By Case (Dirtsailor) Turner - Bend, Oregon - USA

Howdy From Dirtland,

This summer started out a bit different than most. Typically I find myself with 6-8 unfinished boats scattered about my acre of property.  When I do complete a boat, I usually end up selling it, or donating to the Killer Whales rowing club in Depoe Bay. As May rolled around, I was dumb founded to learn that I actually had a boat that did float and could - hang on to your seats - GO USE!


The perapatetic Blue Canoe

(click images to enlarge)

Earlier in the year George Calkins, who just celebrated his 94th birthday, decided he needed to buy one of his famous 22’ Calkins Bartender. One was located in Redding California, and a plan was hatched to get the boat to him. The plan involved Dirt and another Messabouter; we’ll call Greg, delivering it to the shop of Bill Childs in Bellingham.

The famous 22' Calkins Bartender

Bill is the current purveyor, and builder of the Calkins Bartenders  Bill knowing my dilemma of not having a useable boat offered to loan me a double paddle canoe that he designed and built. Twenty two hours hrs and thirteen hundred miles later, Blue Canoe was headed to Dirtland.

Blue Canoe at Lake Billy Chinook

I wanted to do a solo outing for my first trip out. So I took Blue Canoe to Lake Billy Chinook. During the summer this would not be a good choice as the lake is full of huge stinkpots, and PWC, ripping up the water. During the off season though there’s no one around and acres of free water. In fact the only thing I saw was a family of geese!

Lake Billy Chinook is formed by the convergence of the Deschutes, Metolius, and Crooked Rivers at Round Butte Dam.

Dirtsailor has a bad habit of rolling small, tipsy crafts.

Hence there are three arms, covering 4000 acres of water for one to explore. It’s very hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Spring offers some of the best boating as the temperatures are mild, and the big boat traffic is mellow.  Most afternoons the wind blows down the canyons offering excellent small boat sailing conditions. My first adventure in blue canoe was un-eventful. I did decide that Blue Canoe needs some positive floatation. Dirtsailor has a bad habit of rolling small tipsy crafts.

Fair Winds to all

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