The thing that I think we all like about Instagram and its filters is how it gives pictures we just took the feeling of "the good ole days." These pictures have that feeling, and then some, because I took them with a disposable camera. I took them with a disposable camera because I pulled my camera out of its pelican case only to realize I had left the battery in its charger back in Portland. Taking pictures is my outdoor sport. Instead of the 400+ I normally take, I had a maximum of 27. I can't even believe my dumb luck at bringing the disposable in the first place. I found it in a drawer while looking for packing tape and threw it in my pocket on a whim. Thank you, whim! Otherwise I would not have anything to show for this trip, which is one of my favorite weekends of the year.
This raft, newly christened Lucy Lewis (After Meriwether Lewis' mother, as he was a mama's boy), has been in our lives for two summers now. After rafting the Deschutes last year, Pete, Liz, Joel and I decided it needed to be a tradition. It is a tradition made up of mini traditions, like margaritas, talking about how incredible Phoenix toilets are, and my own personal traditions of oversleeping, and freaking out about Boxcar Rapids.
This is Boxcar. If you look closely you can see my friends. I walked it, and snapped this very high qual action shot I'm sure Patagonia is itching to buy. For some reason this rapid scares me the most. I begged to be let out of the boat and instead I ran along the road, passing a van of badass women who were unimpressed with me. It might not look like much, but what I remember from last year was this massive wall of water to our left. I believe the same wall of water that's currently swallowing my friends. They're fine. They passed through it just fine and when they scooped me from the edge of the river, they were grinning and wet.
Rafting can be a difficult club to join. You kind of have to know someone. There's gear and skills that you can't really access otherwise. I know Pete, and Pete and I both know Jon, and Jon's dad took him rafting as a kid, and owns a boat and lives on the Rogue. That's how I'm a rafter. And while membership in this club is enough for me, Pete's got his eye on the "people who actually catch fish" club. He didn't get initiated this weekend, despite several attempts.
Liz and I are from the same rafting class, so to speak, as we took our first run together 4 years ago in a paddle raft on the White Salmon. We loved it immediately and now we are a part of a river gang called Ponies. We have each other's backs, and make cabbage slaw side by side and are pretty good at volleyball for having never really played. On the first night, after a trip to margaritaville took a left turn to sloppytown, we ran around the riverbank with matching cuts from a watermelon-printed serrated knife alternating shrieking and laughing. It was time for dinner, and the boys were gone looking for snakes, and the stove had blown off the table, spilling chickpeas all over.