Are You RED-y For Fall Paddling?

Flip flops and bikinis, shorts and suntans – summer paddling has a personality all its own. Late in the summer, we did an article on the awesome colors we experience while standup paddling. The summer focus was blue.  Now that the clouds across much of the globe are more gray and the temperature more chilly, paddling on our rivers, lakes and bays has morphed from a world of sun and blues to the brilliant reds, oranges, gold and grays of fall. While those in cooler climes tend to have a bad case of “tropical-envy” during the long dark months of winter, there is a treasure of color during our Fall season.

I usually try to capture some of these colors while paddling. Last weekend, local standup paddler Dennis Oliphant took some pictures while hiking along some of our favorite sections of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon. It’s much more common to see Dennis, owner of esteemed Sun Country Tours,  paddling rivers, rapids, surfing oceans, and down-winding lakes.  Dennis has been on and around the water both as a professional and as an athlete his entire life, but on this day he was on the shoreline.

The transition from summer to fall catches us by surprise, often with a cover of clouds banking across the usually cloudless skies of the high desert region. In the next three photos, the blue of summer is toned with the gray of impending fall. With a few frosty nights under our belts, we are now being treated to the flaming reds and golds that reflect on the water and make every paddle almost sensory overload. Dennis captured a series of photos that share the diverse personality of the Dillon Falls section of the Deschutes River south of Bend. Celebrate the energy of this season. Put on your booties (and your safety gear, brrrrrrrrr if you do fall in) and immerse yourself in the brief, but exquisite, gift of fall color. Don’t forget the camera.

Elk Lake in the Fall. Photo by Peter Simons (Bend, OR)
Dennis Oliphant captures the serene mood of glassy water.
Healy rapids near Bend, Oregon
Photo by Dennis Oliphant

Photo by Dennis Oliphant

Photo by Dennis Oliphant