Bob Woodward
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River Time: A mere mortal's guide to North Umpqua Trail For years, the McKenzie River Trail was Oregon’s premier running and hiking trail. But as time went by and the trail’s popularity grew, so too did the crowds and trail damage. September 01, 2010

Recent Articles

  • Fly Time: Relying on the kindness of a stranger

    Hiking up the trail along the east fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap wilderness in the Wallowas is one of the most perfect fly fishing pools imaginable.
      Hiking up the trail along the east fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap wilderness in the Wallowas is one of the most perfect fly fishing pools imaginable. Enough off the trail that you might miss it, the pool comes at the base of a short rocky drop in the river. After the drop, the water flows quietly in a 20-yard-long by 10-yard-wide pool that’s no more than four feet deep at most. Since the river bottom here is sandy, wading barefoot is easy. There’s also no fear of snagging on a backcast as the trees are well set back from the pool’s edges. The only reason I made a recent trip into the Wallowas was to fish this pool and to bask in the joy of wading deep in cold water and casting to eager Brook Trout. Note that the pool’s brookies aren’t huge but are ready to take traditional dry fly patterns, like an Adams, Royal Coachman, elk hair caddis and humpy floated on the surface, or pheasant tail and bead head nymphs. Arriving at the pool after a two-and-a-half-mile uphill hike, I took my boots off and rigged up my four-piece backpacking rod. Reel on, I reached into my pack for my fly box and found it missing. Despair ensued. I’d forgotten to pack the box.
  • Paddle Trail Epic: Wickiup to Drake Pond Over A Long Weekend

    What to expect on a three-day paddle outing.
      Since coming into being, many sections of the Deschutes Paddle Trail have been run countless times. But has anyone or any group paddling the 61 plus miles from Wickiup Reservoir to Mirror Pond over three days? To do so solo, a boater would have to have multi-craft skills, i.e. be equally as proficient in a touring kakayk or canoe and a whitewater kayak. That’s why undertaking this adventure as a relay team and doing it over three days makes sense. Here’s what to expect on a three-day outing.
  • Plastic Fantastics: Recreational kayaks rule the waters

    Increasing demand for kayaks help locate the perfect spots to begin your kayaking journey.
      Ten years ago during an interview at an outdoor industry trade show, a kayak manufacturing company president somewhat sheepishly admitted that, while a high percentage of his company’s ad budget went to promoting whitewater kayaking, for every one whitewater boat the company sold his company moved another 40 recreational kayaks. Today, that ratio is probably more like 200 to 1. Recreational “rec” kayaks and their longer and faster brethren (day touring and ocean/touring kayaks) seem to be everywhere from lakes, to lazy rivers, to bays, marshes and estuaries.
  • Rides of Spring: The High Desert's new, revamped and little explored mtb trails

    Mrazek Trail offers ideal terrain for a perfect mountain biking session and excellent views along the way.
      Because it was so mild during of the heart of winter, tireless local mountain bike trail builder Phil Meglasson was able to make substantial progress (along with help from his son Eric Meglasson and local pro riders Adam Craig and Carl Decker among others) on an additional quarter mile of whoops on the Mrazek Trail. This new section of whoops joins the existing whoops just past the of the start current section and runs up along the same old streambed. To get to the start of the new whoops section, ride up Mrazek and about 25 yards past the corkscrew downhill, look off to the right. There you'll see the trail a few yards away to your right. It's marked with a new "double black diamond" sign.
  • Time Capsule: Aging film canister reveals a glimpse of Smith Rock climbing history

    A film canister discovered on Smith Rock reveals a list of dates and climbing entries.
      For the Belden family - Chip, Julie and their three children - outdoor adventure outings are an integral part of family life. Over the past several years some of their outings have started with a canoe ride across the Crooked River to the Deschutes Land Trust property adjacent to The Ranch at The Canyons and Smith Rock State Park. Safely across, the family hikes up into the pinnacles area to, as Chip Belden puts it, "explore, see cool geological formations and keep an eye out for rare plant species." While combing the area this spring, Julie Belden stumbled onto something unusual - an aged, yellow film canister. After discovering it and gathering the family around, Chip, a photographer, shook the canister to see if there was any film in it.

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