July 28, 2003


Kayaking the Deschutes

© Copyright 1992-1993 Philip Vassar

When the river is flowing and the canyon is 100 degrees F. in the shade there is nothing more fun in the water then running Boxcar the wrong way in a Kayak. Boxcar has a nice dip and standing wave if you can catch it. Most of the time however it catches you. There is a thriving business for a couple of digital photographers seated on the rocks above the rapids they snap every raft and kayaker through the chute as long a you know about when you went through you can find your photos on contact sheets posted outside the Maupin Hotel. The Hotel bar runs video of the days spills and chills much to the delight of the overnighters. The lower Descutes between WhiteHorse and Shears Falls is some of the most heavily travelled whitewater in the US, they have resorted to permits and lotteries to control the number of enthusiasts. Guided day trips catered with lunch and libations run about $100 a person, group rates can lower the price as can low water. Half day trips run less with no food. On the calmer spots on the river rafters take turns having water fights using the bailing buckets to fill each others rafts and cool each other off. River temp can run between 45 and 55 degrees F. Most of this is snow melt out of the Eastern Cascade watershed. Beware the Pirate raft armed with a fireboat water cannon. He can fill you up in a hurry.

A train runs down the canyon each night a beautiful sound. Fly fisherman have been known to hop this freight to get upstream past roads end. Much of the Deschutes river is a barb-less catch and release area as far as I know. Take only memories leave only footprints.

Posted by Philip at July 28, 2003 10:35 PM | TrackBack
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