Jan 18, 2014

Solitude in Spring on the Grande Ronde River

So we got a new boat.

A 13'8" Sotar raft to be exact, and it's beautiful.

Kirk's old frame fits, but a new boat deserves a new frame, right??

The purchase lined up nicely with the rising water levels around the state, and we decided to head to the deep chasm of the Owhyee River. Hot springs, ancient canyon walls and a chance to run a river that only comes up high enough to boat once a year (or maybe not) was a powerful draw. I spent the weeks before our trip checking the water levels hoping they would reach 1,000cfs, the minimum we wanted to raft the section from Rome down.

The week of the trip I was disappointed to see it just wasn't going to happen. Water was just too low, so on to plan B. The Grande Ronde! This river doesn't deserve to be second place, but we had already been down it once before in our packrafts and I like to choose a new adventure when given a choice. Water levels were in the high 6,000cfs and would carry us much more quickly down the river than our previous September trip.

I got back in touch with Grant at Minam Raft Rentals to see if he wanted to join, but his brand new baby boy, Callan, was keeping him close to home. So Kirk and I loaded up our gear along with our friend JJ and his kayak, and drove late into the night from Bend to reach the put-in on a chilly Wednesday evening.

So here we have it: a new raft, the photo essay:

Rigging...hmmm, how does this all fit?

Ok, ready!

The Steelhead were running

We found some beautiful camps

I give the oars a try

On our ride out we got to look upstream at the majestic river.
We love this part of the state. We didn't see any other boats on the water and had the privilege to see 2 bears, some mountain goats, and tons of elk. Just a wonderful weekend, despite a little rain.

No comments :

Post a Comment