Watersports enthusiasts who want to test drive stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other equipment will get their chance during Paddlefest, planned for Saturday, Aug. 24, at Howard Prairie Reservoir east of Ashland.

Medford's Northwest Outdoor Store will host what its owner hopes will be an annual event at the lake.
Visitors can try stand-up paddleboards and kayaks for free, with trips limited to 20 or 30 minutes depending on demand.

Also planned are paddle races and a paddling poker run. Race registration will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., with the races beginning at 10:30 a.m. The poker run will go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stand Up Ashland will hold sessions on yoga atop the stand-up boards, which are like long, wide surfboards stable enough for individuals to stand on and propel using a long-handled paddle. Sessions will be limited to six people.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary officials will be on hand for water-safety demonstrations.
Some loaner life jackets will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own life jackets, especially for children.

The event will be run out of Howard Prairie Resort, which has a $4 day-use fee.

The event will occur at the same time as the Rogue Valley Yacht Club's final races of the summer.

For more information about the Paddlefest and the various stand-up boards and kayaks, see the store's website at www.thenorthwestoutdoorstore.com or call 541-245-4000.

Rogue Flyfishers Association members who traveled last spring to Chile for a combination of sea kayaking and fly-fishing will present a slide show about their adventures Wednesday, Aug. 21, to members during their regular club meeting.

The association meets at the Red Lion Hotel, 200 N. Riverside Ave. A “Wet Fly” social hour starts at 6 p.m., and dinner and the program follow about 7 p.m.

John and Julie MacDiarmid, along with Bob Hunter and his brother, Dave Hunter, fished several days in March with Eduardo Barrueto, the owner of the Magic Waters Patagonia trout lodge, who made a presentation to the club last year.

They joined six other Rogue Valley residents who kayaked Chile's fjords. They were based on a 56-foot ship that provided food and support.

For more information about the club, see www.rogueflyfishers.org.

A Southern California man following a strict vegan diet set a new record last week for the fastest hike of the entire Pacific Crest Trail.

Josh Garrett covered the 2,655 miles of trail from Mexico to Canada in 59 days, 8 hours and 59 minutes — more than five days faster than the old record set in 2011.

Garrett, a 30-year-old track coach and exercise physiology teacher at Santa Monica College, set out June 10 and averaged nearly 45 miles per day.

As a vegan, he adhered to a plant-based diet without animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. It was his second trip on the PCT, which in Southern Oregon travels along the Cascade Crest and crosses Interstate 5 near Callahan's Restaurant.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.