Gorge Report 8/28-9/5 (Long)

Gorge Report 8/28-9/5 (Long)

Post by Al Via » Wed, 08 Sep 1993 22:21:19

  I recently spent 8 days in the gorge, so I thought I'd provide you netters
with a report.

  Spending Aug 28th-Sep 5th in the Gorge, I can safely say that it can
be considered one of the WORST weeks of the year for windsurfing.
A fact that many Hood Riverites can attest to.

Aug 28:
   I flew into Portland around 1:30pm, and after picking up the truck, I made
it to Joe Field's around 3:30pm. I didn't waste any time, slipped on the
wetsuit and surfed till 7:30pm. It was 5.0, but I was comfortable on a Tiga
257 wave board until about 6:00. Then I grabbed a Seatrend 296, and intended
to do a downwinder to Doug's and back, but it was still slamming pretty good
up river, and being way overpowered, I went back.

Aug 29:
   NO WIND!, and this seemed like an omen. Joe to the rescue. He mustered
everyone together for a whitewater rafting trip down the Deschutes river.
The stretch of river we went on lasted approximately 5 1/2 hours, with 3
class four rapids, and 4 class three rapids. With the number of water fights
that we got into with other rafters, and the length of the trip, it was well
worth the $28 it cost to go.

Aug 30:
   EAST WINDS!. Bingen Bart called for easterlies, so we gathered together
14 various Tigas, and about 20 sails and headed for Bob's Beach. It
actually seemed better at Home Valley, but we stuck it out at the boat launch
just east of the paddleboat landing. I used a 5.0 on a Tiga 260 for most of
the day, though at times I wished we had brought some 6.3's or bigger.
Nice runs, long reaches, but it died at about 3:30. Typical.

Aug 31:
   LIGHT EAST WIND!. Why bother? That was the question most of us were asking
ourselves. Bart called for east winds again, but they would be lighter than
the previous day. A few of us decided to go to Mount St. Helens, and go
mountain biking. It was a very awe-inspiring trip that I suggest you take
when in the Gorge area. It's an all day trip, with the drive about 3 hours
from Rowena one-way. It's not all that far away, but the switchback roads
are a pain. Great photo-op's, and will only cost you the price for the gas.
Get plenty of gas BEFORE your trip though, because the one, or two, stations
on the way up the mountain were charging $1.96/gallon.
   BTW, as we passed Home Valley I was wishing I had packed up the gear, because
there was SOME surfing to be had. Strictly slalom conditions.

Sep 1:
   WEST WIND!. The Gorge filled in very slowly from the west. Running into
Hood River to check out the situation made me decide NOT to wait for the
wind to reach Rowena, but instead packed some gear and headed to the Event Site.
I sailed a 5.2 on a Tiga 260 from 12pm to 6:30pm.
   Later, went to see Johnny Copeland sing the blues at the River City Saloon.
Nice show, got blasted, and ended up getting a hangover. (See Sep 2 below)
The cover was $8, which seemd to me to be a little steep, but he IS a grammy
award winner after all.

Sep 2:
   NO WIND! At least not in the Gorge. Though, I heard a report that the south
central coast of Oregon was good enough to surf for awhile. Too far to drive
for a forecast like that.
Besides, I ended up sleeping most of the day, trying to rid myself of the
hangover from the previous night. But hey, I was on vacation.
That night we checked out a reggae band called '8750 - The Highest Reggae Band
in America' at the River City. Best time I had all day. They're anthem was
'Legalize the Herb, Man'.

Sep 3:
   Bart forecasted westerlies, but was very vague as to when. Most likely
covering his ***again. The westerlies DID make it to Rowena, but not until
2:30pm. Around then, it was still pretty holey, and the wind was running in
sheets. Very up and down. I never got smaller than a 5.0 & Tiga 260, but was
even on a 7.2 for awhile with a Tiga 285.
I had intended to leave on the 4th, but Joe offered no-wind makeup days for
all of us, which I took one, and left on the 5th instead.

Sep 4:
   We had westerlies right away in the morning hovering around 12-16mph, but
then died to 9-11mph until around 1:30pm. Then, out of nowhere, it started
*** up to 5.0 conditions. It got better from then on, with me on
4.5 & 4.0 at times, and a Tiga 250. Nice ramps at times. Sailed until
8:00pm. By far, the best day of my vacation.

  I ended up flying home on the 5th, not quite satisfied with this years
Gorge trip as far as wind is concerned. But, I understand that we can't control
mother nature, or the weather patterns, and we all take a chance when we go
to the Gorge for a limited amount of time because ANYDAY can turn out
to be a no wind day. Next years trip I am planning for the end of July, rather
than the end of August.

  Hopefully, this report helps those who experience similar conditions to
try some of the things mentioned during the no winders. Some other things
to do, which were not mentioned:

        o Hike up Mount Adams. Somewhat gradual, and you can bring a snow board
          and a pair of cross country skis with you. Dress warm.

        o Rent a WaveRunner from Mid-Columbia Marina in Hood River. They
          rent for $40/hour. Split the rent for a few hours with a buddy or
          a group and see the Gorge.

        o Drive to Mt. Hood, and hike, mountain bike, or whatever. Then spend
          the evening eating at Timberline Lodge. The food is excellent, and
          the prices are reasonable.

        o Shopping in Hood River. Particularly at Shred Threads, where you
          can get a 'I got Skunked at the Gorge' t-shirt. Hopefully, you
          won't need to do the same thing I did.

        o You can even rent a ski-boat at the marina and go water skiing.
          Don't know the cost, but its not cheap.

-- Al    #160
9'2" O'brien Epoxy Lite, 10'4" Excellerator
5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 7.5
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Albert Viall                                    Phone: 612-683-3429

Cray Research, Inc.  Eagan, MN.