Professor Paddle: Paddle on SF Sno?
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mokelumnekid
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  Quote mokelumnekid Replybullet Topic: Paddle on SF Sno?
    Posted: 26 Sep 2012 at 2:37pm
Hey gang:

I lost a paddle some months back on the SF Snoqualmie.  It wasn't spotted at the Weir that day. (Warner Powerhouse 197- red blades with strips of white reflecting tape, my name is on it). With levels forecast to remain ridicously low and maybe even get lower, I though I might hike the river and look for it as kind of a fun way to spend a Fall day.

SO....if it ain't at the Weir, where downstream of that is it most likely to have ended up?

Thanks in advance, all suggestions welcome. BTW I have looked at all the beer halls and brewpubs in the area and it hasn't floated in there yet. But maybe I'll need to look again.
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Jed Hawkes
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  Quote Jed Hawkes Replybullet Posted: 26 Sep 2012 at 3:02pm
How far above the Weir did you swim? It's possible it's bottom pinned somewhere between where you swam and the weir, it's fairly common for paddles to get stuck in wood, small sieves, and other river bed snags and never been seen again.

It mihgt not hurt to start where you swam and start from there.

Not to be a donald downer, but if you do find that paddle it's going to be a novelty at this point, and paddle lost in the river for even a few weeks will end up battered and worn beyond use, and if it is stuck it will no doubt have been vibrating against a rock the entire time which usually will put some significant chafe marks in it.

Not trying to stop you from going, it sounds like time well spent, just a heads up.
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arnobarno
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  Quote arnobarno Replybullet Posted: 27 Sep 2012 at 2:50pm
Well, I haven't been up to PP very much since we moved to Boulder 10 months ago. Funny to run across this topic as I have an old story to share.

A bunch of us had started paddling in 2005 and in the early part of Fall 2005/Winter 2006, SF Snoq was our run. We had been out paddling that day and I remember we had a first run of the SF Snoq and there were a couple of swims. Anyway, a number of us decided to do a second run and I proclaimed, with more than a little braggadoccio that no one could swim and any swimmer would have to buy beer for everyone - or something like that.

So, of course, everyone that had trouble the first lap did fine, and I got spanked. I wasn't paying enough attention at the weir and ended up getting stuck on the right side, where the two rocks are. You know the spot, it collects a bunch of wood from time to time, but at this time, it was clean. Anyway, my boat is leaning against the two rocks and I'm rocking and rocking my boat, trying to get it free. I have one hand on my paddle (on the left side of my kayak) and my right hand is being used to rock the boat, hoping to slip through or out or whatever. Anyway, I start to slip through but now my paddle is perpendicular to the slot (and the river) and my boat and I slide through but my paddle gets stuck against the rocks and I have to let go. I flip after sliding through (no hand roll at the time), pull my skirt, swim a while and eventually get rescued. Someone (maybe me) had a breakdown and I continued to the take-out.

Well, now it is pretty dark and even though I was sure - absolutely sure :-) that my paddle was stuck at the weir (as opposed to lost) I couldn't go back to get it. So, I decide that I'll return the next day. Of course, mother nature had other thoughts as it pissed rain, and it was two weeks before levels dropped and I could go back to the spot and try to retrieve the paddle. I used Google Satellite View to find a place where I thought we could get back to the river near the weir and Deborah and I donned our drysuits hoping we could find the paddle. We did find the weir and the rocks that I thought the paddle was pinned against on river right. There was now a good bit of debris caught in those rocks and I was thankful that I had made my mistake when it was clean over there. We looked and looked and didn't see it. As we were getting ready to leave, Deborah saw something reflect just a little towards the base of one of those rocks and I reached my hand in and lo and behold - I pulled out my paddle!   I was so excited to be reunited with it.

The paddle really was no worse for the wear at the bottom of the river for those two weeks though I have to say it would be tough for me to judge whether or not there was any long term damage to it because 11 months later, we flew to Costa Rica and the paddle got broken in half by the airlines or baggage handlers (more likely as I think it got wedged in the carousel)! So, I'm left wondering whether 'tis better to have recovered the paddle and then had it destroyed, than never to have recovered the paddle at all.
arn9schaeffer@gmail.com (remove 9 for my real email address)
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mokelumnekid
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  Quote mokelumnekid Replybullet Posted: 27 Sep 2012 at 9:22pm
Hi Arn- great story. YOU are now in CO but here it has been amazingly dry. I think I'll have another look at the Weir area, as well as the canyon stretch.

But what I';m wondering is below the Weir- is the Falls the next stop or does anybody know if there are log jams or bars before the Falls. I looked at Google Earth but hard to tell.

The silver lining is that I got a replacement already, a 200 cm which is better for me anyway. But I'd like to have that old one as a spare.
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