Support the Shoot the Rapids Campaign by sending a contribution to TPL - Miller's Landing, 115 NW Oregon Ave., Suite 16, Bend Ore. 97701. For more information about the project, check out www.deschutescountygreenprint.org or attend the Pumpkin Hunt on the property on Oct. 23rd.
Lake Hosmer - Take a fall paddle before the snow flies
The temperature may have dropped and the sun might be going down a little earlier these days, but unless there are white flakes in the air, it is worth heading up to the lakes for one last mid-day or early evening paddle before we get our first big snowfall and the road closes.
Hosmer Lake, just 31 miles from Bend and a mile past Elk Lake, is a very different experience than its sister to the west. Because it is so shallow, most explore the winding lake by canoe, kayak or electric motor fishing boat. Also, Hosmer is one of only two places in Central Oregon that holds Atlantic salmon, which are essentially smaller versions of their ocean-going brethren. The fish are targeted by fly anglers, but it's also satisfying to just watch them from your boat as you paddle along.
Turn onto Forest Service Road 4625 after passing Elk Lake (if you are coming from the north) and drive for approximately 1.2 miles to the boat ramp put-in. Parking is a little limited, but there are bathrooms and plenty of places to camp along the shoreline.
My unofficial lake guide, Rob Harrison, said that one of his favorite things about Hosmer is that when you first put in, it seems like just a small pond with lily pads. It takes a bit of meandering through thickets of bulrush to come out into the larger section of lake, which has a sandy bottom with a slight emerald tint. If you paddle all the way to the north of the lake to Quinn Creek and struggle up the current for a few minutes, you'll come to a little water fall and a narrow footbridge: a picturesque little nature scene and a great spot to have a picnic.
We explored Hosmer by canoe one brisk evening this fall as the capricious clouds shifted over Bachelor and South Sister, creating a myriad of reflections and light play on the water. We checked out a few of the lakeside clearings and dreamed up a few full-moon camping expeditions for warmer months. While a piping hot day in July might be the ideal time to be out on a boat, the cold clears the crowds and for most of the evening we were alone out there; a nice trade-off for the windy weather.
Xterra Adventure Series to highlight whitewater sections of the Deschutes.
Remember the last two summers when the Xterra National Trail Running Championships came to Bend and made really cool videos about adventure sports in the area while they were here? Well, they are coming back this year once again, and want to include some local paddling footage for their six-part television series titled, "XTERRA Adventures."
On September 17th, they'll be filming a number of local whitewater paddlers running the Big Eddy on kayaks, rafts and stand-up paddleboards. Xterra Adventure spotlights are seen by millions of people world-wide and have been an incredible side benefit to the race series by promoting Bend as a tourist destination in other parts of the country.
Video Bonus: A Lower D Milestone
Check out this week's bonus video at tsweekly.com to see how we serendipitously captured a shot of local paddling stud and pioneering stand-up paddler Jayson Bowerman as he skimmed across the lower Deschutes below Macks Canyon. We later caught up with Bowerman at the boat ramp at Heritage Landing and learned that he had successfully run all of the lower rapids, including the tricky Class IIIs at Colorado and Rattlesnake rapids - a first in the history of SUP, as far as we know. Bowerman was paddling the lower river with another local, Steve Jensen, who was traveling in a drift boat alongside Bowerman and carrying all the duo's archery gear. Yeah, that's right Bowerman not only ran all the formidable lower river rapids SUP style, but he also squeezed in a bow hunt while he was at it. So what extreme thing is it that you think you did last weekend? Doesn't sound so extreme now, does it? (EF)