End of the year rafting/camping trip

Talk about a whirlwind week! After returning from St. Louis there was only a day left in the final exam period so many players were busy taking exams and wrapping up the school year. The period between the end of finals and graduation is nicknamed “Camp Whitman” because the campus is alive with activity but no classes/homework/tests. Just a few days of hanging out with good friends before the summer. I decided to take “Camp Whitman” a step further and took members of both tennis teams on an overnight rafting trip down the Wallowa and Grande Ronde Rivers.
Big thanks to Minam Raft Rentals for providing us the rafts. As usual their service was awesome — we showed up at their shop Thursday afternoon and the rafts were waiting for us to load. Let me say the Grande Ronde river was running hard which created some issues (more on this later). A couple weeks ago the river was running was at 5.5k CFS (cubic feet per second) but during our trip the river was almost 13k! In fact the towns of Elgin and Troy were experiencing some minor flooding.
We had a great float Thursday. Weather was near 70 and the high water flow created some fun rapids. About 6pm it was time to get off the water and set up camp. With the high water flows it takes some planning and hard rowing to beach a raft. I along with two other rafts managed to pull out at one of the best camp spots in the canyon section. However one raft (ET, Steven, and Jake) wasn’t paying attention and overshot the take out. Since there is no going upstream we reloaded and chased the wayward […]

White Water Rafting!

A weekend after winning the NWC conference tournament I thought it might be fun to have a quality “outdoor” day. So on Sunday Coach John and I took members of the men’s and women’s team on a white water adventure down the Grande Ronde River.
Grant Ritchie (Whitman class of 2003) owner of Minam Raft Rentals generously provided rafts for the float. Those interested in a day or weekend of floating should check out Minam raft rentals — they are located right at the confluence of the Minam and Wallowa rivers. Just show up to their shop, jump in the rafts and you off on your adventure. Plus they are only located 90 minutes from Walla Walla.
Since we were limited on time we did the entire 40 mile section of water from the confluence of the Minam/Wallowa Rivers to Troy, OR (Grande Ronde River) in a single day. Most people take two – three days to do this float.
The trip was absolutely incredible. The Grande Ronde is a wild and scenic river and on the trip we saw eagles (Golden and Bald), a young bear, mountain sheep, deer, ducks and geese. Everyone took turns rowing and by the end of the trip all became competent at steering the rafts. Also as if getting wet from the rapids wasn’t enough some of the guys decided it might be fun to go swimming in the frigid waters. Well, truthfully they didn’t really decide to go swimming but were “helped” out of the boats.
Here are some photos from the trip Flick stream of rafting trip
Again big thanks to Grant and Lottie Ritchie of Minam Raft Rentals for making Sunday such a special day!