Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rafting the Deschutes

Monday we began our adventure to Maupin, Oregon to raft down the Deschutes River. We traveled through rain (that is illegal in August) and lightning (that is almost unheard of in Oregon) on our way there. The rain began to dissipate as we started to set up our tents and the lightning and thunder left soon after that. We actually had a pleasant evening after that.

Caleb likes to cook for others so he made us burgers and we had lots of other fun snacks to complete a great meal. We chatted and got to know each other a bit and then Jason Ostrander, our national youth director, took us through some great stuff. Orientation, disorientation and reorientation to God. We walked through several Psalms (33, 137, 103) and saw how David interacted with God and we took time to interact with God as well. This opened some amazing discussion on how we deal with students and the cultural issues of today and how we point them to Jesus and His word.

Pics will go up when I figure out what happened to that option! grrr

After sitting up late and chatting we headed for bed in the tents. You know how you can tell a great comic? One way is if he/she references something near the end of his/her routine that they talked about earlier in the routine. Well, we were in our sleeping bags and Caleb responded to a question by referencing something we talked about earlier. The combination of lateness, tiredness, sleeping in tents, and perfect timing caused raucous laughter. Man, we couldn’t stop. You know how you laugh when someone else laughs and they laugh when you laugh? I would hear Jason’s low (trying to get my engine started) laughter, which would make me laugh and that made Erica laugh and that made me laugh, which caused Caleb and Jessica to laugh, which caused Jason to laugh incurring and endless cycle. This went on for over 5 minutes and my stomach has paid for the amazing ab workout.

Finally sleep came and then would leave every hour on the hour, it seemed, as some guy driving a diesel truck with a loud engine (no muffler) through the tent (it seemed) all night long. We also heard, what sounded like someone dragging a body or something around us. Who knows what that was?

We got up and Jason and I took a 2-3 mile run and came back to see the others playing Scrabble while Caleb cooked us pancakes and eggs. Jason walked us through some more cool stuff and we headed to the river to raft finally.

We got on the river and took off for a day of fun and adventure. Throughout the ride I was guiding, but gave up the guide spot to everyone else at different points through the trip. At lunch time we talked through some leadership stuff and how our rafting experience to that point taught us some things about leadership and how it translates to youth ministry. That was a pretty cool conversation. Jessica brought us lunch at the dock and had been taking pictures and video all along the way. (I will post the video later when I have time to edit it). I did a flip over the railing into the water and Ronnie did a back flip and Joe jumped, but caught his foot a he went in and lost one of his aqua socks. Ronnie and I jumped in after it and “saved” it.

We headed back into the water and picked Jessica up for the White water hike part of the trip. White water has much warmer water, and you feel the drastic difference when you have your feet in the water and that water mixes in with the Deschutes River. We then hiked up to an area that has some natural water slides and played on those for a bit. When we were done the boys floated all the way back to the bottom and we all got the scrapes and bruises to prove it.

Then it was back in the raft to finish the trip. We drove back “into town” and got some ice cream and looked at pics and headed home. This was an awesome trip! I hope you can make it next summer. If you ever want to take your students or leadership team I would be more than happy to guide a boat for you. We can take up to 11 total on a boat. Having me guide makes the trip pretty cheap.

Pics will go up as soon as I figure out what happened to that option! grrr

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