The Accidental Extremist
There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Trip….

On A River Asking Why [Water, Water, Everywhere]
Monday February 09th 2009, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One hundred forty-five. That’s the number of rivers in Oregon, give or take. It’s not the most in the nation (that’s Alaska), but when you think of Oregon, or at least when Oregonians think of Oregon, it’s rivers that come to mind. Big ones, heaving and boiling with white-water, screaming through volcanic rock ravines. You’ve heard of a lot of them—the legendary Rogue, the wild McKenzie, the even wilder Owyhee—but the one every-one should know, not just by reputation but through firsthand, paddle-churning experience, is the Deschutes.
Some say it’s the most Oregonian of Oregon rivers.

I always thought I knew why. Growing up, I’d been down it a few times, steering a big paddle raft loaded with friends and beer. But then last summer a buddy of mine, Steve Rollins, convinced me to run a short section of the Lower Deschutes in a kayak not much bigger than my bivvy sack. We put in just above Upper Wapinita, a rapid Rollins casually called a “death hole.” 

“Have to watch out for that one,” he said. Then he slipped his boat into the froth. (more…)


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