Thursday, August 7, 2014

July 27 - Aug 3

                    Small week but a great group of wonderful people! Thanks so much to Bill and Carrie for all the extra things they do to help Otter Bar! The Klamath continues to be a blast for the groups, although, we are sad to say we only have one more group coming as our last three weeks are empty. We really enjoyed meeting Cheryl, Marya, and Laura who were super keen and fun to have around! Pete Peterson was here for the first half of the week, as well, before heading off to the Rogue for four days with Phil and Mary. It was great seeing him! We did have a major fire start up early in the week east of Sawyer's Bar but so far we have had almost no smoke from it and now the temps have cooled. Thanks for coming!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 20 - 26

     This week ran at the same time as the kid's course, although, was completely separate. This course originally only had one person signed up so we put up a last minute half price deal and picked up a few folks. Thank you Thank you Steve, Sheryl and Howard for showing up and making this course more fun! And then Paul and Werner showed up a week early and we were off and running with a great group and wonderful flows on the Klamath. The big dogs even did the Ikes twice. Andy, Shannon and Scott were a super strong instructional team and a great time was had by all!

Friday, August 1, 2014

July 20 - 26 Kid's week

               This was an amazing kid's week with a stellar team of instructors and a delightful group of great kids! Tons of learning and fun this week with major swimming parties when not paddling on the river. Rush Sturges showed up on Wednesday and treated the kids to a flat water session of tricks. The highlight was when the kids all attacked and tried to sink him. This was more dangerous than running Cherry Bomb falls with half a paddle. After this swimfest, backhoe rides for all featured in the itinerary. The afternoon then progressed to Cascade where the kids had a blast jumping into the pool below the rapid. So much for the day off. Special thanks goes to the amazing instructor crew of Daan, Jess, Ben and Sophie! They put a huge amount of energy into ramping up everyone's skills all week. And Melinda Stearns deserves special mention THANKS as our 5 star camp mom and chef! We had a severe thunderstorm mid week and Melinda saved the day by covering all the tents. New for next year:  Looks like we will expand the kid's courses next year as well as offering an ACA training courses in April taught led by Ben Morton.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 6 - 12

                        Pictured above are Rex Richardson, Miles and Petey who were, as always, amazing on our final party night. Fantastic attentive group that bonded incredibly well and seemed to have the time of their lives. We specialize in this at Otter bar but it doesn't always happen to this degree. Scott Harding, Andy Round and Soph were on their instructional game and our wonderful chefs, Therese and Miranda once again spoiled us rotten. The Klamath is a wonderful teaching river and it is a treat to have it pretty much to ourselves. It was a blast seeing Jack Kyman return again and his daughter Lena was a delight. Likewise we enjoyed seeing David Dow again along with his daughter Erin. It had been 16 years since Jeff Depew and Trish Hayward had visited and I believe they had a total blast! We also hadn't seen Steve Webster in 9 years and it was pretty cool to see how he ramped his skills right back up after such a long work jag in The Apple. Fun having some new folks as well! Helena was pretty shy and retiring and hardly ever said a word but...  Ok - she was a bit of the life of the party - we loved her. And everyone. Appreciated the inclusion of Prasasta and Vajin at the last minute. Thanks for making OB a reality guys!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

June 29 - July 5 2014

Small but wonderful week with some fast learners! All sections on the Klamath were in and fantastic. The diving on Wed PM was amazing and I believe everyone saw fish! I was a pleasure having John Kretzler return and the the rest of the group were all first timers. Joe Kinner came with a solid skill set and was super serious about ramping up his skills. His dad was super human driving 44 hours to bring Joe down afrom Seattle and then pick him up at the end of the week. Too bad no one was from Seattle! We missed having Howard Torf the last night but it was great meeting him. Skye Ellison was something of a beginner but was combat rolling by the end of the week. Her dad, rafting legend Jib Ellison, joined us for the last couple of days and was a blast to have around. Calvin and Sandi were new to OB, as well, and were a wonderful fit with the group. It was kettering's last week and we will miss him. Andy Round also held court in the instuctional program. Therese and Miranda as usual were spectacular in the galley. Thanks for coming!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 22 - 28 2014

           Another small week but a delightful group! Really appreciate Jack and Maria making a return visit this year after being here last year for Steve and Michele's wedding. Maria kept us entertained all week and one can get radiation burns if you stand too close. Also really appreciate Tom's return visit as well as the addition of Steve and Rick. They were first timers here at OB and seemed to really have a blast despite some coolish weather and a bit of rain. We started the week on the ponds and section of river in front of OB and moved to the Klamath which is a bit of heaven with wonderful flows and fantastic scenery. Scott Harding and PK once again delivered as did our five star culinary staff of Therese and Miranda. Having such a great staff makes life so pleasant and easy for the management team - we love and appreciate them all!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 15 - 21

A fun week at Otter Bar with another very game and interesting group. We were joined by four people in inflatable kayaks who learned lots of technique in the course of a week. We talked these guys into starting in hard shells for the first day only. This facilitated an awareness of hull performance and helped the learning curve. Kurt and Tristan were the stars this week and we so appreciate them coming back this year. Many of our regular clients did not come this year due to water level concerns. We fortunately have the Klamath 15 miles away and it has been fantastic for learning with great water levels and friendly warm water. The food has been 5 star  and the lodge and grounds are looking spectacular this year with most dinners outside. Very gregarious crowd this week and the vibe was fantastic. Sorry that Brandon and Ryan had to leave early. They were two of the strongest beginners we have seen in years and even taught themselves other side rolls on Wed. Speaking of which we did another afternoon of diving on Wednesday and the King salmon didn't disappoint! PK, Dave Farkas and Scott Harding did an amazing job instructing this week! Thanks for coming!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 8 - 14

