2009 OWA Kid's Trip on the Deschutes
September 05, 2009 at 8:14 AM
The Deschutes River | September 5 - 7, 2009
In total, nineteen people shoved off from the boat ramp at Trout Creek on the Deschutes River on the Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend. The kids ranged in ages from six to sixteen and all had a great time. The biggest thing on everyone’s mind after we left was would we get the “good spot” at Whiskey Dick, or because this was Labor Day Weekend would there be so many people there we would have to press on to find someplace large enough for our group. As we were getting close to where we wanted to camp, I heard someone say “It doesn’t look like there’s anyone there!” I heard that and starting rowing harder because after leaving Trout Creek at 11:30 I just couldn’t believe we would be the first group to Whiskey Dick – I wanted to see for myself. Sure enough, when we pulled up, we had the entire place to ourselves.
Based on the look of the clouds that were moving over us, we needed to get some shelter over our heads before the inevitable rain started to fall. Thanks to Mike Evans and Steve Herring, we had two large tarps to put up which gave up about 700 square feet of covered area to stay under when the skies opened up. Through the afternoon, we had intermittent rain mixed with other soaked boaters moving in next to us and filling up the entire camping area. One thing is for sure – we were the envy of everyone at the entire Whiskey Dick camp area that evening. We stayed dry under the tarps playing, cooking and then eating dinner.
The kids all had a great time playing in the area around the campsite. The afternoon was spent running around between the showers playing all sorts of very imaginative games. The games continued into the evening along with a hike around the area in search of two geocaches. We found one out of the two caches we looked for, so that just leaves one to find on the next trip.
There are no rapids of any consequence the first day, so it turns out to be a warm-up for Whitehorse which we encountered early the second day. Several of the boats in our group had never done this section of the Deschutes, so I led the scout group up the scout point while two of the boats successfully negotiated the rapid and provided a great example for the rest of us to follow. After all of us made it through the rapid, it was on to Lower Rainbow Bend for the second night’s camp.
After setting up camp, it was more of the same camp activities – kids playing and adults talking. The playing continued well into the evening when the sudden realization of summer ending came upon us. At one point I told Carson “This is the last night of summer because tomorrow is a school night – you’ve got school on Tuesday.” That seemed like such a strange thing to be saying while sitting in camp next to the river, but what better way for a kid to end their summer vacation that a river trip?
On Monday, the third day, we rowed through Buckskin Mary and Four Chutes then out to the Harpham Flat boat ramp. One family didn’t quite get enough boating so they continued their trip to City Park. All in all, the trip was a huge success.