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Discussion Starter #1
Over the winter I've been floating the same section of the river from Dexter Dam to Springfield about 12-18 miles. With my Burley Travoy, bike and inflatable kayak I can do the whole enchalada without a car shuttle.

I've learned how to load my boat and trailer fast. I can get on and off the river in many more places than I could other wise. My hobo stove and tarp keep me warm when I'm kicking back on an island.

Yiking keeps me from getting too bored, it's a great whole body workout too. I've seen some amazing weather and lots of wild animals. I feel like I'm in the wilds somewhere but it's all very close to town.

I like the feeling of floating. It's relaxing and a great way to explore areas I would not other wise get to see. The following pics were all taken on the Middle Fork of the Willamette River within 12 miles of my house, I'm fortunate to live close to this natural playground.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More Yiking the Willy

Strainers are the biggest danger on the river, trees fall in all the time and move around. People die getting stuck in root wads. The water is a chilling 43 degrees, I feel safe but I never let my guard down and always were a life jacket.

I have explored many side channels and day camped on several favorite islands. I love taking pics of the issues and sights along the way. I carry a bag of hot water between my legs and cover my legs with a spray skirt I can kick off in a hurry.

I like getting off the river near Quarry Butte and riding the new bike path along the river in Springfield.
 

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Rain, hail, lightning, wind and sun breaks

I've seen limbs raining down from tree tops on windy days, I've been hailed on and rained on. Once a lightning bolt hit the top of Pisgah as I went by the back side. On Mothers day I saw a nice rainbow over Pisgah.

My hobo stove has really been wonderful on the river, I can always warm up and dry out. I'm really looking forward to hot sunny weather.
 

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Nice. I want to paddle the Willamette from Euguene to Portland this summer. I've thought about trying to bring a bike...
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I take care loading my boat

Fat Bob said:
Ha... meat sack's on the Hobo stove. Love reading your adventures, and your pixels make me feel like I'm right there with you.

Do you worry about the cranks ring side down on the inflatable like that?

The cranks always face up, I make sure nothing pokey or sharp can rub my boat. It's made of really tough PVC coated material with an inner bladder made of 20mm vinyl. Punctures are rare on quality river boats. They are made to withstand hitting rocks and can be repaired like an inner tube.

I always carry a good boat pump and repair tape made for fixing tears and holes. This is a common question I hear, a fisherman asked me yesterday if I worry about it popping, after 128 trips on the river I don't worry about it popping.

It can carry 450 pounds, can't fill up with water, can't sink, easy to roll back over if it tips over. It's the safest river craft around for solo expeditions and self rescue. I always wear a wet suit in winter and since I run the same strech of river weekly I know where the issues are.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
That's a long slow float in an inflatable

eporter said:
Nice. I want to paddle the Willamette from Euguene to Portland this summer. I've thought about trying to bring a bike...
Most folks use sea kayaks because they are faster in slow moving water. If time was no issue my boat would be nice because you could roll it and haul it into town for food and not have to leave it unattended on the river. It paddles ok in a straight line thanks to it's long water line but it's much slower than a sea kayak, they just can't haul a bike very easily.
 

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Most folks use sea kayaks
Yeah, I've been realizing that. I have a big old Coleman canoe that's great for fishing and drinking beer, but slower going down river. All loaded up with 2 people it's fine. Solo = slow.

I have a 2 person Klepper folding sea kayak, also, that never gets used. It's a bit faster than the canoe, but a slug compared to a modern, hard-shell sea kayak. We had the Klepper, a plastic sea kayak, and a fancy fiberglass sea kayak out on the Columbia last summer. We all took turns in different boats. The fiberglass CRUISED on just a couple strokes, while the plastic took more effort. Two people in the Klepper weren't as fast as one in the fiberglass...

I like the ease of the canoe, though.

haul it into town for food and not have to leave it unattended on the river
That's my main worry. Go to get some supplies and come back to nothing/missing gear/vandalized/etc. What works for you? I could always lock the boat with a cable lock, but securing gear would be more of a pain. Bins with locked lids? Starts to seem like overkill...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's easy to tip the Travoy over

OldHouseMan said:
That looks like a lot of fun. The trailer is interesting, it looks top heavy. How does it handle loaded up?
The boat handles fine loaded, but I tipped the loaded Travoy over in an intersection the other day. If you get the trailer woobling back and forth too much it will tip over. I took off across an intersection off a sidewalk, got the trailer swaying too much and it tipped over. I was surprised the hitch piece didn't break. I continued after righting it, that's why I wrap my boat in two ridgerest pads. The pads double as backrest and seat and protect my boat from road rash if it tips over.

I really don't feel the weight of my bike and trailer in the boat. The kayak is a tandem designed for the weight of two people. At high speeds the loaded trailer feels fine, it's very quiet and easy to stand up and pedal. I just doesn't like being wiggled back and forth very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I enjoy cheap thing that work

antiherohio said:
The 211 really takes the hobo stove to another level....[/QUOT

211's are fairly easy to swallow and carry a big punch, just like a hobo stove. It's quality beer according to the label.
 

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Inspiring stuff as usual, Lef-T!

For the last 15 years or so I've kept a Tahiti Classic packed in an old backpack, in case I ever felt inspired to paddle a section of river using my bike as a shuttle. So far, I'm embarrassed to say, I've never done it ... let alone taken it to the next level (camping). Nice work!

On another note: partly inspired by your example, I'm starting to make the switch to tarp camping. Had a successful dry-run on Friday. By "dry" I mean it rained on my tarp but *I* stayed dry (even with the strong Gorge wind doing its unsuccessful damnedest to mess with my pitch). Keep it up!
 
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