Paddle Boards Don't Belong On McKenzie | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Paddle Boards Don't Belong On McKenzie 

No! No! No! You don't tell people they can take their stand-up paddle boards to the upper McKenzie "Going With The Flow" (Outdoors 6/25/09).

No! No! No!  You don't tell people they can take their stand-up paddle boards to the upper McKenzie "Going With The Flow" (Outdoors 6/25/09).  First, this section of river flows at 40 feet per mile or greater-the Deschutes in Bend is more like 10 fpm. Too fast for most not in a real boat!  Second, these people are usually barefoot, and that river has many sharp rocks!  Third, they almost never wear life jackets, and dozens of people have died on the McKenzie since I ran it as a pro guide. They even loan out free life jackets because of this!  Lastly, the water is COLD, far colder than the Deschutes, so anyone who falls in will promptly become severely hypothermic.

What I do appreciate is some mention of boating whitewater, which the Bend Bully-ton ignores, except for the occasional "extreme kayaker in Class V" story.  I am the world's worst klutz, yet I learned to row and paddle rafts, read the river and scout rapids fairly easily.  

Shameless plug: check out my wonderful book, "Floating & Fishing Oregon's Wilderness River Canyons" at Paulina Books.  If you wear your PFD (personal flotation device) at all times, you will be safer on whitewater than on Highway 97!

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