Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Six Hour Bar Fight.....

It all starts with a phone call... the metaphorical worm, that upon first inspection appears to be free of any sharp metal objects. and like most baited lines, it is often not until you swallow that you realize your last bite probably wasn't the best idea...
so, I hung up the phone still tasting the worm i had just swallowed. Rob and i, along with two other friends had decided to do a little bit of exploring. Flowing into the Cougar Lake Reservoir, between Bend and Eugene, is a creek that i am still not sure of the name. Rob had explained that he knew of some people whom had paddled the bottom few miles of this creek a few years ago, but the top section had still not been explored. Rob had hiked a section from the bottom the previous year and felt that what he had seen validated a closer look. So we set off hiking through the snow excited about our exploratory mission.

When we reached the creek we were excited to see that there was plenty of water, but there appeared to be a fair amount of visible wood laying across the creek. For those whom have not spent much time in the Northwest, the trees get really big. Subsequently, these big trees can pose as a great obstacle when trying to navigate a river. And almost as soon as we put on the creek we were faced with catching small "last chance" eddies in order to avoid the piles of old growth trees which lay strewn across the river. Ducking under trees in the middle of rapids became a standard move very quickly. we were committed to moving downstream in whatever fashion necessary, assuming that eventually we would get past the log jams. I felt as if could almost hear that first bottle break, as the sound of stools scattering filled the vast river valley. The first punches were thrown, and the bartender did nothing. He just let us duke it out with this endless pile of long jams for the next six hours. At certain points we would walk over log jams for a hundred yards, with the river moving swiftly beneath us. After six hours of going toe to toe with these old timers, we finally made it to the lake. It was completely dark by the time be left the parking lot. And though the creek had some great sections, i will probably not walk into that bar again. So, the moral of the story is: if you are going to go toe to toe with some ole boys for six hours, pack a lunch.

photos:(Above)setting safety as rob heads into the bar.(below T-B). Suiting up for the mission, the cast: Rob, Simon, and Andrew. Rob and Simon heading to the river. Rob Bart...contender #1 for the Oregon wilderness limbo. Simon, about to punch the bartender right between the eyes. class five log jam..don't look down. Rob, catching an eddy in one of the cleaner sections. Simon enjoying happy hour. dropping into the cougar lake reservoir. happy to leave the bar intact.

1 comment:

Val said...

Two Words:
Hard Core
Great story Jay.

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