John Day, OR paddlers?

Are there any paddlers out here in Eastern Oregon? I need a paddling buddy! I live in John Day and just got a new kayak. I am a beginner - very beginner! My husband and my mom say they would go with me but neither can swim and don’t have a boat. I want to practice at Magone lake, paddle around Unity resevoir, and eventually go down the JD river - a few years down the road probably! I’m looking for someone with some experience who could help me learn or just another beginner so we can help each other.

Go where you got the boat and ask for instruction of find a club to get into. Try to use a pool with persons to assist if you bail out. There are some techniques to learn and only those come from experienced instruction. You run the risk of getting hurt or quiting the sport. THis is not what paddling is about but to enjoy it. Find some books or look for DVD’s,VCR’s anything to help with the maneuvers.

Getting Together & Going Paddling
Sometimes you can find local people to paddle with on the Getting Together & Going Paddling forum

I guess I’m too far…
I’m in Coeur d’Alene. And gas being what it is…Too bad. I’ve got a Carolina 13.5.

I know what it’s like !
My area in west Montana doesn’t have many paddlers who "paddle boats like mine. There are touring kayakers near Flathead lake but the “fishing sit on top” breed of yakers like me are fairly scarce. I think John Day and area is way more isolated than my area. The high gas prices don’t help one bit. I go solo down The Clark fork and all of the forks and main-stem of the Flathead quite often. North Idaho has an estuary I want to paddle. It’s where the Clark Fork enters lake Pend Orelle. I also want to paddle the Coeur D’ Alene rivers marshy area near the old Cataldo Mission. Good luck, and I’ll still drive a ways to paddle new and different spots, at least until gas hits six bucks per gal. If we can still drive sixty miles for lunch we can surely justify a drive like that to paddle with someone. Paddling alone can be peaceful but the increase in risks also need to be considered.

How far are you willing to travel?
And what kind of boating do you want to do? I think you can find almost anything from serious whitewater, to honkin’ big wind and waves in the Columbia Gorge for sea kayak delights, to nice lilly-dipping flatwater. Make sure your boat and your skills match the conditions. People from my club just did a couple of day trip on the north fork of the JD. Check out the trip report.

Places to help you get linked up with paddlers and to learn some skills - not exactly local but not too far:

Alder Creek in Bend - I think this is mainly a white water bunch but the Portland store does lots of sea kayak and lessons.

The Kayak Shed in Hood River - white water but they are now carrying P&H sea kayaks.

Columbia Kayak Adventures - Richland WA: tours and lessons

Columbia River Kayaking - is further away but also has lessons, BCU training, and tours on the lower Columbia.

The islands on the Columbia by Irrigon Or are a really nice flatwater paddle if it is calm and so is the Patterson Slough on the other side. (so what’s a 100 mile drive if it gets you on the water:-)

Hope this helps.

John Day
thank you for all the helpful tips. I am about 3 hours from Bend - Alder Creek is where I got my kayak last Sunday. About 3 hours from Tri Cities area - we go shopping in Bend and in Kennewick. So either of those is feasible and I will check out the links that were given.

I am so new at this I think I need some practice before joining any groups. I would be a liablility right now. Also have the problem of my work - I work nearly every Saturday so only have one day to play. Makes it a bit difficult to travel somewhere that far and have to be back to work on Monday :frowning:

Thanks again for the help