Tag Archives: family whitewater rafting trips

June 25, 2014 Grand Ronde River, Oregon.

One Photo, One Story: Rafting Oregon’s Grand Ronde River

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By Michael Lanza

The three kids in my raft, ages 10 to 13, have decided to pit themselves against the two in the other raft in our party in a contest to see who gets wetter in the rapids on the Grand Ronde River. They shout at me, “Hit the waves! Hit the waves!” The bracingly icy water smacks them in the bow, drawing peels of laughter, but a hot sun saves the kids from teeth-chattering hypothermia. Continue reading →

June 23, 2013 Rafting the Grand Ronde River, Oregon.

Stacking the Deck For Adventure: Rafting Oregon’s Wallowa and Grand Ronde Rivers

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By Michael Lanza

The Wallowa River hisses and slithers past us like a fat snake with ill intentions. An urgent line of muscular waves emits a constant, low rumble on this June morning at the launch site in the tiny burg of Minam, Oregon. The outfitter who rented us our rafts informs us that this waterway and the Grand Ronde River, which we will enter nine miles downstream, are running high enough to whisk our two rafts down the course of this 45-mile, normally three-day stretch of whitewater in just 10 hours.

Then he tells us that the first bit of technical whitewater we’ll encounter, Minam Roller Rapids, has flipped several rafts in recent days—and its hole is “guaranteed” to toss us into the frigid, snowmelt-fed water, too, if we fail to make the turn there hugging the right riverbank tightly. That grabs our attention in a hurry. Continue reading →