What started out as a weekend getaway to support Jeffery and the Oregon Rafting Team, soon turned into one of the best weekends I can ever remember. It began on a Saturday morning when I arrived to join my family at Lockaby campground site #26. Soon everyone would know that campground, but more on that later. It started early with the mass start kayak race. Jeffery and Timber were going head to head with the rest of the competition. All Jeffery could talk about is how much he wanted to beat Timber. For those of you who do not know Timber, he is Tim Brink, the captain of the Oregon Rafting Team and a fierce competitor. It was a battle, but Jeffery had to settle for second best on that race. The next race was the Maravia team slalom. Another race was hard fought, but Timber’s team came in first and Jeffery had to settle for another second. The rest of the day was great with Aire inflatable kayak race, Sawyer SUP whitewater challenge and the Next Adventure “Big Air Ramp” competition. Unfortunately you had to be 18 years old, so Jeffery was out of the Big Air Ramp. After the races of the day were over, Next Adventure was there to provide everyone a great barbeque, while the Oregon Rafting Team had refreshments provided by Ninkasi nearby. After the barbeque was over, we retreated to the camp where party was just getting started. I stoked the campfire and we tapped the keg of Ninkasi Total Domination and the people started flowing in. It was getting to be a who’s who of the OWA with Cary Solberg, Brenda Bunce and Scott Ogren making an appearance. It was great to finally get Cary a drink for a change as he has given me so many on the Rogue over the years. Paul Meier and his crew came by as did pretty much the rest of the festival goers. Soon the rest of the Oregon Rafting Team showed up and we had a packed house. The party spilled over on the next two campgrounds and after a few hours we were all beat. We went to turn in only to discover our tent had leaked and everything was soaked. Tim offered to take up in at his house in Carver so we packed up and headed out.
The next day we awoke to hot coffee and a breathtaking view of the valley. We packed up and headed back to Carter Bridge for the races to start. First up was the R4 down river and shortly after that it was going to be the BoaterX with another head to head showdown between Jeffery “The Maverick” Steehler and Tim “Timber”Brink. Jeffery and his team took the R4 race while Kim Becker took top honors in the kayak class. In the BoaterX it was a battle, but the kid came out on top and finally beat Timber.
At the awards, Val Schaull was awarded the Sotar Cup for his many years of selfless work. We are making a trip to Next Adventure next week to spend Jeffery’s $250.00 in gift certificates and we also walked away with an Aire “Landing Pad” we won on the silent auction to benefit Cheryl. After the clean up a few of us gathered together and made a final Fish to Bob’s run. The long drive home finally got us home at about 7:00 pm to unload and hit the sack.
Thanks to Bob Mosier and his crew for putting on another great festival. Huge thanks to Next Adventure for the great food and all the prizes and support. Thanks again to Tim Brink and the ORT for being so gracious. And to Ninkasi, well if you were at the party, you know the tap was flowing courtesy of them.