Deschutes River October 2005

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Surviving the Deschutes River

By Rob Bishop

Surviving the Deschutes River

By Rob Bishop

We left the school on the morning of the 22nd of October. After riding on bus to the Warm Springs put in, we met with our river guides. We loaded five rafts in the glorious sunshine and set off for the Whiskey Dick camp site. Whiskey Dick, as our guide told us, lived on the river for twenty years. He lived on nothing but what he could find in the environment. Well, almost. On the first day of rafting, we didn’t encounter any major rapids and focused mainly on team building. After putting the freshman to bed at a respectable time of 5:30 p.m., we commandeered a passing merchant ship with an inattentive captain and sailed down Ricochet River. The next day we floated through White Horse Rapids and Buckskin Mary. White Horse falls in the category of a class 4 rapid and is known as the hardest and longest rapid chain of the Deschutes. It also contains the infamous “Oh S---!” rock, named for the words most rafters use when they first see it. After White Horse, we spent the rest of the day at various spots where we stopped and took little hikes or climbs. It was on one of these short hikes where we found the evidence of a long missing leprechaun, magic bumble bee - fat Oprah. We spent the second night just downstream from a small fishing community named Dant. That night, in honor of Sam’s 17th Birthday, we made him Cheese Cake and gave him our mediocre presents. On the third and final day of our journey we celebrated the 14th birthday of Johnny by letting him skipper us through the other big rapids of the Deschutes. This included Boxcar, Oak Springs, and Falafel. Ah, to be 14 again. Each rapid had its challenges and were all very exciting. The effort was accompanied by disconcerting chants of “Little Debbie”. We took out below Maupin and drove back in time for the seniors to make their dinner plans. Each day we covered about 20 miles, a leisurely pace that gave us time to stop and get a feel for the environment outside of the River.

Ahhh, the trip is over....