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Thread: Upper Kenai Rafting Trip, Anyone?

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Upper Kenai Rafting Trip, Anyone?

    Okay, folks, here we go.

    Recently a gentleman was looking to compare different types of inflatable rafts before making a purchase decision. I offered, and we talked about meeting on the Upper Kenai with a couple of my boats this spring. Well, the idea is starting to take on a life of its own, and may have a broader appeal.

    So here's what I'm thinking. Let's get a bunch of us together, on the upper Kenai, in early May and do this. If you have a boat, bring it. If you don't, come anyway. One idea that has been suggested is a Saturday float, starting at Kenai Lake and floating to Jim's Landing by afternoon. We would do a shore lunch BBQ on a gravel bar along the way, maybe talk a bit about raft repair, look at the way folks rig their boats, and stuff like that. Those who wish to continue can go through the canyon with us and camp for the night on the shore of Skilak Lake. The boats can be all daisy-chained together and towed to the upper Skilak boat launch the next morning, weather permitting.

    This would of course not be a commercial venture at all (we can't do that on the Kenai). It's just folks like us getting together on the river so other folks have a chance to see what boats they like.

    So how about it? May is one of our most beautiful months of the year. We are deliberately doing this before fishing season is open, so we can focus on the boats and related stuff.

    So let's chime in! I'll be first. I have two 18' catarafts (a Leopard and a Super Leopard) and a 12.5' NRS Otter. That's seating for two oarsmen besides myself, and at least five passengers.

    Whatcha got?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  2. #2

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    I don't have any "boats" but would love to come to learn...

  3. #3
    Member Berto's Avatar
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    Red face sounds good to me if

    it is not during the last two weekends of May. if it is, then i will be out of town and will not be able to join the "crew".

    i would like to join you because my boat has not yet been wet because i bought it after freeze-up! i have a pro pioneer with oar saddles.

  4. #4
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default May?

    hmmm, I'd be there if we can change the dates???? last two weekends of May is the best weekends for SE blackies for us that hunt.

    If you find better dates count me in, I'll even offer seats on two fully equiped rafts 16' cat and 15' bug (if anyone wanted to learn to oar).

    Well anyways keep me in mind if you decide to try for before or after those dates.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I'd love to go. How about April though so we have time to make up our minds and purchase what we want before the season is rocking and rolling?

    As of now I am debating on the Tributary or the Otter.

    Tributary for ease of repair as I have been told anyways.

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    Thumbs up Good Idea

    Early May has my attention. I'm leaving for a Yampa float on May 17th so a weekend tune-up before that would be great for me. However if it's the 17th or later, I'm busy . I have an 18 ft cat.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up We are in for sure

    It would be a great casual float and shakedown run early in the season. The wife and Ill will be in our 2 person cat with the royal blue tubes and the name June Bug on the back of her chair. We want in for sure.
    Let me know when you have the date set and the bridge to jims sounds great
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default

    Very cool. When is the ice usually off the Kenai?

    I don't have a raft yet, but this trip will be perfect for helping me choose one! It's probably between a 18' Leopard and a 15' Otter for me. I will be buying something before hunting season, of that I'm sure.

    Michael, is it ok if my wife and I go along in one of your boats? If nobody brings an Otter, we'll probably rent one just so we get to try both...

    Man, I can't wait to buy a raft!

  9. #9

    Default Might be in

    I'll follow the thread I could be in barring any work related events.
    16' Rivercat
    12'6 Achilles tub
    Pro P
    10' Bucks Cat

  10. #10

    Default

    With weather like this the upper could be runable in a week or two, but as of last weekend there was only a sliver open and not even that in most spots.

    *Before anyone decides to run it make sure it is open the whole way

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    Default Sounds good to me

    I've got a 16' Aire Cat w/ a 15 horse for the lake. Would probably have a couple open seats.
    Are you going to post the date that everyone can live with here?
    Scott

  12. #12
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Upper Kenai

    sounds good,
    I can bring a few different rafts for those that want to try them out.
    Just need a solid date and We can be there..
    sounds like good fun.
    the shore lunch sounds great. I will bring along a New item we invented for baking outdoors. It will be perfect for this type of event.
    Great idea Mike.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  13. #13
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks like this trip might come together. Like I said I only have a 2 seat raft and the wife and I will be there. Just another type of boat to look at and we are looking forward to a nice day on the water relaxing
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Let's do it!

    Okay, folks-

    Sounds like we have some interest in this. Anybody out there want to help make it happen? We need someone to track the following items (feel free to add your list):

    1. How many boats?

    2. What kind of boats?

    3. How many open seats, and what kind (oarsman, passenger)?

    4. Date / time?

    5. How do we want to handle lunch (I vote for everyone bring their own)?

    6. Any interest in stopping at Jim's to let the day-trippers off and continuing to Skilak for a canyon run and overnighter?

    7. Transportation down and back.

    8. Families or adults only (I vote for families)?

    I am swamped right now, so I don't know how much of this load I can shoulder. It would be best if one of you folks could do it. I will bring three boats. I have room for one more adult and possibly two kids (Toyota extended cab, so I've got the little seat in back). I'm up for grilling some salmon fillets for lunch and have plenty 'o fish to share. I'm up for the overnighter at Skilak and I have an 8-horse outboard on one of the cats. I could tow a few boats behind me... might make for an interesting photo! I may be able to talk Tracey Harmon in to coming along to do a repair seminar if you folks are up to it. Maybe a vote on that? I would also suggest no alcohol consumption on the boats. Not trying to run your life here, I just don't want anyone getting drunk and falling in the river. Which reminds me-- we need life jackets for everyone too! The easiest way is to just have the boat owners supply enough for their boat?

