6 June 2008

McKenzie River Pirates

My night in a wet tent was pretty restless as I seemed to wake every half hour in anticipation of the morning when I would have to find a gap in the rain to evacuate my kit and pack up. It seemed to be pouring whenever I woke so around 5am I made a dash for it and bagged everything up as best I could and headed for the main lodge.

Sadly the warm dry lodge didn't open until 9 so I sat outside waiting for someone to leave so I could get in. By half seven Dave had hit the road as he wasn't up for rafting and a few minutes later someone left the lodge so I grabbed a seat and dried off a bit. I spent a while chatting to Gary from last night who it turns out is a teacher back home, then by half eight he set off to do the reverse of our previous day's work.

I hooked up with some fellow rafters, Mark and Shirl from Kansas and Mark's sister Diana and her husband Tom from Indiana and soon enough we were getting kitted up for the river as in the photo. I decided to leave my camera behind on the advice of our rafting guide since I didn't want to lose all my trip photos and we were soon 7 miles upstream climbing into our raft! The 2-3 hours down the river was cold, wet, exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure as I was sat up front with Mark setting the oar pace for the others and getting the full force of the class IV rapids! This was a cool excursion and well worth it despite the shivering, bone chilling cold on the way back to the lodge which was fixed by a change of clothes and some hot food!

Once I was bored of being warm and dry I set off towards Eugene, sixty miles away, in the pouring rain and biting wind. After nearly two hours I decided to stop half way along since I have time to play with and was bored of being drenched again. There was a motel on the map about 28 miles from Eugene so I checked in there and one steak supper later am in my room drying off various bits of tent and clothing. I am planning a huge lie in tomorrow which probably means I will wake at 5 as normal but I only have about 30-40 miles on the cards for Saturday so I can take it easy all day!


david santos said...

Excellent post, my friend, excellent!
Happy weekend

Anonymous said...

I think that you might be finished with your life changing ride. Yes? If not, damn close I know! This is Slade. The guy you met just outside of Mitchell. I am heading East and I coudn't be happier for you. I could only imagine how you feel. Take care on you life journey AMIGO!!!!!