White water Rafting

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Why White water Rafting?

The place where I am at my best is on a river. Almost any river will do. Whitewater rafting is how I choose to explore them. That’s why there is nothing better than running Whitehorse Rapid on the Deschutes River. It’s exhilarating. Being surrounded by turbulent water and the only control you have is a couple of oars.

Floating through a long pool on the Klamath River and watching an Eagle soar can calm your spirit. I have felt so at peace sitting by a campfire on a sanding beach while listening to the river flow around and over the rocks. Watching the sunset over the trees after a long day’s float with a belly full of a meal cooked in a dutch oven is night well-spent. Sleeping out on a river mat so you can see the stars is something everyone should do at least once. This place, the river, is truly where I am at my best.

A good day on the Mckenzie

White water rafting: How it started

I started whitewater rafting twenty years ago. It started with my passion for fly fishing. Often, I would fish the Deschutes, Metolius, and Crooked rivers as often as I could. I would work just enough to pay my bills and spend the rest of my time fishing. Back then, I worked at a pizza shop in Sisters, Oregon. In the Summers, I would camp along the Metolius River, fish at daybreak, be at work at noon, get off with just enough time to fish the evening hatch. On my days off, I would venture out to the Lower Deschutes to fish the Caddis hatch or head to Crooked. I would fish size #16 Renegades all day. It was fun, I rarely saw other people, and it gave me time to recharge.

fly fishing
Fly fishing in my favorite canyon

Times changed

However, those places became filled with more people lining the river banks. My areas of serenity were now much louder. I started seeing garbage on the trails. Old fishing lures were snagged on tree branches. A used-up fishing line was left for someone else to haul away. I had to get away.

This is where my passion for whitewater rafting started. I realized that rapids equaled obstacles that some were unwilling to go down. Not everyone wanted to float through Whitehorse Rapids on the Deschutes or Martens Rapids on the Mckenzie. Rapids created space for me to explore.

For instance, you can hike past rapids, and I have done my fair share of that, but how far can one go? I tried that initially, for example, on the John Day River. I would walk 5-10 miles to get past the crowds at Mcdonald’s ferry. It worked, but I realized that I was missing portions of the river as I walked to my destination. I could slow down, but that took more time, and a three-day trip would have to be pushed to five or six. However, if I floated it, I could see more of the river and get away from people, all within my time.

Any river will do

I have run drift boats, rafts, kayaks, and pontoon boats in my twenty years of whitewater rafting. I’ve been a river guide, fly fishing guide, a guest on guided trips, and been a dad taking my family down a river. I have run gentle class 1 rapids and have held on through class 4 ones. I have run rivers in three different states to find rivers to run in all of them. Each river is a special and unique place. They all have something spectacular to offer. Sure, there is nothing like the Middle Fork of the Salmon, and I will always make treks back there, but I love all the rivers I have been on.

Whitewater rafting Marten Rapids
Mckenzie River: Marten’s Rapid

Why www.whitewaterology.com

This site is dedicated to whitewater rafting and studying the rivers, gear, boats, maps, and best practices needed to enjoy these places. You will find articles on the best times to run the Owyhee River and what you will expect and how to outfit your gear boat for overnight excursions. I will discuss which rivers are great to run IK’s–inflatable kayaks– on. I’ll introduce and recommend river guides for each of the rivers we run that we can confidently endorse. I will provide maps that detail rapids, campsites, and areas of interest that are both digital formats–using various apps–and access to paper ones as well.

I’ll have some items for sale and links to other suppliers for gear that I recommend. Everything you will find here is gear that other seasoned professionals and I use whitewater rafting. I’ll also do my best to steer you away from equipment that will not last or is impractical for the river. I have seen, and spent money on, a lot of lousy gear in my time and want to save you the headache.

I want to show you these unique places. I’ll do my best to invite you to do your best to protect them for future river-runners. Whitewater rafting is a fantastic sport that opens doors into our wilderness. There are over 200 rivers or creeks to explore in Oregon alone. There are so many resources available to you, and I hope to provide a gathering place for many of those resources.


I started whitewater rafting to find peace and solitude again on the river. However, twenty years later, I realized that I could always find that by chasing after new rivers. Today, my goal is to introduce others to what I have seen, how I have learned to navigate the rivers and teach people how to protect them.

This will be a collaborative effort, and you will get some great insight from some excellent river guides, suppliers, and outdoor enthusiasts. I will also be answering your questions about river tactics, places to go, and other topics that come up. You can also email me with any questions you have or need help dialing in your next trip.

So, welcome to the study of whitewater rafting!

All Forward,

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