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Cold Water and Car Sing-Alongs

Posted by: | August 1, 2017 | 2 Comments |

In the past two weeks, I have gone camping twice, shocked my body with frigid water on multiple occasions, memorized the soundtrack to Moana, and even managed to break my hand (a boring detail compared the rest of the recent adventures). The first camping trip was with all of the other SeaGrant interns at Trout Creek. The creek itself was chilly, but the valley air was like a warm blanket compared to Newport’s constant ocean zephyr (GRE vocab word meaning gentle breeze). The next body of water I encountered was my coldest yet, Tamolitch Blue Pool. It’s up to 40ft. deep, a delicious blue like a melted skylight-flavored snowball, and 38◦F. All of the interns took our turns jumping into the pool (and scrambling out as fast as possible), and two even cliff-jumped into it from a height of some 60ft. Shout out to Neal and Dustin, I’m still insanely impressed at that.

Trout Creek

Tamolitch Blue Pool

The weekend after was camping trip #2: Crater Lake! This water was around 50◦F, and yes we swam in that too. After spending as much time in the water as we could bear, we crawled out and basked on rocks, chatting and reheating our cores to a decent temperature. During this weekend trip, we also hiked through clouds of butterflies, befriended some trippy Oregonians living out of a school bus, and participated in hours of car singing, at least 40% of which was the soundtrack to Moana. I am not ashamed nor sick of it yet.

Crater Lake feat. Allie

The last cold-water encounter was a ride in the relatively swift current of the Rogue River, and also my favorite. It was a spontaneous decision at the end of the long day at Crater Lake, prompted by us driving right past it and being a little toasty in the car with five people crammed inside. I was definitely the most hesitant, traumatized by the cold water at Tamolitch, worried about only being able to swim with one hand (remember the other is broken), and honestly just being scared to make the jump into the current. After watching everyone else float some 40 yards down the river multiple times and begging for someone to hold my hand, I succeeded in floating the river too. It was numbingly cold, but the excitement of riding the current (think strong Lazy River from water parks) and conquering my fear overrode the temperature drop. Getting out of the water also sent a surge of heat to the muscles as they regained feeling, leaving all of us giddy with adrenalin and endorphins.

While we are all here because of our love for the marine world, Oregon’s freshwater systems have certainly demanded their equal respect and awe as well. You go Mother Nature, you are one beautiful being.

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  1. By: Sarah K on August 2, 2017 at 9:21 am      

    I like how you tied it back to the watershed – always important to remember that recreational water use is vital to coastal areas. Glad that you’re able to take advantage!

  2. By: Haley on August 8, 2017 at 3:41 pm      

    Loving the GRE vocal in here! It sounds like you have had a couple water-filled weekends. I promise not all of Oregon’s freshwater is as frigid as the lakes, rivers and creeks that you swam in. What happened to your hand?? I hope it’s doing better!

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