Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Grande Ronde River
After a couple months sitting in the cold, the rain, and the snow spring eventually starts to poke out its head with longer days and more sunshine. The extra vitamin D on our skin inevitably jump starts the cogs in our head towards thinking about floating on the river and exploring the wild places these flowing treasures of the PNW can take us. We begin to dream about sunsets with a cold beverage in our hand after a day of successful paddling and sunrises with a hot cup of coffee as we anticipate the whitewater below us. The warming of the days means we begin our transition into the full on summer with one of favorite seasons of the year, the transition season we know and love, the season of spring.
One of the things we love most about spring is the vibrance of it. Things which have been dormant or hidden all winter start to grow, gain color and shine again. Hillsides that can be brown in July are bright green in April and May. The rivers we love in the summer can run wild in the spring showing an entirely different and formidable personality which is incredible to see. However what we love most about spring is how rivers that run essentially dry in the summer can flow in the spring allowing us a brief window to explore places which are hidden the majority of the time.
So as we get the itch to put away our skis and take off our snow tires we start looking to the desert and rivers we so dearly love but so rarely have the chance to explore. For us at Orange Torpedo Trips this means we start looking to the elusive and majestic Lower Owyhee River, also known as “the Grand Canyon of Oregon.” For us the Owyhee is where we start our season. Trips in this deep canyon are our first dutch oven dinners of the summer, our first nights around the campfire, our first splashes of whitewater. It is the first time we are fortunate enough to turn off our cell phones and escape to somewhere wild after a winter boxed away inside sitting on facebook, scrolling instagram and binging on Netflix. Here is where we start the transition into the rhythms of the summer and we love this short time we have to spend in the desert of SE. Oregon.
After the Owyhee we move to hiking trips on the Rogue River Trail and camping trips on Grande Ronde River. May and June have wildflowers galore on the Rogue River trail bringing a place that is abundant with life in July, seemingly overflowing with it in May and June. The Grande Ronde is a river where we experience spring as we do not in almost any other place. The transition between spring and summer is apparent with wildflowers coming out but still seeing the occasional heard of elk before they move to the higher country to escape the heat.
Grande Ronde River
Finally as mid-June arrives summer fully starts and we move into the true summer trips, trips without shoes, using gallons of sunscreen and half of our time swimming in the river. We love our entire summer of river adventures, sharing incredible places with amazing guests, but there is something we truly cherish with the incredibly short, but incredibly special, spring rafting season. Come and join us this spring and start your transition into full on summer.