Deschutes Rafting Trip April 24-26, 2005

posted in
Send by email

Deschutes Trip Report

See photos below

Our adventurous Deschutes river rafting trip began Sunday April 24 at 8 am when we met at Catlin to head off on a bus to Warm Springs where we put in. The group immediately bonded as we spread out on the bus, and prepared for the two hour drive. Once we arrived in Warm Springs our guide, Seth, was waiting, ready with the rafts, equipment, and a stack of dry bags. Everyone crammed all the worldly possessions they would need for the next three days into a bag. We split (by birth date) into raft groups, were briefed on how not tolose our lives during the treacherous trip, and embarked on our voyage. We paddled downstream in cold overcast weather for a few hours through easy class I and II rapids, where people still managed to fall off the rafts, until we reached “Whisky Dick” where we would spend the night. After a short walk on the train tracks where we accidentally dropped pennies and pesos on the track to be squished by passing trains, we ate a filling dinner of Top Ramen and Tortillas, then settled down to sleep. As expected it started to rain at about two in the morning, but dried out again by morning. Our sumptuous feast of Cocoa and Oatmeal started the day, even after a mishap with cocoa boiling over and dousing a stove. We cleaned the stove, took the tents down, packed our bags, and loaded the boats, then headed off downstream. To start the day we had a class IV rapid named Whitehorse. We stopped to scout the upper part of the rapid, and easily got through without any mishaps. The sun came out about midday and swimming became a popular activity along with go fish and balancing on the tube of the boat while everyone else spins the raft trying to knock you off. Once we arrived at Buckskin Mary where we were to spend the night, a crazy group of adventurous youth decided to swim the rapid. Off they went and as we watched they thoroughly soaked themselves in the large waves, and somehow managed to have a really good time. Late that afternoon we set up a slack line (tight rope walking) and Ian Wayne remembered that it was his birthday so Olivia kindly made him two cherry cheese cakes. Still later in the afternoon we did some group bonding activities which included a trust fall, getting everyone in the group through a spiders web of nylon webbing between two trees, and creating an obstacle course using paddles. After a delicious feast again with a Mexican flair we left the camp to examine a cave and walk through a railroad tunnel to town (Dant) where you could take the small boat ferry across and walk downstream to our camp. The cave was a slight disappointment but upon returning to our side of the river a group left on a short evening walk to the cliffs above camp. The group discussed how we all preferred this to school, then headed back to camp. After cleaning up dinner we had some scrumptious cherry cheese cake and Ian did an admirable job blowing out the candles. Seeing as the weather had vastly improved many decided to sleep out in the open. I personally have not slept that well in months, most likely due to the hourly visits of trains with their super cool lights and screeching wheels, ten hours of sleep, and being exceptionally content with where I was. In the morning we finished off the cherry cheese cake with some more oatmeal and broke camp for the last time. With new raft groups we had to figure out how to maneuver due to some slightly more exciting rapids during the day. First we hit up Box Car after stopping to scout it. Then later we passed through Maupin and headed down towards what I consider the most exciting rapid of the whole trip, Oak Springs, about ¾ of a mile short of the take out. You drop about 7 feet through a 20 foot wide gap, into a big really wet wave, and if you’re really lucky you can get stuck on the rocks directly down stream and spend about 5 minutes trying to get off. We concluded our trip among some very cool rock formations, and then took out at Sandy Beach. The bus arrived shortly and we helped Seth clean and store the rafts, organize the gear, and load his van. We changed clothes, boarded the bus, and sadly headed back to Catlin with wicked sunburns, content minds, and dread of the homework that awaited.

"Dude, have you ever tried to light a match on your braces?"
"We definitely did not bring enough Spam"