Saturday, July 28, 2007

Team Manager Needed!

Team Kettle is in need of a team manager.

The responsibilities of the team manager will include but not be limited to:
Eating kettle products,
Attending family dinner night,
Coordinating press releases and photo shoots,
Editing the blog for spelling and grammer errors that Travis "Chedder Beer" makes,
Coordinating and attending team activities and adventures

all applicants must have working knowlege of kettle products
MUST have good editing skills

Application Process
Please send your resume and cover letter with your $40 non-refundable applicaiton processing fee to:
Attn: Team Kettle
327 Garfield St
Ashland Or 97520

Note: to improve your chances as being hired as Team Manager, please also send a few bags of Kettle chips of our preferred flavors.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer Time Bleues

It is typical in all team sports for there to be an "off season". The "off season" is a time of year for recovery, rejuvenation, and free time to spend with family and friends. Professional athletes also use their "off season" to pursue alternative interest and passions. Some professional athletes use the "off season" to get out of the media while others use the time period to get into the media.

For nonprofessional NCAA athletes the "off season" comes during the summer. Summer term can start and end a differently depending on what school an individual attends. Some NCAA athletes attend summer classes to allow for an easier course load during the terms when they have to attend classes as well as compete in their sport, but the array of NCAA athletes (all college students for that matter) that stick around their school for the summer is minimal. The majority go back to their respective places of origin. They either live with a parent or relative and enjoy a relaxing break from classes.

The portion of the student body that are typically seen around campus or the college town during the summer are either non-traditional students or one of the handful of students that work during the school year that does not want to loose his/her job over the summer and have to come back to find a new one. Life during the summer (aka "off season") is not with out it's trials and tribulations. Team kettle is not exempt from the summer time (aka "off season") trials.

Two days ago Dan "Buffalo Bleu" Thurber moved back to Idaho for the rest of the summer. This move by Dan makes this summer like all summers previous, but one aspect of the move does make this summer different then previous. This summer marks the summer when Dan will not be moving back to Ashland Oregon in fall to attend school at Southern Oregon University with his team kettle teammates. This is the summer when Dan relocates to Corvallis Oregon to continue is university studies at Oregon State University.

Instead of Dan being a short drive or a little bit longer scooter ride away, he will be approximately 222.75 miles away roughly a 3 hour and 39 minute drive. This distant is to great for even the best scooterer to make in an afternoon. What does this mean for team kettle? I can tell you. It does not mean that the team is disbanding, nor that the consumption of kettle products will decrease, or that adventures wont abound; however, it does mean that the all-trac and the cliche will be attaining more miles on them the we would like to admit, our phone bills will increase (mainly text messaging will increase), and one other thing that will be a result is that the absence of our teammate will be a difficult adjustment for us to make this summer.

The first noticeable impact of the separation was last night. There was no one for us to call and harass into coming over and hanging out (aka drink beer and eat kettle chips). The summer time bleus will only last for a short while. In a few weeks students will be making their pilgrimage back down to Ashland for another school year, but until they do there will remain a loneliness within the Southern Oregon unit of team kettle.

The "off season" is a time of year that does not exist in the "real world" of business professions (unless you are a teacher). In the "real world" people work at their job year round accruing vacation days and sick days. The "real world" is supposed to start after graduation from college. Therefore, for the vast majority of NCAA athletes (all college students for that matter) are not use to the year round aspect of the "real world." The realization of friends, family members, and teammates moving away to pursue their own passions is first and truly realized during the summers (aka "off seasons). I think the anxiety of separations from friends is one of the biggest and most felt by college student who are about to or have graduated. It is typically the first time in their life where they have to grow up and move on and that can mean never seeing someone ever again. There is no college class that can prepare a person for the emotional impact of that realization.

Only the greatest of bonds can hold under the force of such a separation. It is a good thing that team kettle has kettle chips to hold them together tightly through their separation and to bring them back together frequently for adventurer's and beer and kettle chips.

Team Kettle spreads out a little

With it being mid-summer and all, I'm now long overdue to return to summer work. This is my 5th season as a professional river guide for OARS-Dories in Lewiston, Idaho. I work as a pretty full-service guide on the Salmon and Snake rivers in northern Idaho. Often, Summer work is the most enjoyable time of the year. I work with great people in beautiful places and get to make people relax. Then I get money for going on other people's vacations!

I'm getting a late start this year, but I'm here. I spent all of Thursday, the 26th on the road making the trip up this way in the All-trac (which really needs new spark plugs, as I realized around mile 260). With a bit of a stop in Corvallis, rush-hour traffic in Portland, and some wide open highways at night in eastern Washington, I added 700 miles to the odometer over the course of 14 hours. I rolled into the boathouse in Lewiston at 11 pm when everyone was asleep. I promptly laid down my bedroll and passed out.

