Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘greg hatten’

Grand Canyoneers

Our friend Greg Hatten is back on the river and we will have great footage to share soon. He’s traveling old-school in a hand-built wooden drift boat, camping under the stars with a Pendleton blankets.

In Greg’s words:

Last year we honored the historic 1962 river trip on the Grand Canyon by replicating the boats (the Portola & the Susie Too) and the trip in every possible detail.  We took thousands of pics, and NW Documentaries shot hours of video.  

Guess what? We are doing it again…. we received a special use permit to return to the canyon and replicate the 1964 trip which was one of the most significant in the life of the Grand Canyon.  It was on this trip, led by Martin Litton in the Portola and PT Riley in the Susie Too and accompanied by the leading environmentalists of the day, that writers, photographers, videographers, and poets captured the story of the Grand Canyon was captured, romanced, and publicized globally. This put a STOP to the impending congressional vote on the Southwest Water Plan which would have authorized several dams and turned the Colorado River into a “trickle” –  destroying the Grand Canyon National Park. 

Today, those boats are known as “the boats that saved the Canyon” and that trip – which resulted in the book Time and the River Flowing by Francois Leydet and the short film “Living Water, Living Canyon” by David Brower and the Sierra Club are credited with preserving one of our National treasures. 

They are on the water now. More to come!

The Drift Boat Adventure for Kids

Greg Hatten, our drift boat adventurer, has been embarking on a new adventure, besides running the rivers of America in handcrafted wooden drift boats. He’s taken on grandfathering in a big way, with three little ones under two years old in his family.

Greg decided that for Christmas, he’d build his grandkids a rocking boat just like his own boat, at 33% the size. He worked with his boat-building buddy, Roger Fletcher, to make it happen.

Final1

The results? Beautiful.

Final3

The boats are carefully hand-built in the same way as the full-size drift boats for which Greg is so well-known. That is a lot of measuring, cutting, shaping, joining, sanding, staining and sealing. As Greg told us, “I only know how to build boats one way.”

Final2

Greg also adapted the classic children’s poem, “Winkin, Blinkin & Nod” by Eugene Field to reflect his passion for drift boating (and Pendleton blankets, it seems). He published copies for each of the grandkids, and the books and boat were quite the hits.

So please enjoy these photos of Greg’s grandkids enjoying their new boat. Information on the rocking boat and book can be found at the Rocking Boat website.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Greg Hatten says Hello.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We mention Greg on this blog fairly often. He’s a wooden boat crafter and enthusiast, and he’s also just a great guy with infectious enthusiasm and tremendous knowledge of the rivers and byways of the American West. It was amazing enough that wooden boats ran the the Grand Canyon in 1962; it was just as amazing that Greg and his crew built wooden boats by hand and ran it again fifty years later.

Here’s a recent note from Greg:

It’s been a winter filled with rain, snow, and presentations on the Grand Canyon trip. I’ve been speaking A LOT & having fun doing it. I show my audiences the little video I created to tell the story. I was fortunate to meet Martin Litton and his wife last month down in California. He’s 96 years old & still remembers a lot of the details from his “river running” days. He gave me a number of old videos of his original trips from the early 60s. It was a memorable day.

Greg’s projects have a real connection to history and devotion to authenticity. We like to think Pendleton has some of the same.  Here is the video. Enjoy!

Canvas and Wool on the Rogue by Greg Hatten

Enjoy a guest post from our friend Greg Hatten about his further adventures with canvas and wool as he takes his wooden boat down some of the most beautiful and challenging rivers of the west.

The wild and scenic section of the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon is a national treasure.  It’s a 35 mile stretch of rough and tumble river filled with extreme white water challenges, breathtaking outdoor beauty, abundant wildlife, and in the month of October – it’s filled with laughter from my favorite river rats for a few days of camping, fishing, river running, and poking fun at each other.

It’s always a slightly different group of guys – not everyone can drop out of life and into a canyon for four days and be completely cut off from work and emails, cell phones and text messages.  Though the group represents a mixed bag of professions – doctors, lawyers, realtors, builders, and businessmen,  work is almost never a topic for discussion.  We’ve run hundreds of river miles together and spent hours around a campfire but  I can’t tell you the specifics about what they do for a living or the location of their offices.  On a trip like this, what you do for each other on the river is more important than what you do for others to make a living… it’s just one of the many reasons I love this annual adventure.

Gear is often a subject of discussion and sometimes derision.  If you’ve got the latest camp gadget (that actually works) or the newest line of clothes from Patagonia, you’re gonna have a good campfire.  If you’ve got a leaky tent,  if your scotch is second-rate, or your flies are not producing fish – you’re gonna hear about it.

This year, instead of a nylon tent & down sleeping bag, I slept in a “throw-back” canvas cowboy bedroll with just a Pendleton wool camp blanket to keep me warm.  When rain threatened, I put up a light-weight canvas rain fly by David Ellis strung between two of my 9’ oars.  The weather forecast was for daytime temps in the low 70’s and nights to get as low as 38 degree’s – Friday showed 50% chance of rain…  the campfire forecast was a heat-wave headed my direction if the nights got too cold or the canvas rain fly didn’t hold up.

One of our most seasoned river runners is fond of saying “there is no such thing as bad weather… just bad equipment”.  Fortunately, the weather was good and so was my canvas and wool “equipment”.  Our night-time temps never dropped below 40 degrees and the little bit of rain we got each night was perfectly repelled by the canvas rain fly over my head.  I stayed dry and warm every night!

Canvas and Wool go together like Wood Boats and White Water.  The “throwback” approach to camping was a perfect fit for the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River and is the only way I’ll camp in the future.   Around the campfire, canvas and wool was a “hit” and the only “heat” I caught was about the second-rate scotch I brought for this trip.

If you want to experience the authenticity of canvas and wool camping yourself, we can help.

Canvas and Wool: Greg Hatten’s Grand Adventure, A Letter From Greg

Dear Friends at Pendleton;

Our first day on the Colorado started with a river rat breakfast, a ranger briefing of the do’s and dont’s of the Grand Canyon National Park, and a final equipment check before pushing off from Lee’s Ferry in the late morning sun on a beautiful March day in the canyon.

The oars flexed light and the boat rode high as the afternoon wind picked up.  After less than ten miles of sluggish rowing, we pulled into our targeted campsite. I eased the 1962 replica Portola to shore, tied up to a sand stake, “unwedged” the yellow dry bag from the side hatch of the boat, grabbed three oars and trudged up the steep bank to our first campsite on the 24 day adventure.

I would be crashing in “canvas and wool” each night – a nod to the natural material of the ‘62 trip we were so carefully trying to replicate. A wool camp blanket from Pendleton and a David Ellis bed roll of canvas would be my mattress and comforter for this trip (with an occasional canvas tent for foul weather and photo ops).  The natural fiber of cotton and wool seems more “authentic” and consistent with the spirit and intent of this adventure.

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 101 other followers