and the rest of us brought potluck that was very much appreciated by all. ~Brenda

This is the third year that Team RiverRunner has teamed up with OWAand NWRA on their New Years Dayraft trip on the Sandy River. We had themost Veterans – 26 – this year. Sam Drevoof Northwest River Guides, Alder Creek,Oregon Raft Team, Disabled AmericanVeterans and private boaters donatedtheir equipment. In Sam’s case, he literallydonated “the clothes off his back” to givethe Vets a great trip.We put in with four rafts at Dodge Park.The temperature was 26 degrees by mythermometer. It wasn’t long to the firstrapid, Pipeline, the first and only swim ofthe day. The swimmer came out of my boatas we hit a rock at the top of the rapid. Theboat stopped, tipped a bit and the paddlernext to the swimmer bumped him into theriver. James Hakeem, the Vet who took theswim, did what I told him. He got on hisback and went feet forward down throughthe meat of the rapid until we got him backin the boat. We gave him extra clothing tokeep warm and continued the trip.The rest of the trip went pretty smooth.We enjoyed the scenery and greatcamaraderie. The Veterans shared someof their stories and how they are copingnow they are back in the “civilian world”.As guide, I kept everyone paddling tostay warm. I know everyone was cold butthere were no complaints. James let meknow that he would be back next year.The swim didn’t deter him.After we got out At Oxbow Park. TheDisabled American Veterans had abarbecue for us. Hot roast beef slicedright there were piled high on hungry Vetand rafter’s plates along with food raftershad brought for the potluck.It was a great day. I was with my favoritepeople, rafters and veterans. I can’t waitfor next year. ~Val Shaull

Tags: Sandy River Dodge Park Oxbow Park New Years Day
Category: Trip Report

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