My first trip will be a five-day Hell's Canyon trip on the Snake River. We pack today, drive this afternoon to the put-in, and launch on Saturday. I'm excited to get back on the oars for a change. I suppose that's my only option now that my kayak paddle drifted off to the ocean!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Lower Klamath

The Lower Klamath rafting trip had to be revised at the last minute. Fires that were raging throughout the river's gorge would not allow us safe passage down the 17 mile stretch of river. The team settled on running a class II section of the Klamath River and did some playboating instead. The Schoolhouse play wave is one of the best in the State of Jefferson. Team All-Trac, the high school kayaking club, accompanied us to the play wave for some play boating fun.
Travis is rowing the raft while Dan sits in his boat on the raft eating a carrot

Dan finally decides to get in the water

Ben Smalls, captain of Team All-Trac, having fun in Schoolhouse.

Travis and Dan making the approach into School House in a 12 foot raft।

Every Team Kettle trip is an adventure and this trip down the Klamath River was no different. After play boating for a couple of hours, Buffalo Bleu Thurber ditched his kayak and joined his teamates in the raft. Some point between climbing in the boat and the take out his paddle fell out of the raft. The missing paddle was not realized until gear was being loaded up in and on to the All-Trac. Buffalo Bleu Thurber quickly commandeered a paddle and maned his boat in a charge down river to find his lost paddle. His valiant effort was not rewarded. Buffalo Bleu Thurber lost his paddle forever!

When Buffalo Bleu Thurber accepted his loss, he eddied out and climbed out of his boat. The location he chose to reconect with his teamates was not ideal, but he was able to bush-wack his way up the bank of the river through trees, black-berry bushes, and poison oak.

The drive home had a slighlty somber tone, but you can't keep Team Kettle down for long. We have already started to plan our up coming trips and adventures.

We leave you with a few more pictures...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Smith Rocks State Park

Team Kettle is heavily envolved in it's community and taks pride in giving back as much as it can. All of the team members are volunteer leaders of a local high school organization that encourages and develops the life long pursuits of adventure sports and environmental responsibility. The trip to Smith Rocks State Park (the birth place of sport climbing in North America) will be lead by Travis (Chedder Beer) Caldwell and is trip that he will be leading as a volunteer. On this trip he will be taking over fifteen high school students to experience the magical power of this historic location.

We are sure that, like all team trips, this trip will not be lacking in adventure and kettle chips!

To read more about Smith Rocks State Park please see:

Rafting The Lower Klamath River

To read more about the destination for the next Team Kettle trip please go to

Rogue River Bachelor Party

During June Travis and Dan lead a rafting expedition down the epic Rogue River Canyon for Travis's second bacelor party. The canyon is some of the most dangerous and technical white water rafting in the world!

The trip consisted of Travis (groom and guide), Dan (reverend and guide), Brad (brother of groom and bestman), Cullen (groomsmen and the guy who yelled "shit"), and Matt (groomsman and the Alaskan).

The first day the crew navigated the class V waterfall known as Rainie Falls! What ensued?

As you can see, the expeditionaries had their line tampered with by the guy who yelled "shit" (a.k.a Cullen) when he should have been paddling. However, the crew did not spontaneously combust or die like the many drunken red-neck entertuber with out a lifevest has.

The second day the crew navigated the mile long class V cataracts of Mule Creek Canyon, The Coffee Pot/Tea Kettle, and Blossom Bar. The crew hand minimal issues with Mule Creek Canyon and The Coffee Pot/Tea Kettle. However, the expedition had slight issues with negotiating bolder sieves in Blossom Bar and half of the crew rafted and barely escaped the deadly grip of the picket fence hells fury of the dangerous class V+/VI rapid. (note - there are no pictures of this line because the expedition was to scared, tired, hungover and crying for their mothers to snap any photos. Please except Team Kettle's deepest appologies.)

Day Three was pull-out day and the the crew was excited about their survival.

The Plan B

Any team on the go needs a back-up transport for emergencies which may include, but are not limited to, blown seals, overheated radiators, flat tires, nervous breakdowns, psychosematic leg paralysis, and being too drunk to drive home. Here at Team Kettle, we choose the Razor foldable scooter to get us around when gas prices get too high. Scooters are ideal for quick travel so long as your route doesn't involve uphills, speed bumps, uneven roads, ice, snow, rain, fog, rabid dogs, low-water crossings, potential future dates/employers/people you might see again, or an overall distance of greater than 1.63 miles. So scooters may not be the greatest back-up transport, but it only cost 10 bucks, okay? Don't judge us!!!!

The Cliche

To earn a place in the Team Kettle Transports registry, a car (or othe transport) needs some special unique characteristic or ability. The Cliche's special power is the ability to travel the country without being seen, because it looks exactly like the other 3,597 white Subaru Outback station wagons with a Yakima rack system and bike mounts that travel around Ashland. You think you've seen this car almost every day you've spent in Southern Oregon, but trust us, you haven't. You've only seen the decoys. They're all there to keep the All-trac from dissenegrating the Team Kettle Cliche with a missile