Rafting the Grande Ronde River
The Nez Perce knew the Grande Ronde River as Welleweah, or "The River that Flows into the Far Beyond." The Catlin Outdoor Program took a long weekend to explore the remote canyon that this beautiful river has carved in the far northeastern corner of the state. Draining the Blue Mountains and the nearby Wallowas, the Grande Ronde sees few people over the 212 miles that it travels before spilling into the Snake River at Hell's Canyon.
This trip was a true adventure, as none of the participants, not even the leaders had been on the river before. As we headed East toward Minam, the sunshine intensified and landscape changed dramatically from what we were used to. While the views from the bus were beautiful, they couldn't compare to the steep canyons, clear creeks, sandy beaches, and rocky ridge tops that we would explore during our river trip. We saw kingfisher, golden eagles, elk, and tons of deer along the way. A pair of bear hunters were the only other people that we saw over our three days in the canyon.
Aside from the natural wonders, there were many other memories made over the weekend. Puppies and baby goats at the Elgin Boot and Saddle shop, sharing riddles and jokes around the fire ring, the stinging of brambles against bare legs during an epic bushwhack, waiting for a new form of transportation from our take out at the Powwatka Bridge when our bus broke down......and Easter dinner at Denny's!
Please enjoy some photos from this adventure. And, thank you to everyone in Eastern Oregon that helped us to get home on Sunday when things decided not to go as planned. It all worked out in the end. More photos to come.
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