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Paddle Oregon comes ashore in Newberg


One-hundred-forty people, 100 craft, 107 miles and more than a few blisters, sore backs and sunburns. Add another Paddle Oregon to the record books — the trip is over.

The annual event — five days and four nights of canoes, kayaks and one outrigger craft — ended Aug. 16 at its customary destination, Roger’s Landing in Newberg. It began more than 100 miles upstream on the Willamette River in Harrisburg and is designed, according to officials, as a fundraiser for organizer Willamette Riverkeeper and to educate people on human-powered craft.by: GARY ALLEN - Sunburned, but happy - The annual trip Paddle Oregon sees 140 people make the 107-miles trip down the Willamette River to Roger's Landing in Newberg.

Along the way there were stops at vineyards, hop farms and breweries. Paddlers were fed catered dinners, engaged in water yoga, listened to music and availed themselves of masseuses. They paddled the Willamette River Water Trail, recently designed by the Department of the Interior with the aid of Willamette Riverkeeper.

Organizers say shorter trips may be added to Paddle Oregon next year in order to make it more approachable for people not quite ready to commit to a week of paddling or for those who can’t take that much time off from work.

The event is in its 13th year and two paddlers have participated every year. Paddlers typically travel about 21 miles each day, one official said, although some days are shorter and one day this year the troupe traveled more than 31 miles. The distances depend primarily on where on the river organizers can find accommodations for the paddlers.

Each paddler paid $649 this year for the trip, which includes all food and accommodations. Masseuses, however, are extra.