Ah, Whitehorse Rapids! No trip down the Lower Deschutes, below Trout Creek, increases the “pucker factor” to maximum as this rapid. The first quarter mile, with the correct entrance, is only the beginning of the journey. The next mile is boulder strewn with extremely turbulent and fast water. Many a drift boater has backed off the pucker factor achieving success on the first section, only to be lured into a lapse of attention and serious trouble going through the boulder garden of fast water.
The TMC has been going down this nasty section for a few decades and nothing like the site of the “knuckle waves or butt cheek waves” above, to get the blood and bowels going. These waves pictured above, are the key to the entrance of this rapid.
On this trip we saw some friends of the Caddis Fly Shop community. We saw Ethan Nickel working with a client and we saw the son of one of our TMC members, Matt Baldwin, running baggage and setting up camp for an outfitter on the river. We did not get a picture of Kyle Duke, but we do give him a shout out as he was setting up camp for Ethan.
So, another trip down on the books and more memories to recall. I had the opportunity this trip to row alone. I had time to reflect on the magnificence of this river and canyon. It always holds a special place for me not because of the fishing, but, of what it represents. The canyon represents time, precious time, and the river represents the constant movement or changes we all must endure as we proceed down the journey of one lifetime.