Jul 13, 2016

Low Flow Owyhee River

I'm getting ready to hike/packraft 175 miles of the Owyhee River on the Oregon Desert Trail.

Patagonia just published a great series of photos from ultra runner Jeff Browning's run in this section of the ODT in May, He had much higher flows, and where the "trail" follows the rim of the canyon for many miles, I'll stay in the river and float/walk my way downstream.

Did I mention it's my job to develop the Oregon Desert Trail?? I'm in heaven!

It's a heavy load, but my Six Moon Designs Flex Pack seems up to the task. (Unfortunately this prep pack shot doesn't include 7 days of food. yet Ouch.)

Head on over to my hiking blog for updates later next week (if I get reception out there).


  1. Are you running the river alone?
    That is never a safe thing to do.

  2. Yes she is Solo on this trip, everyone's level of what is safe in respect to risk assessment is different. Personally I have boated from class I to class V solo for years, being solo adds a different aspect to any trip and can be very rewarding to the right people. The blanket statements of "never paddle alone" "never hike alone" "never climb alone" "it's not safe" only serve to imply someone else is responsible for your actions and safety in my opinion. Saying people should not boat solo makes as much sense as saying no one should paddle class V, class IV is so much safer so lets all stick to it. Accessing your skill level knowing the dangers and consequences while accepting that you are responsible for all your own action and have the confidence ans skills to achieve your goal are all factors to any solo venture. Being solo you will scout more, portage more and access every aspect of being safe much more than if you were in a group setting making you a stronger paddler in a group setting also.
    Solo ventures are not for everybody and if you need someone else to justify solo paddling for you, then you are probably not the type to be paddling alone anyway, but for some people it is entirely OK and acceptable to do.

    1. Well said Kirk. I'm glad that the two of you have found each other. I seems a perfect match with great support for each other.
      When boater meet backpacker I'm sure she had the best teacher and will use those skills well
      I will be watching for up dates on her latest hike and as always wish her well.
      She is to be admired for all that she has accomplished, very few can say that they live their passion as she does.

  3. Hey Great write up of your Owyhee River adventure! I have been a whitewater advocate/paddler for a long time now, and just recently found pack rafting in my life:). I have been researching/looking for ways to get out and explore Oregon with my new pack raft, and am happy to have come across this blog! Looks like there is a lot to enjoy in these parts! Happy Paddling!