Annual Horseshoe Bend Campout & Rafting
May 31, 2014 - Photos by Kyle Henrikson
Members of the NWRA and OWA met for the annual Horseshoe Bend Campout the last weekend of May, sharing the group campsite of Deer Flat. On Saturday, 41 people took to the river in 23 boats - paddle rafts, catarafts and IKs. By evening the group had swelled to 60 or so enjoying the potluck and Dutch Oven Contest. On Sunday a smaller group returned to the river whilst others went home. A good time was enjoyed by all.
The 12th annual joint campout on the upper N. Umpqua is set for the weekend of May 30, 31 and June 1 and is being co-hosted with the OWA for the fifth year. Once again we've reserved the Deerflat Group area at Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend campground is mid-way down the section of river we float. The group area is reserved for the nights of the 30th and 31st. Deerflat sits on a bench just above the main Horseshoe Bend loops and is available from Friday morning thru Sunday late afternoon. It has lots of room to pitch tents but the hardened sites suitable for RV's are limited so RV's are given priority. We squeeze vehicles in wherever possible and somehow it all works out. Camping is paid for by the clubs. Reservations are not needed. Come for one or both nights or just for the day. This is a dog-friendly event but they must be kept on a leash.
Highlights of the outing include boating the Boulder Flat to Gravel Bin section. We always float on Saturday and most years folks also boat on Sunday and occasionally on Friday. The Boulder Flat section is class 3-4 with Pinball being the most technical. We've had over 20 boats on the river at times so folks new to the river can follow an experienced boater. There are usually several paddle rafts going so there may be open spots for folks without a boat who want to paddle. Also, most rowed rafts will have a spot to ride if paddling doesn't pan out. The water is quite cold and the weather is variable so dress accordingly. Wetsuits, splash gear and dry suits are a better bet than just a swim suit. Lunch is on the river and both clubs request that alcoholic beverages only be consumed in camp. We ask that boaters drive into the Deerflat area by 9 AM on Saturday and Sunday so we can set-up the shuttles. Due to the number of boats we usually have, we try to minimize the number of trailers going to the put-in. There may be other groups trying to launch at Boulder so efficiency is critical. Plan on stacking boats on trailers as much as possible. If feasible, we may try to run the shuttle before launching to smooth things at the takeout.
Deerflat does not have hookups for RVs but does have water, flush toilets, picnic tables and fire pits. There isn't a pavilion so consider bringing a tarp in case of rain. Bring appropriate camping gear to include chairs, table service, your own beverages, stoves and meals. There is a potluck Saturday night but other meals are on your own. The potluck is highlighted by the dutch oven contest. There are some amazing cooks always trying to one-up the competition. We have prizes for the winners in main dish, side dish and dessert categories. Don't feel like you have to cook with a dutch oven (or even a stove) as we need salads and other similar dishes. If you like to eat, the potluck is worth attending just for the gourmet dishes. Bring your own charcoal, tools, serving spoons, etc. Also, we can use extra tables for the food so outfitter tables and folding tables are appreciated. Firewood may be in limited supply so if you can, bring some wood.
For more information, contact Walt or Jody Bammann by email at email@example.com or by phone at 541-673-8309. Other NWRA officers may also be able to help with information. Pat Barry from the OWA will also have some information.
Dutch Oven Cook Off Winners
- Main Dish: Joan Hilbert (Italian Lasagna)
- Main Dish: Walt Bammann (Mexican Casserole)
- No Third Place
- Side Dish: Gluten Free Corn Bread (Eve Adams)
- Side Dish: Standard Corn Bread (Jesse & Jennie Ingram)
- Side Dish: Stacy Strasberg (Sweet Potatoes & Apples)
- Dessert: Jan Bottcher (Peaches & Spice Cake)
- Dessert: Eve Adams (Cherry Upside Down Cake)
- Dessert: Stacy Strasberg (Gluten Free Cobbler)