Long post warning!!!! My advice is to grab a beer and enjoy...
I'm a bit late with this post, but now that school has fired up again updating my blog has unfortunately fallen toward the bottom of my list of priorities....
I returned to Muskegon for a week after my trip to Colorado and Wyoming before heading out to Oregon to do my research on the Clackamas River near Portland. The week at home was weird. It didn't so much feel like home anymore, especially since the majority of my summer was spent out west.
The plan was to get into Portland a week before our research started and just hang out and enjoy the amazing Pacific Northwest in the summer. My friend Dave was cool enough to let me crash at his pad while he was away at some music festival, so I had a free place to stay in downtown Portland. I spent the week chillin', hanging out at the infamous Bunside skatepark, riding Dave's bike around town like some crazed bike messenger weaving through traffic and generally having a blast. My friend Danielle came up from Tahoe and we hung out for a day, went hiking and grabbed some drinks downtown. All in all, Portland was good to me, and I can't wait to get back there....whenever the winds blow me in that direction again.
A couple of cloud shots from my flight from Grand Rapids to Portland...
This thunderhead reminds me of a UFO or something...
Although I'd been to Portland a few times before; this was my first time in by air. You get a great look at Hood on your final approach, and while not nearly as impressive as the view of Rainier you get on the way into Seattle, its still a sure sign you're in the Pacific Northwest.
I don't know what it is, but for whatever reason I always feel very much at home in the Northwest. I don't know if its how green everything is on the western side of the Cascades, or if its the down to earth attitude of the people out there, or what; but the Northwest feels like somewhere I belong.
As I said, I spent a few of my days in Portland hanging out at the infamous Burnside skatepark.
If you're a skater, you HAVE to get to Burnside at some point in your life. The place is incredible, and has a wild vibe. My advice if you go is to remember that a 6pack of cold ones goes a long way as a peace offering.
A couple of shots from Burnside. You can see all the action I got from the park here.
Jivaro Wheels' Willis Kimbel with a nice 5-0 through the pocket.
Another Oregon ripper, Mason Merlino with a nice nosegrab.
And a stupidly styled-out stalefish...
I apologize for not having more pictures of Portland, but I'm not really big into shooting urban landscapes...
My time in Portland came to a close and it was off to Estacada to meet my professor to begin our work on the Clackamas. I won't bore you with the details of our research work, but essentially we were looking for some rocks he had dumped in the river 7 years ago. The research we were doing was related the re-licensing of a dam just upstream and had implications for the yearly Salmon runs on the Clackamas. We stayed at Milo McIver state park for the duration of our 10days on the Clackamas which was an experience in and of itself. On the upside though, the blackberries were in prime season and it was pretty easy to get a bunch of them for pancakes in the morning.
Blackberries....reason 8,347 that the Pacific Northwest is better than where you live.
We spent most of the 10 days on the Clackamas sorting through river gravels looking for our quartzite. (photo cred:Peter Wampler)
Here's Peter on top of a huge pile of augmented gravel on the Clackamas.
We took a day off and drove up the Clackamas to Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge/Ski Area. It was rad! The lifts on Hood turn through the summer and I really wanted to go riding, but I didn't have board with me. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Testing out the rocker and flex on next years Burton "2x4". (photo cred: Peter Wampler)
It always trips me out to visit someplace I've ridden in the winter during the summer. In the winter you'd never know this rock was there. (photo cred: Peter Wampler)
After our work on the Clackamas was done we were lucky enough to score the last 5 permits on the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River in southern Oregon. The Rogue is a world-class whitewater destination and we got to spend two days running the almost continuous class II-III-IV rapids.
We were joined on this adventure by Peter's former field assistant, his girlfriend, and his Dad. Daniel and his Dad, Gary have been running the Rogue for over 20 years and know the river like the back of their hands. They were a great asset to have with us on the water, and good company to boot.
Here they are running the center chute on Rainey Falls. (not sure why there is no audio) (filmed by:Peter Wampler)