I really like anticipatory chores. Especially when what I'm anticipating is a river trip. On a river trip you can kind of bring anything you want. Last year I was on a trip where someone brought an inflatable couch. So when you're packing, you're choosing what kind of trip you want to have, and what role you want to play. Based on what I usually bring, my role could be described as "pants."
Rafting is 60% about who you go with and 20% about what the river looks like and 20% whether you're up for the challenge and the chores. I would chore hard for the right folks, but for the wrong folks I chore grouchily. For these folks I would do anything, but it worked out that I didn't have to do all that much besides sit, sip, lose at euchre, not swim, and sleep the latest.
We went to go raft the North fork of the John Day river. Like most rivers, the John Day is low. We went anyway. I'm not really a rock person but there were a lot of cool rocks, rock structures, and hillsides presumably made out of rocks. A geologist could have said a lot of things about those rocks beyond what I can say which is: they were cool! We traveled about 45 miles over three days so we saw a lot of change in the land - from tree-covered hillsides to flatter, dryer slopes.
After leaving the river in Monument, Oregon, we went in search of a burger. Because there was no cell service we used an actual paper map to find a town, and that map is how we learned that we were tantalizingly close to the Painted Hills, which I have always wanted to see.
We coasted into Fossil, Oregon around 6pm needing gas. It's a very small town with one gas station that closes at 5 on Sundays. We went hunting for someone who could help us and the very kind women working at the Kountry Kafe completely saved the day. One of them called her grandpa, who drove over with a few gallons of gas, enough to get us to Condon, the next town over. That gas station was closing, too, but they called ahead and told the guy we were coming and asked him to please stay open for us. Sure enough when we rolled up he was standing at the pump holding the nozzle and waving to us.