The Argo Cascades: Wild Ride
Brian Steglitz, a hydraulic engineer with the city and manager for the project, explains that the state believed the original design would make it harder for fish to swim upstream and wanted to make the drops less steep. In addition, he says, the team realized that at low water, there wouldn't be enough current to carry vessels down the original wide spillways.
When the Cascades opened last spring, however, there was a big surprise: when the first canoeists went down the new waterway, there was a "rash of injuries," according to a livery staffer.
"It was a bit more challenging than we'd thought," Saam admits. A veteran canoe racer agrees--he says the chutes "are no joke," and that if a canoe flips, paddlers may easily get "banged up on the rocks." Though the RFP required that the waterway be usable by novice canoeists, the livery immediately stopped sending them through the Cascades. Renters can make the run in the livery's kayaks, rubber rafts, and inner tubes--but not its canoes.