        A much smaller week but a super sweet and interesting group of people! Matt Oliva joined us Tuesday and was a great addition. It was an honor having him here as his work in Nepal and Ethiopia restoring people's vision is profoundly generous! Really enjoyed having Claire, Andrew, Cathy and William here as well - they were all fantastic. Wonderful paddling on the K this week and on Wed afternoon I took the group diving at leaning tree and everyone saw King salmon! Stunning clear water in the loveliest of gorges. A great week was had by all with PK and Dave Farkas leading the charge on the instructional front and Therese and Miranda killing it in the galley! Thank you all for coming

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 1 - 7 2014

A week full of surprises and a wonderful group of people made for a super memorable time! We had an itinerant couple stop by out of the blue and play some captivating music with a violin and a standup hammer dulcimer (not sure I have that description right - see photo on FB) and we were all stunned. In addition we had a stellar hooping expert (Nicole Bradford) in our midst and she performed magic on several evenings including Mexican night when she had live flaming hoops. We had the fire dept standing by (guide with blanket) in case she caught fire. Great seeing Brian and Heidi again as well as Bill, Sheryl, Robert, Linda and Joanne. That crew did a little boating on the way here and put the peddle down on the adventure meter.  Sal Jepson showed up a day late as she was just returning from Madagascar. She rallied pretty quickly and as ever we are so appreciative of all the vet advice! Nice having Bob Andrews back again and we had a new couple, David and Kay from Arizona who were a very welcome addition. Frank Colver was on the scene with his latest electric trike and I was less than thrilled when this 79 year old was doing doughnuts on the newly manicured beach. He always make quite a go of exploring the high country via forest service roads and as always he was very generous on all levels especially with his flute music. The guides and cooks were on the money once again and thank you all for making this such a memorable week!

Friday, June 6, 2014

May 25 - 31

                      I recognize that the superlatives in these posts is generally borderline over the top but the learning and commraderie was exceptional. "Old Home week" with a bunch of new (and much younger) friends was a huge success! "The Ferg" didn't disappoint and paddled his best week ever as well as bringing the best beer ever! How he spoils the guides! It was Henry"s birthday and Kristy organized a wonderful wine tasting extravaganza complete with wine expert Gabe. The dinner was tres fancy (complete with special menus), as well, and hats of to K on this one. Several mega repeats said it was "the best week ever" and this felt awfully good to hear! Pete Peterson and Jim Mikeska were in their usual irascible form and Top dogs Mike and Leslie ripped it up all over the place and the river is showing bruises. This was a sensational week with a stellar guide staff, cook staff and of course the upper level management was never missed a beat... well maybe a couple. So great to have so many new folks, as well. Business looks bleak for many remaining weeks which is odd considering we have the best water and flows in all of California with no other people on the river. The Klamath rocks for teaching all levels and we feel profoundly lucky to have it only 15 miles away! We are still on the lower salmon, as well but probably just for one more week. Eating outside now and it is truly lovely here. Thanks for sticking with us! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 18 - 24 2014

                     Great week! We still have good flows on the Salmon and were able to utilize all sections that we have been running for the last few weeks. Great having Kathleen and Rose around who, while they didn't paddle, took full advantage of the area. Bruce Wear was in great form and definitely got the top dog award. My friend and ski buddy Bill Sullivan made the scene and it was a total pleasure catching up with him. Pippin and Mario kept us on our toes and we enjoyed the company of two new women (Kim and Danielle). Our amazing chefs, Therese and Miranda did not disappoint and I may weigh 300 pounds by the end of the season. I believe we delivered an amazing product this week and the only downside was that It appears many people think we don't have water so the groups are small. Admittedly, we are moving towards the Klamath but the water is wonderful and the quality of the experience is as superb as always. So if you are reading this and were here this year leave a comment on Facebook re same. We need some help filling our weeks!  Thanks for coming   P

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 11 - 17

                     Very keen group this week and we had a blast with these guys! Wonderful weather and water and the cooks continue to amaze all of us. All river sections had excellent features and we are super pleased that the flows on the Salmon have been perfect. We only wish more people had booked earlier this year. Great seeing Clifford Schostal who has been coming here for 30 years as well as Peter Eisner who has been a regular for quite some time. This group was a stand out in terms of wanting to learn and I have to say that our final meeting was very memorable as a number of people articulated their appreciation for the whole experience and, in particular, the excellence of the instruction here. Thanks for coming!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 4-10 2014

                   It was a total whirlwind getting the lodge ready to open this year as we did a ton of painting, landscaping, remodeling etc. Due to last year's fire we had been closed for nine months so it took Peter and crew many months of 10 hour days to bring it back. Week one was an absolute blast despite some rain and lower than normal levels. We started on the section from Otter Bar to Norheimer and progressed to the lower salmon, Ikes, Presido to Sandy Bar, Creeks run, Butler and Nordheimer for our strongest paddler. Fabulous cloud , brilliant sunshine and chunky showers were the norm. The food this year was outstanding (many people claim it was the "best ever") and Therese and Miranda worked wonders in the galley. This week was truly a bit of magic never to be forgotten and the stellar instructional crew of Scott, Andy, Jess and Dn was super well received. We also have Deborah who is new to the massage house staff team and is a most welcome addition! She and Judy B will be doing the massage program this year. We will miss Bob Beaver, although he has been helping Peter with a major overhaul of our bike fleet. We missed not having Steve Rossberg here last week and had a memorial for him with those who knew him on Wed (see post on FB). Thanks for coming and love to you all.   Pictured above is  Rheim, Mellissa, John,Cat, Tim, Willy, Greg, Dn,Jason, Teresa, Asuko, Paul and Merida.  Not pictured were Andy, Scott and Jess