The Paddlers’ annual cleanup of the Chena River through town is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 this year and will be a continuation of the Wednesday evening float trips for the summer. We will meet at Graehl Landing (just upstream from the Wendell Street bridge) at 6:00 p.m., set shuttle to the Pioneer Park landing at Peger Road, and plan on launching from Graehl promptly at 6:30. Once on the water people travel more or less at their own pace, stopping to pick up trash on the riverbanks. Usually, everybody is out of the water by 9:00 or 10:00.
Cleaning up the Chena River is one of the contributions our club makes to the community of Fairbanks, and is also a commitment we have made to the Adopt-a-Stream program of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association. For this activity we are recognized by two nice signs placed by the TVWA near the river at Graehl and Pioneer Park.
Trash bags will be provided. Participants should bring mud boots, raincoat, gloves, warm clothes, extra clothes, mosquito repellent, drinking water and something to snack on as well as some sort of craft to paddle. Don’t forget your life-jacket!
We will attempt to separate out clean aluminum in separate bags for recycling. We need to take the trash directly to the dump (as opposed to sticking it in dumpsters) so that the Borough can keep track of the volunteer cleanup effort and so that we can report our haul to American Rivers. My truck will be available for stuffing full of trash at the take-out.
For more information contact Alan Batten, or at 488-3205.
Chena River Cleanup 2014 crew and results
Our annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck will take place on Saturday May 16. This year we’ll launch at the first bridge (approximately Mile 37 Chena Hot Springs Road) and take out at the mile 31.4 river access (the Nugget Creek winter trailhead). This section has been challenging in recent years due to a new log-infested channel just upstream of the takeout in the vicinity of the Chena River Public Use Cabin.
This year we’ll pack our food, grill, tables chairs, etc into the boats and have our potluck on a “remote” gravel bar along the way. We hope there will be enough canoes to help carry stuff for the kayakers. The trip will occur rain or shine.
Meet at the First Bridge (big gravel bar downstream from the bridge, accessed by signed dirt road on the right just before the bridge, then left at the fork out to the gravel bar) at 10 am. We’ll unload gear, run a couple vehicles down to the take out, and launch. Plan to be off the river by late afternoon. It takes about an hour to get to
the first bridge from downtown Fairbanks.
To come on this trip, you will need to be a current FP member (we’ll have membership applications/renewals with us), wear a PFD, carry spare clothes and rain gear, and be at least an advanced beginner paddler with experience in swift water and the ability to confidently maneuver a boat to avoid sweepers and strainers. The Upper Chena is Class I, and woody debris in the river constitutes the main hazard.
Hope to see you on the river!
Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck, 2010
The weekly Bubble Street Cartoon, by Paul Mason
In the next few weeks, streams all over northern Alaska will be open for adventures! Packrafting has become one of the fastest growing means of exploring Alaska’s rivers. Take advantage of an opportunity to try out your boat, practice paddling and rescue skills and meet fellow packraft enthusiasts on warm water. Kayakers have been having fun at Hamme Pool on Monday nights from 7 to 9 pm from January through May since the 1980’s. There are only a few more boating nights this spring: May 4, May 11, and May 18.
Fairbanks Paddlers and Northern Alaska Packrafts would like to encourage interior pack rafters to show up for the May 4 boating night at Hamme pool. There is no formal clinic or instruction being offered. Just show up with your boat, paddle, and a smile. You might just:
- Meet other boaters
- Share boat accessories and modifications (paddles, gear storage, seat modifications, spray decks, thigh straps, backbands, rescue gear)
- Practice paddling skills
- Practice self-rescues, re-entering a capsized raft, and partner-rescues
- See if anyone can eskimo roll a packraft
- Plan some outings
- Play paddling polo
The shallow section of the pool is used for informal pickup kayak polo between 8:15 and 9 pm. Rules loosely followed, but helmets are highly recommended to reduce risk of injury from wild paddle blades or balls. Hockey, ski, skateboard, or bike helmets work if you don’t have a dedicated helmet for boating. The pool supervisor indicated that pack rafters could use the deep end of the pool to have their own game if there are a lot of kayakers (usually there are 5-6 per team). We’ll have have a shortened court and improvised goals.
Pool access is 5$. If your boat is full of silt and dirt from last fall’s adventures, please rinse it out before coming.
