Oregon and Deschutes River Whitewater Rafting (July 1987)

Visit my sister in Portland, who practices law there. I inspect the coastline just after arrival. The coastline (seen along Highway 101) is more astonishing and beautiful than I had imagined. (see photo below)

My brother-in-law takes us whitewater rafting at the feared, mighty Deschutes River, which we find rather cold despite the temperature of the air scorching us at over 100 degrees. We are treated to a tradition on this river—rafters love wearing comical caps. The rapids are numerous, exciting, and somewhat challenging. In fact, at one, a guy in my raft slams his knee against a boulder and sustains a deep gash that we end up temporarily dressing with duct tape (duct tape fixes everything, right?). At the hospital later, to get stitches, I understand the removal of the tape was a big OUCH. One bit of fun we engage in: at one point on the river, we get out of the raft and float, with our life preservers, on our backs through a rapid. We are instructed not to panic when the rapid forced us underwater briefly—that we simply need to hold our breath. Nevertheless, I admit it: I panicked a bit when I went under. We also visit sea lion caves along the coast. Eugene is a rather attractive city, much like Gainesville (small, university-oriented). Like Boulder, the city has a pedestrian mall (see below), but the mall does not work well, and seemed like a ghost town when I am there.

Lewis and Clark ended their famous explorations of the west in Oregon. It marks the end of the famous Oregon Trail, over which large numbers of covered wagons rode. The rich forests grew rapidly in the moist climate west of the Cascade Mountains and lumber became an early product. Vast dammed rivers provide abundant electrical power and water to irrigate farms east of the Cascades. A beautiful drive in Oregon, which I have enjoyed, is along the Columbia River/Gorge. Towering waterfalls are abundant, as are panoramic vistas. The state is an outdoor paradise, with gorgeous ocean beaches, ski slopes, mountain lakes, and ranches. Statehood came in 1859.

In 1994, 3,086,000 people lived in Oregon.


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