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Submitted by Judah Franczyk 

We packed up our boats and all our gear then started our Journey to the PNW. When we got to White Salmon we meet up with Tyler Bradt and Dave Fusilli. We arrived late and grabs some food at the local brewery Everybody’s then stayed the night at Tylers place. The next morning we hopped on a lap on the Orletta section which is a fun class IV-V section of whitewater, this section is the first step of the progression. The main section went great until we arrived at BZ Falls, this is the crux of the run. I had paddled the falls once prior a few months before but the levels were quite a bit higher now at about 3.5ft so the hole at the bottom of the falls was much stickier. After some scouting I decided to fire it up. Of course Tyler stomped the line, unfortunately I can’t say the same for myself. I went slightly farther river right than I was planning and scraped on a ledge right on the lip of the falls. It slowed me down causing me to plug it and back ender right into the falls. I got beatdown at the bottom of the waterfall before getting back endered by the water and ended up in a pocket eddie on river left right below the falls. It was chaos the spray was shooting in my face and the swirls made it extremely difficult to paddle out of the eddie. After around 4 attempts I made it out of the eddie safely. I was super stoked that I made it out of the hole and through the falls without swimming.

Later that same day I paddled the middle which is a pretty chill section of class II-III whitewater with a class V drop path the bottom. We had fun on the main section before reaching Husum falls. Husum is fun 12 foot waterfall with a pretty munch hole at the bottom, I got out and scouted the lip of the waterfall to decide my line. Since I was the only person running it we set up safety incase I swam. Once safety was set I ran back to my boat and paddled down to the lip of the waterfall, set up my line, and got a good boof right off where I wanted to go and skipped away from the falls when I landed in the pool below.

A few days later I was at Tylers house when Dave and his brother Rob Fusilli asked if I wanted to paddle the Farmlands section through the Green Truss with them. The Farm lands was the next step in progression after the Orletta then the Green Truss after that. So I said I would paddle the Farmlands then If that went well I would paddle the Truss to. The Farmlands is class IV-V and the Truss is solid class V kayaking so I had to make sure I was ready. The next day we hiked down to the put in at the farm lands and paddled our way down. The farmlands went exceptionally well so I decided to push on through the Truss which was my main goal for the trip. The first few rapids went very well then we came up on the lip of Big Brother. Big Brother Is the crux of the section its a not very clean 30ft waterfall with a cave at the bottom on river right. We got out to scout it so we could find our line. When I’m scouting a rapid the first thing I do is decide if i think its in my skill rang or not, this was. Then I look at all the dangers, in this case the biggest danger was the cave on river left which at this level would be very dangerous to get stuck in, the next danger was that there was a 10ft waterfall called Little Brother right after the main falls. So if you swam on the main falls you would most likely swim over Little Brother. Then the next thing I do is look at all the positives and decide if they outweigh the negatives, this can influence my decision on whether to run the drop. Looking at all the positives can also make you a lot less scared and more calm if you do decide to run it so you can execute your line more easily. This waterfall was also more complicated than most waterfalls, since I didn’t want to run the right line because more water is pushing into the cave at this level I decided to run the left line which is not as clean and much more complicated although you don’t have to worry about the cave. The line was to start river right then skirt along the lip of the falls till you saw a little flake then turn your bow and take a right stroke off the lip of the falls then once you make it through the main falls to get a good boof off the far left side of Little Brother. Once I had my plan I decided to fire it up. We all walked back to the eddie above the falls and put in. I paddled down to the lip of the falls and executed my plan pretty well. After I went off the lip I got pushed into the river left wall below and It took me a second to roll up but overall I’m stoked on how it went. The next big drop after Big Brother is Double Drop. Double Drop consists of two 10ft drops one after another. The line was to get a good boof stroke on the first drop and keep my bow up for the second. That didn’t really happen for me I messed up my boof on the first drop and landed on my side then flipped and went over the second unsidedown then rolled up at the bottom. Luckily I was perfectly fine and we continued with the run. The next stouts are the Zigzags which are two decently difficult rapids. The first Zigzag kinda curves back and fourth hence the name. It starts with a diagonal wave that you need to punch through otherwise it will typewriter you into a wall then the rest of it is quite straight forward with some waves and a few holes you need to avoid. That’s the last crux before the Orletta section which I was quite familiar with. So we paddled the Orletta and took out at Tylers place right above BZ. Overall it was an amazing trip and I’m super stoked I was able to make my goal of paddling the Truss happen safely.