The warm weather reminds us that the rivers will be opening up soon and our thoughts will be turning toward moving water. Dues for the 2015 season are due at the beginning of April. Now might be a good time to think about paying them before we start getting the boats ready. Right now we have 28 households who are either life members or who have already paid for the 2015 season. There are 58 households whose memberships expire at the end of this month and another 45 households whose memberships expired a year ago. If you aren’t certain of your membership status please feel free to write to me and ask (though I’ll be away from email March 22-28). We’ve played with the idea of putting membership info on the web but haven’t been able to figure out how to deal with privacy concerns. We are beginning to put the calendar of club trips together and membership is required to participate in them.
Dues remain at $10 per person per year, or $15 per household. If you sign up as a household, please provide the names of all the people in the household. We also have life memberships available for $100. Then you won’t have to worry each year about whether you are current or not. There is no household (family) option for life memberships–everyone who wants one has to pay the full $100. There is also a business membership available for $150 which carries certain advertising privileges.
To renew (or join for the first time) either download a membership form to print, fill out and mail in, or, even easier, use our online form with payment through Paypal.
See you on the river!
Please join us at Food Factory, 7 pm on Thursday March 19th for an evening of slides and stories about paddling in the Gates of the Arctic. Here’s an excerpt:
Four friends paddled the Nigu, Etivluk, and Colville Rivers for 2 weeks in August 2014, starting in Gates of the Arctic National Park and taking out at Killik Bend. They saw a wolverine, a few grizzlies, and many small groups of caribou amidst the big scenery of the Brooks Range and arctic foothills. See images of Inupiaq tent rings, colorful bluffs, and fossils along with some video clips of people appreciating the wild lands and rivers in our great state.
Sponsored by Fairbanks Paddlers – Public is welcome.
Arrive early to get a good table and order some food and beverage!
Board meeting precedes the slideshow at 6:00 pm.
Please join us at Food Factory on Thursday, February 19 at 7 pm for an evening of slides and stories from Gail Davidson’s 2010 kayak based exploration of Greenland’s remote east coast. In addition to covering some 240 km of coastline the hardy paddlers left their paddle gear behind and hiked inland through mountains back to where they started.
Arrive early to order some food and beverages. A short Fairbanks Paddlers board meeting will be held before the slideshow. The public is welcome to attend the meeting as well.
If you can’t paddle ’cause the waterways are frozen, you might as well be thinking about paddling so show up!
Hamme pool has been the site of some great boating practice sessions and kayak polo games on Monday nights this winter. Hamme Pool will be closed the next few weeks for scheduled maintenance. There will be no boating nights on February 16, 23, or March 2. The next paddling session at Hamme Pool will be March 9. Monday night sessions will continue through May 18th.
There is a new opportunity to tune up your paddling skills this winter and spring. The University of Alaska Student Recreation Center (SRC) pool will be offering open pool hours for paddlers on Sunday afternoons from Noon until 2 p.m. If you are not an SRC member you will have to pay the $4 drop in fee at the SRC Front desk. If you are an SRC member it is free. The UAF Outdoor Adventure Program usually has about 5 boats, paddles, and skirts at the pool available for public use. If you bring your own boat please spray the boat off on the pool deck using the provided hose before entering the pool. The open pool hours will be every Sunday till the end of the semester.
Winter 2015 paddling practice sessions and kayak polo at Hamme Pool begin Monday, January 5th.
Boating nights are scheduled for EVERY Monday from 7-9pm beginning January 5th and running through May 18th, except for the following holidays/scheduled maintenance:
- Monday Jan 19th for Martin Luther King Jr Day.
- Maintenance closure to February 16-March 8th
Paddling skills and rolling practice run from 7:00 to 8:15pm. Pick-up games of kayak polo run from 8:15 to 9 pm. The deep end of the pool usually remains open for skills practice during polo games at the discretion of pool staff.
Bring a helmet if you want to join the paddling polo game. Face masks or full face helmets are recommended.
Continue reading Hamme Pool Boating Nights for 2015
Annual Meeting Friday November 7 at Unitarian Fellowship Hall
The Annual Meeting is coming up on Friday, November 7, 2014, at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 4448 Pikes Landing Road, across from the Princess Hotel, off Airport Road.
6:30 GEAR SWAP – Bring your old gear to sell, or get good deals on stuff you need. So far we have a kayak paddle, likely a kayak, and a pair of snowshoes (keep you in shape for next year’s paddling season…) Last year we had 2 or 3 kayaks, tents, an Alaska whitewater book, and lots of camping gear. Suggested 10% donation to Fairbanks Paddler’s Club.
7:00 POTLUCK – Bring food and drinks! Enjoy and be merry! Tell about trips you made between high water times during our record rainy summer!
7:30 BUSINESS MEETING – Nominations encouraged for new board members.
7:50 TO 9:00 ENTERTAINMENT – It looks like a movie and slides, stay tuned for details.