2011 Santiam River
October 01, 2011 at 10:00 AM
North Santiam Run
Oct 1st, 2011
Submitted by Rick Hendon
The temperatures were in the high 60s/low 70s and during the whole run it rained lightly for only about ten minutes. The river was running at a vigorous 2900 cfs which meant that most of the bones were covered and the two or three named rapids were a little more interesting. All in all a perfect day with no need for greasy sun screen.
Fourteen early risers met at the Hanger Cafe in Mulino for breakfast on the way to the river, and those who did were treated with the picture post-card drive from Mulino down to Stayton through the most beautiful farmlands in Western Oregon....any drive that includes a town named Sublimity is a good bet. We set our shuttle at 10:30 and got onto the river just before noon.
The head count was 37 boaters and two dogs in at least 16 boats (never got an accurate boat count), six of which were IK’s and at least two of which were well-crewed paddle rafts. A couple of the IKers took a swim and reported the water brisk, but there were no injuries. One of the swimmers self rescued and one was plucked into a raft. The pluckee lost and recovered one IK, one paddle and one left sneaker. Pluckee is now an enthusiastic new OWA member prospect.
At the put-in, Brent described what could be anticipated with the named rapids and Brenda set a three boat “pod”, each with experienced boaters leading and sweeping. It only took three hours to run the 10+ miles from Packsaddle County Park to North Santiam State Park...and that included a half hour lunch stop at Mill City.
We saw many flights and gaggles of Canada Geese and the usual Mergansers and Fish Hawks, but no eagles, nor otters, nor others.