6 More Weeks of Winter
By Scott Harvey
Greetings fellow club members,
As Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil (a rodent belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots), scurried out of his burrow on a cold and snowy day on February 2nd at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. He spotted his shadow and back into the burrow he went. As tradition says, Groundhog Phil seeing his shadow is a sign that the next six weeks will bring wintry weather. Well, this is good news if you’re a Northwest boater. For one, the snow pack conditions in both Idaho and especially Oregon are below the norm for this time of year. Six more weeks of winter conditions blasting the mountains of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho will mean that the spring and summer boating season will be long and fruitful with plenty of snowmelt being contributed to our favorite or soon-to-be favorite rivers.
Well, at least in a perfect world!
It's been a busy month for the OWA board members. Even though there haven’t been any in-person meetings or club sponsored river trips in the last 6 to 8 months, we’re still busy with planning and trying to figure out how or when we can get back to in-person activities. We spend a lot of time in phone calls, email, and online Zoom meetings. We look forward to when we cam come together with events such as club meetings at the Flying Pie and and pool sessions. We are committed to safety mission and are exploring when River Safety Training and Wilderness First Aid can be offered to club members. And we all what to get back club river trips and events such as whitewater festivals, boating 101 and so forth. We are reaching out to trainers and leaders as to when they’re comfortable with training and getting river events and training back on track. We are also exploring new ideas for events to support our members on the river.
It's been a year since club members Dan Alsup and Jane Heinemann passed away. They both had over 80 years of boating experience between them. Both were of the old school of boating (especially Dan) and Jane was an early trailblazer for women’s kayaking when it was in the earlier stages of the sport. Dan spent many years in the guiding and fishing business. His first business and boat was the “Rainier Beer Boat.” Jane spent much of her earlier years kayaking rivers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and boating class IV to V rivers from South America to the far northern rivers of Alaska. They both are still missed by those that knew them and their stories.
There’s still some confusion as to the meaning of “Dues Holiday”. It’s actually a “Membership Dues Extension”. Everyone who was on the membership roster in 2020 will have one year of membership extended to their expiration date. Last year’s OWA board members voted to extend a year of membership since the club was not able to offer any of its normal events such as club meetings with pizza, River Safety Training, Wilderness First Aid training, and the club sponsored campsites or river trips. As of last fall, only half of members had paid their dues. So forgiving those who were unpaid and extending membership for those who had paid seemed the most fair action to take. There are still club expenses, such as insurance, the cost of the website, Zoom, and miscellaneous. However, with the club holding a positive balance because of the past OWA board members diligence on keeping a good budget, the club was in a financial place to handle the hit. The club will start to expand it’s in-person offerings as we find creative and safe ways to do so. We will start to follow our past membership practices this year as we can’t afford two years without member dues.
The annual OWA Safety Auction will be starting up this coming March, a month earlier this year. This year’s auction will consist of more soft goods such as gift certificates from vendors and stores, river shuttle services, rentals and so forth. Both Bruce Ripley and Cary Solberg will be working on getting vendor contributions and getting the on-line auction going. An H2Oaddicts e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address when the auction is up and ready.
We are always looking for guest speakers for club meetings, river trip write-ups and your photos to be included in the OWA Newsletter. Photos can comprise of river trips, whitewater action shots, river scenery shots, wildlife along the rivers, river history or campsite and group photos of club members. Remember, your name will be submitted in the prize drawing at the end of the year for your contribution.