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The Boathouse Blog

Top 10 Bonuses About a River Trip

Going on a multi-day wilderness whitewater rafting excursion may not sound like the relaxing vacation you are dreaming of. Add in the excitement of rapids and one may be second guessing whether it could be a chance to unwind or a test of endurance. However, anyone who has been on a multi-day river trip will tell you that rafting is far from roughing it in the outdoors. At Winding Waters River Expeditions, we bring luxury to the river for you. Here are some surprising ways that a river rafting trip is the rejuvenating vacation you are looking for:

  • Camp is set up for you 

Not only that, but camp is generally ready by the time you hit the beach. Each morning we send a boat ahead so that the crew can get an early start on setting up camp. By the time you arrive, you will be greeted by cold beverages, a comfortable camp chair, and a shady pavilion calling your name.

  • A comfortable night sleep

Sleeping outdoors does not mean that you have to give up comfortable sleeping arrangements. We provide cots and thick foam pads to keep you off the ground and cozy. Plus, our large 4 and 5 person tents provide more than enough room for you, your gear, and your loved ones. We typically plan on having only 2 people per tent and if you are traveling solo you can expect to have a tent all to yourself. However, we suggest sleeping outside the tent, where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the milky way and the sound of trickling water to soothe you to sleep. 

  • Saying goodbye to your watch

Before we set off on the river, one of our biggest suggestions is to leave your watch behind. The linear, mechanical time that governs us at home has no authority on a river rafting trip. Instead, we abide by “river time”, a cyclical, almost ethereal sense of time ruled by sun and the moon, stars and shadows, and the passing of water. On river time nobody can be early or late; there are no shifts, no meetings, and no deadlines. The river asks nothing of you but to be present. Once you are on river time, you won’t regret leaving your watch at home. 

  • The gourmet food 

Our river rafting trips are held in the backcountry, but that doesn’t mean you will be eating canned chili and freeze-dried meals. At Winding Waters we make good food a priority. We start close to home, sourcing our ingredients from local farms and ranches in Wallowa Valley. Our dedicated chef carefully curates our menu, including a wide range of meals inspired by American, Asian, Mediterranean, and Latin American cuisine. Check out a few of our River Recipes. Our meals are then prepared fresh on the river by our guides, the likes of burgers with local corriente beef, creamy dutch oven mac’n’cheese, and freshly baked dutch oven fudge brownies. Have any dietary restrictions? Just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. Come with a big appetite because you will not leave hungry. 

  • Icy cold beverages 

One of the greatest pleasures in life is cracking open a cold beer by the water. That is especially true in a river canyon, where the dry summer heat begs for a cool drink. When the heat ramps up, we come prepared with a whole cooler dedicated to ice so that we can keep the cold beverages flowing. What? A cold beer on day 3, 4, or 5 of a rafting trip? Awesome.

  • Choose Your Own Adventure

We bring a variety of boats on each trip to suit a variety of adventure seekers. Our inflatable kayaks and paddle raft are great for those who want an action-packed ride on the water. Looking for a more relaxing ride? Our larger rafts are the perfect fit. In these “princess” boats, the guide is completely in charge of the oars. Plus, we outfit the rafts with comfortable padded seating. That means you can sit back and relax while we do the work, no paddling required. 

  • Down time between rapids

Sure, the rapids are fun and exciting, but some of the best memories are made in the flat water in between. The rivers we run are not the intense, fast paced, thrill-rides that you may normally associate with whitewater. Instead, we run rivers characterized by “pool & drop rapids”, which means that after every rapid comes a long pool of water where you can recover from the excitement and take in beautiful canyon views. These flat-water stretches are great for swimming, water gun fights, fishing or just laying back and basking in the sun. Whatever your idea of fun, the river provides it all. 

  • The river is accessible

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to go on a trip with Winding Waters. If you can walk up a flight of stairs and sit in a bathtub by yourself, then you can go on a river rafting trip. In the past we have hosted folks from 5 years old to 83 years young. Don’t let your age or fitness level stop you from having an adventure on the water. 

  • Groover views

Our leave no trace policy means that everything comes down the river with you, including your number twos. We make packing out waste easy by using a portable toilet that we fondly call the “groover”. The groover may not be the most luxurious bathroom experience, but we can guarantee that it will come with the most beautiful view. We take care to strategically position the groover at some of the most scenic areas of camp, so that you can enjoy incredible canyon views while on the throne. These open-air bathrooms are so gorgeous that you may start looking forward to your next stop at the loo. Follow this link for more intel about our Groover setup.

  • Ready-made play

A river is one of the greatest playgrounds on earth. The water, sandy beaches, and fresh air make it a recipe for endless fun. Some of our favorite games include makeshift waterslides, volleyball, and bocce ball. Playing on the river is great for all ages, but if you are a parent looking to relax then we have got you covered. Our guides are certified play experts™, so you can leave it up to us to create fun and entertainment for your little ones. 

Whether you are looking for endless adventure and action, or just looking to relax and enjoy the beautiful views that nature has to offer, a whitewater rafting trip is the perfect fit for you. At Winding Waters River Expeditions, we make the wilderness accessible and enjoyable for folks of all ages and abilities. Need any special accommodations? Just ask. We will do our best to supply it for you. For more information about what a river rafting trip could provide for you, check out the variety of trips we offer here: Guided Whitewater Rafting Trips

Have more questions? Reach out to us directly!