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Out & About: Kayakers score shot at Chelan Gorge

Sun., July 24, 2011

OUTPADDLE — Six kayakers signed up for a rare chance to paddle Classs V whitewater in the Chelan River Gorge this weekend.

Chelan PUD required at least six paddlers to carry on with the event. Expert paddlers will get optimum flows to run the waterfalls in the Chelan River, which plummets 3 miles from Lake Chelan to the Columbia River.

One of the shortest rivers in the Northwest, Chelan River offers some of the most challenging boating in the nation – when flows are sufficient. 

This is the third year of the PUD’s program to test the safety and interest in the whitewater opportunity as a requirement for dam relicensing.

The study allows whitewater releases for kayakers on the second and fourth weekends in July and September.

“Boaters may be telling us they have a lot of other options in late July, so maybe this isn’t a good time to be offering this event,” said Kris Promianek, the PUD’s recreation resources advisor. “That’s part of what we’re determining in this pilot program. Maybe the best time for boaters is September.”

Unusually high flows canceled the July 9-10 Chelan Gorge event.

The next runs are set for Sept. 10, 11, 24 and 25.

Paddlers must preregister at  

Clean camps help keep bears alive

OUTFIELD –This week’s closure of a North Fork Coeur d’Alene River camping area is a reminder that being sloppy campers can spoil the fun for everyone, and maybe lead to the death of a bear.

The Graham Creek 14 miles north of I-90 is closed to public use because of a black bear that’s been raiding campsites.

When camping in bear country, keep a clean camp, secure food and trash in bear-proof containers or a vehicle at all times, and keep pets under control.

Nisbet talks plants on South Hill trails

OUTCLASS – Is Spokane’s High Drive bluff festooned with native plants or plagued by weeds? 

Author and naturalist Jack Nisbet, along with WSU scientist Diana Roberts, will lead a free hike along the bluff trails Wednesday to explore the question.

Meet 7 p.m. at Polly Judd Park, 1732 W. 14th Ave. Wear clothes and shoes suitable for hiking the trails.

Info: 477-2167, or email

Summer Parkways today on North Side

OUTDO – Spokane Summer Parkways returns to the streets today, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., extending north and south of Franklin Park from Whitehouse Street.

It’s the second of three human-powered transportation celebrations for all ages. Motor vehicle access will be restricted on designated streets. Bring bikes, boards and feet and join the activities.

Picture the refuge

OUTFOCUS – Aug. 15 is the deadline for submissions in the Friends of the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge photo contest.

Go to for info.

Paddlers target kids

OUTDO – Splash, Paddle and Play, a free event for youths to try paddling canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards, is set for Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Nine Mile Recreation Area in Riverside State Park.

Info: 325-9000.

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