October 11, 2004

PBRs for Ed

Dane, Jim and Morgan, enjoying Pabst Blue Ribbon at Ed's Flag near the Deschutes River, October 2004

In anticipation of Great and Horrible Things to Come, I resurrected the Audio/Visual section of Brainside Out. There’s nothing new, nothing yet, but if you’ve never seen it before, then it’s new to you.

I did this out of respect for Brian Perez, who contacted me wondering where he could download the Spontaneous Combustion hit You Don’t Know Brian Perez. He wasn’t the actual Brian Perez, of which there is one, who plays tenor sax like a madman, wears classy shirts, and makes the occasional “phert” sound. He was a different Brian Perez entirely, but just as I respect all those who are in the Dane Petersen clan, so I respect all whose names start and end with Brian Perez.

And before you caw and spit at me for my videos not working, please follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. I was way high on snortin’ Pixy Stix when I made that video, and I encoded it in some archaic multimedia moon language that can only be deciphered by the codec equivalent of the Rosetta Stone. Soon enough, you’ll get to see me caw and spit at something else entirely. Like George Zimmer, I guarantee it.

Anyways. Our river trip down the Deschutes was freakin’ sweet. Jody and I shot our fair share of class four rapids in a two-person inflatable kayak, and Jim paddled our Monster Raft as Morgan drank cans of Guinness. Whitehorse was definitely the burliest rapid we hit, a huge and snarling drop that roared around rocks the size of sunken Volkswagen buses.

On Friday night a huge windstorm whipped up and tried to steal our camp out from under us. It managed to pick up Jody’s tent and roll it 50 feet downwind, even though it was weighed down with eighty pounds of gear. The wind ripped out multiple grommets and shredded the tarp we were trying to set up to protect ourselves from the Impending Rainstorm of Doom, and anything that weighed less than twenty pounds was sent pin-wheeling across the ground. I got kicked all over the place as I was cooking up our Italian sausages, which ultimately had the best meat to grit ratio I have ever tasted.

We took Saturday as a layover day, and spent the morning hiking to Ed’s Flag way up on the cliffs. The view was spectacular, and we could just barely make out Broken Top peaking out from the clouds. Instead of hiking all the way down Jim led us on a rock skiing expedition. Following Jim’s leaps and shouts of enthusiasm, we jumped, shuffled and slid down a steep scree field, all the way into the valley.

After a dinner of steak and potatoes, and a good night’s rest, we hit the river again on Sunday. Jody and I were noticeably more comfortable in the kayak this time around, and we started playing with the ol’ girl a little bit, surfing behind rocks, standing up and balancing through rapids, and snoozing through patches of whitewater. For lunch we went ashore near some basalt pinnacles that rose out of the middle of the river, and we scrambled to the top of them and leaped off into the current.

The two tough patches of water that day were Buckskin Mary and Boxcar. Buckskin Mary had a freaky approach, as Jody and I watched a boat go over the rapid and completely disappear from view. As we got closer we saw that it was a huge and glassy drop that dumped into a boiling white hole, so we paddled our fool arms off and shot right through the middle of the sucker.

Then there was Boxcar. We asked Jim, our seasoned guide, if it would be worth our while to get out and scout it like we did White Horse. “Nah, we’re just gonna flip, anyway,” he said. Jim’s assurances were reinforced by another guide, who shouted at us as we passed the last landing before the rapid. He saw our kayak and yelled, “You’re gonna need more boat than that!”

Boxcar is a large drop with a twist to the right. If you don’t line up the twist correctly and end up too far left, you’ll pitch over the rock and end up in a huge hole, which will suck back and keep recycling until you’re a gooey red mess. As we went face to face with the rapid we paddled like crazy, and after getting kicked around in the whitewater we shot out the far side unscathed. We didn’t need a bigger boat, and that guide needs to grow a set. Wuss.

We finally came ashore in Maupin at 5:00 Sunday evening, wet and cold and exhausted. Jody still had enough energy to flip out at the landing’s $3.00 per boat take-out fee, and he asked Jim for a sledgehammer so he could be sure to inflict our six dollars worth of damage to their precious pavement.

All things told, it was a wonderful weekend. We couldn’t have asked for better October weather or more bees at our campsite. Jody confessed that in his life he has been getting angrier every day, so on any given day that you see him, that is his angriest day. Morgan seduced bees into his Nalgene bottle, and dunked them in the cold river so they would hibernate and he could have his way with them. Jim was an excellent river host, supplying beer and whiskey and meat in such great quantities, and he said something about mangos that I will not soon forget.

And me? I decided that the only thing I want in life is 118 acres of land, so I can drive around drunk all I want and never be “humbled” with by anybody.