    Finally, what about weather? Do we cancel if it rains, or just go for it?

    So... any volunteers to help organize this?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  15. #15
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Okay, folks-

    Sounds like we have some interest in this. Anybody out there want to help make it happen? We need someone to track the following items (feel free to add your list):

    1. How many boats?

    2. What kind of boats?

    3. How many open seats, and what kind (oarsman, passenger)?

    4. Date / time?

    5. How do we want to handle lunch (I vote for everyone bring their own)?

    6. Any interest in stopping at Jim's to let the day-trippers off and continuing to Skilak for a canyon run and overnighter?

    7. Transportation down and back.

    8. Families or adults only (I vote for families)?

    I am swamped right now, so I don't know how much of this load I can shoulder. It would be best if one of you folks could do it. I will bring three boats. I have room for one more adult and possibly two kids (Toyota extended cab, so I've got the little seat in back). I'm up for grilling some salmon fillets for lunch and have plenty 'o fish to share. I'm up for the overnighter at Skilak and I have an 8-horse outboard on one of the cats. I could tow a few boats behind me... might make for an interesting photo! I may be able to talk Tracey Harmon in to coming along to do a repair seminar if you folks are up to it. Maybe a vote on that? I would also suggest no alcohol consumption on the boats. Not trying to run your life here, I just don't want anyone getting drunk and falling in the river. Which reminds me-- we need life jackets for everyone too! The easiest way is to just have the boat owners supply enough for their boat?

    Finally, what about weather? Do we cancel if it rains, or just go for it?

    So... any volunteers to help organize this?

    -Mike
    1. We will be in our 2 person cat sorry no extra seat

    2. Im open to any and all drifters cats 1 person and up

    4. Mid may sounds good to me

    5. Lunch everyone bring thier own snacks

    6. I will be pulling out at jims as in my 2 person and never done the canyon Id just as soon errrr on the side of caution and bail out

    7. Im sure with all the vehicles we can make a shuttle to jims for sure. Skilak is a bit more of a haul since im sure some of us will be pulling out at jims

    8. Familes of course.

    say rain or shine lets do it. I dont forsee any problems with this to Jims but the logistics to skilak may take quite a bit more work. I know a nice easy float from the bridge down to jims with lots of stops to chat, snack, check out boats and talk river running can eat up a day pretty easy without fishing.

    Just my thoughts
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default One more thing-

    I would also suggest that we have our boats put together in advance, if that is possible. This time of year (before fishing season) the ramp will not be crowded, but we don't want to keep everyone waiting while you set up your cataraft. My suggestion would be to arrive early enough to set your boat up in time for push-off at a specified time.

    I would like to nominate Max and / or Jim King to do a safety briefing before we launch, for the benefit of our folks who may not know this stuff yet.

    I would also like to ask that if anyone here is a member of KCK (you know who you are), could you post this event on their listserver too? It would be great if we could get some of their folks involved in this too. They have lots of experience and could offer us some great insights on the boats and such.

    I will post a poll on the dates.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  17. #17

    Default

    I don't have a boat but I do have a truck and am willing to pull something down if that will help. The overnighter sounds like fun. I have done some whitewater rafting over the years, but am more than likely a bit rusty. Let me know where I can help.
    Last edited by 1911-MW; 02-24-2008 at 15:09. Reason: typo

  18. #18
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    Default May 3rd.

    If we choose on may 3rd,

    I will be bringing two IK's for me and my girlfriend, but will share at will with anyone that would like to try them
    I can also bring an old 11 foot NRS sprite bucket boat, but the floor leaks so it needs periodic bailing, it would be a good example of a boat not to buy used, but it still floats and holds air very well, I will lend it to anyone that wants to row. Would be good for a small family or just a couple, or anyone for that matter, good warm footwear is a must, I wear my chestwaders when it's cold out, or just tiva's and keep my feet up on a warm day.
    I have two dogs that are very friendly, I will find a dogsitter if anyone doesn't want to deal with dogs.
    Bringing own food sounds good.
    Definately down for the overnight trip
    I have a few extra life jackets, type III

    A few suggestions I have for this type of trip is to have a set time of arrival and a commitment date. If we can agree on a date by march 30'th, we may then proceed to work out the details of what time to show up, how many boats, how many lifejackets, and how many seats are open. If this list is complied by march 15th, then we can start filling seats and confirming numbers. Once this is done we can evaluate everyones skill level, and a basic list of what each person needs to bring for personal comfort. Personal dry bags with your dry gear is an excellent idea to have so that we dont have a month long discussion after this trip on who has my red sweater and wool socks, or has anyone seen my camera. (I've been on a lot of multiple group trips in my life, and when everyones stuff ends up in the same dry bag, there is allways some long distance mailing of goods afterwards, and it has escalated to accusations of theft with some people.)

    This sounds like fun, hope I can go..

    Chris

  19. #19

    Default trip

    Chris, your round boat sound like a candidate for streamside repair.

    If im able to come it will likely be a last minute deal. Summers are real busy with work and depending on weather i'll often find myself trying to get ahead on weekends, but if there are other stragglers and im able to come i'll have seats or boats or both.

  20. #20
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default ready for a ride down to the kenai...



    the 3rd sounds like a great date for me too, so anyone willing to take charge of organizing this? I'd offer but not too familar with the Kenai and live in Fairbanks.

    I'd offer more than a few seats too (pic attached of the two rafts I'm willing to bring), 16' cat and 15' bug, I've had as many as 6-8 on both but they'll seat 4 each super comfortably (provided someone willing to oar the bug). I have about 8 life vests and 4 extra paddles as well.
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