|The first waterfall was a little intimidating|
The water was running well, but the wood meant certain death to the packrafts (especially shy about wood since Kirk's boat sank into Paulina Creek). Another issue to the many drops we encountered on the way up Fall Creek were the shallow landings. Sometimes 6" was all that buffered a significant drop. Again, not extremely wise in a boat with thin taped seams.
|although hard to see a log/root wad block the middle of this drop|
As we hiked further upstream on Fall Creek, we again saw short stretches that were boatable, but not getting out in time would be disaster. So, we kept hiking...all the way up to Green Lakes.
Imagine an easy access trail head serving a population of over 200,000 + tourists. For Central Oregon, that easy access trail head with the most rewards is probably Green Lakes Trailhead. A mere 4ish miles has day hikers at the base of South Sister and Broken Top with the satisfying feeling of being a little bit closer to nature.
Kirk and I started mushing through snow as we approach Green Lakes and as soon as I saw the snow fields dropping into the lake water, knew what i had to do. We inflated the boats and sledded them into the water with a splash.
Since we had hiked up a few beers, and there just happened to be a floating ice chunk in the lake, we had the perfect "cooler." I paddled up to the floating ice, plopped down our PBRs and just had to wait a few minutes for our frosty beverages.
|Beers chilling in the ice|
Packrafts make great floating crafts, and we played all over the lake for the next while.
Next on our agenda was scouting Soda Creek.
Making our way to the southern base of Broken Top, we started hiking down the Soda Creek drainage. Again, from the top of the trail, the next 1/4 mile was packraftable, but continuous with no eddies and ending in an 80' waterfall. We passed and kept on hiking.
|A little bit of snow walking kept things interesting|
|Kirk checking out the view|
|Coffee on the rocks|
|Finding the best route down|
|Ok, this looks good, but may wait for the water to go down a bit so we don't get swept off the 40 ft waterfall below.|