Northwest Creek Competition

I was invited to attend The Northwest Creeking Competition at Sunset Fall on the East Fork of the Lewis River in WA about an hour from Portland. The water was high so the event had to make some changes and have the race run the section upriver from the falls. I had not attended this event before because I always had another event this weekend. So, it was quite fun to view the nucleus of the Northwest boating scene all gathered at one majestic river and site. 

Birch loved seeing gravity work so well with all the rafts and kayaks going over the waterfall. 

The right channel brought you closest to the finish line.

It was fun to watch the rafters take on the falls. They mostly didn't stay in their boats. This gent actually had a pretty long swim in the hydraulic at the bottom of the falls. Raised everyone's heartbeat a bit when a few throw ropes missed him and he went under a few times. He eventually washed out and appeared a bit tired but fine.

The right channel had a nice little seam that took you under right before the falls.

When I came into the campsite at 10pm on Friday night I was greeted with no room to drive (yet alone camp). So, my Nomad skills kicked into gear and I found a mountain road with a turn out. I used some chunks of wood found in the woods to level my camper out and had a bit of privacy amid a crazy density of boaters. The PA system still reached my camper so I was able to hear the party run late into the evening. I didn't partake. This season, I'm trying to not just "hit repeat" on the same thing that happens after every event--beer, smoke and frequently similar industry conversations/gossip. I'm trying to find quiet moments, dog walks and fitness during my down moments. 

Also, the toughest emotion to deal with at this event was that I don't roll in these circles on a daily basis. These were boaters who live at the put-in. I'm not on the river as much as I should be! I came away motivated to spend more time on the river ww boating. SUPing and river canoeing for sure. I may never be a crazy creek boater but I do love the river. Raising three kids and developing this rep business have taken time away from my personal paddling excursions and skills. I can't tell you how many times I passed up hanging in a town with the perfect conditions so that I could make the next event or meeting (uck!). Not a great excuse! So, I'll have to double down on my efforts to get on the river especially now that my kids are ready for canoe trips! My batteries are filled from being part of all the fun but I did feel a bit like an outsider looking in. I suppose that is how many of them might feel if they attended a late night jam at a music fest that my band was playing. We all choose our things to focus on! But, these guys at the NWCC new how to have fun!

My campsite. Chris Farley's SNL character would be proud. "Living in a Van down by the River"...


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