2010 Women's Trip on the Lower Deschutes River
June 18, 2010 at 8:50 AM
Deschutes River Women's Trip
June 18-20, 2010 • Submitted by Pat Barry
The boat ramp at Buck Hollow was a buzz with activity bright and early on the morning of June 18, 2010. Twelve women were assembling their gear into eight boatsfor the three-day, 42-mile float to Heritage Landing. Most of them had stayed the previous night at Carol Beatty’s house in Maupin and were now primed for a good time. The weather forecast was for overcastskies, possible rain and some wind. The river was flowing at 5600 cfs.
We launched the five rafts and three cat boats before 11:00. Carol Beatty and Linda Young led the way in the Barney boat. Brenda Bunce and Tracey Madsen were in a sassy new Sotar raft (borrowedfrom a friend) that handled like a dream. Gretchen Clark was usinga boat and gear with sentimental value. The rest of us, Paula Minear, Pat Barry, Suzi Richards, Kathi Duckworth, Risa Davis, Ginny Santarufo and Beth Salloway were distributed amongst our usual boats.
We had some good, splashy fun going through Trestle Hole and Wreck Rapids and then settled infor the long, mellow float to Mack’s Canyon, logging 19 river milesfor Day One. It had been much windier than normal. Once in camp the skies looked threatening, so we set up a shelter over the kitchen. The wind wreaked havoc with the shelter so we took it down. My tent was nearly blown into the river before it was rescued by Beth. It rained throughout the night, avery different experience than the usual squall.
The weather looked promising as we launched on Day Two. We had the river almost to ourselves,seeing only a few other groups and fewer than the usual number of fishermen. We snagged the very desirable Fall Canyon camp after a short 13-mile day on the river. We hiked upriver to the old homesteadand water tower. On the way backour mellow hike was interruptedby a shriek from Tracey. A medium sized rattlesnake was scooting off the road, prompting numerous snake stories. Back in camp Risa set up a table to do Tarot card readings. It was prophesied that Carol Beatty’s husband would start waiting on her hand and foot.
Day Three. There was an air of excitement for the last 10 miles which contain the most fun rapids. Everyone negotiated them with ease. At Washout, Colorado and Rattlesnake some ladies went down the middle for the big waves and some went left for the easier ride. Good to remember if you are teaching someone to row or keeping your passenger dry that you cango left on those three biggest ones. Gordon Ridge and Moody are the other rapids of note. Everything is read and run. The wind was fierce as we approached the Columbia, but we managed it fine.
This is an excellent section of the river for a family float and for teaching someone to row. The rapids are fun Class II-III without dire consequences. For someone with a little rowing skill who wants to row solo for the first time, this is an excellent choice. (But followsomeone who knows the river!)
A million thanks go to Carol Beatty for bringing back the annual ladies trip. As usual, this was a great bunch of women doing what we do best – HAVING FUN!