[caption id="attachment_3806" align="aligncenter" width="223" caption="Little Klickitat, Washington - High Water"]Little Klickitat, Washington[/caption]

If I haven't been myself lately, it's because I've been sleep deprived for the last couple of weeks.  My exhaustion stems from lying awake each night with the thunderous roar of rain on our rooftop and my heart pounding in my chest in anticipation of the swelling rivers and impressive waterfalls awaiting.

The combination of over 2 feet of snow, followed by warm weather (50 degrees in December?!?!!) and tons of rain lured paddler's out on various rivers.  It has been over two years since we've had flows like this . . . unfortunately, we can't get all the big drops, nor paddle every river we would like . . . but, we enjoyed every minute of it, nonetheless!

The first river we headed to was the Little Klickitat - a class IV+ (V) river, which runs only during flooding events.  We were fortunate to paddle this river at a fairly high flow, which made everything more exciting!  The most exciting part was being greeted by a barb-wire fence across the river . . . guess we aren't really welcome on this river.

[caption id="attachment_3811" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Waterfall on the Little Klickitat"]Waterfall on the Little Klickitat[/caption]

Next, we headed to Hagen Gorge.  This class V creek runs into the NF of the Washougal and has only recently been discovered (2006).  Hagen is the perfect run for Portland kayakers.  It is only a 30 minute drive from Portland and contains every sort of rapids possible - slides, boulder gardens, ledges, a waterfall and holes.  Bonus:  If you know your lines, this run only takes about 30 minutes!

[caption id="attachment_3812" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Heather running 'Haagen Daaz' on Hagen "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3813" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Adam running "Teakettle" on Hagen"][/caption]

Now, the temperatures and river levels are dropping.  It is beginning to feel and look like winter, once again.  The pounding of rain on our rooftops is now softened to big, white snowflakes . . .

[caption id="attachment_3816" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Happy Holidays from the Herbecks . . . "][/caption]

Kudo's to my Level Six pogies . . . why do I love them?  Here's why:  They aren't bulky; easy to slide your hands in and out when needed; and, warm (even though they are light weight).  Check them out here . . . super affordable and worth it!

Enjoy the photos and the video!  Thanks to Josh McKeown, Andy McMurray and Sheer Madness Productions for photos and video.

Until next time,

Heather Herbeck

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