What’s the Dif?

Chris O'Donnell Rows Whitehorse

This is Chris downstream of OS Rock. He knows where it is. BTW, you face downstream on moving water so you can see where you’re going.

I’m on an adventure rif. Can’t help it. I just need to spell out the difference between rafting and drift boating on the Lower Deschutes River.

That pointy rock just over Chris’s left shoulder is, yes it is, known as “‘Oh, Shit!’ Rock” (We’re still on Whitehorse Rapids, okay?). That rock is hard to see at river level, and almost invisible in high water. You just hafta know where it is.

Here it is: rafters seek whitewater itself — for screams, drenchings, and laughter. It’s fun, fun, fun. The interaction between the raft, the rower, the passengers, and the whitewater is the essence of the trip. But it doesn’t mean you can be careless. The skills required are reading the water and first-class rowing skills. Or you can just choose an easy float and get a tan, along with a few beers. ;)

The drift boat is a vehicle to get from one fishing spot to another, from one camp site to another. The whole point here is to arrive safely at a destination, and not get wet, or dumped in the river. The skill level here is a few notches above what will get you by in rafting.

Canoeing requires much more placid water — lakes are my favorite for this sport. Lakes where the wind isn’t blowing, where lightning isn’t striking, and thunder isn’t slamming my eardrums (did that once on Lake George, in upstate New York, back in 1961).

Kayaking — and I have no experience here — accommodates a greater level of risk because you can maneuver and roll. But I won’t comment more, cuz, like I said, I have no expertise. In fact, my wife, Linda, had more experience with a kayak than I do. (I lose a few more pounds, I’ll try it for myself!)

3 thoughts on “What’s the Dif?

  1. Man, I want to get my kayak out now.. but I can’t! I don’t like you any more!

    Don’t worry, you’ll mellow out when you hit the water. ;) –Hugh

  2. I’ve been rafting once and really enjoyed it! Gonna have to take Amber out so she can try it. . . .

    Go for it before the weather gets colder! :) –Hugh

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