Orange Torpedo Trips' Friend of the Month | March 2014 | Laurie F.

OTT Featured Friend | March 2014

Laurie F.

What trips/rivers have you run with OTT?  
Lower Salmon - 2011; Rogue River - 2012 & 2013; Sun Koshi, Nepal - 2013; and I already signed up for the Klamath 2014 Hotshot trip  
*I bought my own IK--not as good as OTT SOTAR version--for paddling practice, however, there are no rivers in Georgia that can compare!
What was your first trip/river with OTT?  Was this your first river trip? Why did you choose OTT? 
My first trip with OTT was on the Lower Salmon River, Idaho. I did Cataract Canyon with a large group on J-rigs that same summer, and while it was amazing, I wanted more than just going along for the ride. The class V rapids were scary! Cataract Canyon was basically three-days of floating for two hours of terror. I found myself wanting something different!  A friend suggested I try “duckies” and I found OTT’s Living Social special over that same Labor Day and signed up!
What is your favorite trip/river that you have run with OTT?
Foreign: Sun Koshi, Nepal. After the birth of my two children, this is the biggest personal accomplishment of my life. I went on the trip thinking I would never paddle the whole river in an IK, much less be the only woman to do so!
Domestic: The Rogue River in southern Oregon. There's a great variety of rapids, and the lodges are very inviting and relaxing! (However, I love sleeping in OTT IKs under the stars, too!)
What is your favorite thing about the river? 
First, my favorite thing about the Sun Koshi was the scenery from the river. I will never see or be able to describe the particular shade of green to the rice fields and surrounding landscape.
And second, with regard to OTT, my favorite thing is knowing that the guides will be there for you when you fall out. I tell people I have never spent more than 15-seconds “swimming” in the water after I fall out.
Why do you keep coming back to OTT: 
Plain and simple: the guides. They are great people, who truly care about your safety and that you are happy on your trip. I almost quit the Sun Koshi at one point, but their encouragement, teaching techniques and positive attitudes kept me in the IK and paddling successfully!
They are the BEST!
 If you chose to paddle your own IK on one or any of the trips you’ve taken with us, why did you choose to do so? 
To be in control of my own destiny--and I actually like the activity of paddling.
What, for you, is the appeal of piloting one’s own IK? 
For me, the appeal of piloting my own IK is the sense of accomplishment that comes when I get through a tough rapid and don't fall out. It is the best feeling in the world!
 Do you have a favorite OTT memory, and if so, what is it?
My favorite OTT memory is ending my 50th year on the Nepal trip and celebrating my actual birthday on the river.  Trying to get the guys & guides not to talk about sports for one day..that lasted an hour!  And the bottle of champagne we shared that night! Also, the insane ride to the airport after the take out!!!