A few weeks ago, we got to go white water rafting on the White Salmon River with Eric’s company. I was pretty nervous about it, as I haven’t white water rafted in about 7 years, and I’m generally a chicken about anything slightly dangerous.
But it was awesome.
First of all, rivers in the Northwest are glorious and clear. That makes me about 1,000 times more comfortable being in or on them, as I can see any and all river threats (fish, mostly, but I know there are sea lions running wild around Oregon).
Second, we had gloriously warm and sunny weather, which reduced the shock of the 40-something degree water when it splashed into our raft. (The wetsuits, helmets, and splash guards didn’t hurt either.)
Third, our guide, Ben, was everything you’ve imagined a Northwestern hippie would be: long, flowing locks and the calm disposition of one familiar with recreational marijuana, combined with arm muscles that rival Michelle Obama’s. He was spectacular in every way, giving us a history lesson about the river and gorge as he effortlessly guided us through the rapids.
I’m sharing a lot of hilarious photos of our raft because they made me laugh out loud, and they are the only proof I have that I rafted down 10-foot Husum Falls. I’m in the front right of these waterfall photos, clearly taking Ben’s order to “get down” to heart.
As you know, there’s no daredevil in this girl, so the fact that I went down a waterfall on a raft means that we had a very confident and persuasive guide. His response when we questioned whether or not we wanted to try it? “Follow your heart.”
According to our guide, the water levels are the lowest they’ve been in 10 years, which means this could be a much different rafting experience in another season or year. But it also meant the water was low enough to reveal some of the springs that feed the river. We pulled over at one point so we could all taste the water straight from the spring. It was as amazing and refreshing as it sounds.
Near the end of the trip, we got to experience “riding the bull,” which involved all of us sitting around the front of the raft while we went through a rapid. As you can see, it was a wet and hilarious experience.
Nearly all of us made the mistake of having our mouths hanging wide open as we entered the water. Whoops.
We rafted down the White Salmon River with Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys, and I can’t recommend them enough. Here’s hoping we go rafting again soon!