Whitewater And Food? Yes, Please!

I don’t know what’s been in the water that Rick and I have been drinking lately, but we cannot get enough of outdoorsy activities.   Maybe it’s a phase, but we’ve sure been bit by the adventure travel bug.

Two of Rick’s guidebook-users, Paul and Penny, invited us to join their Winding Waters River Expeditions for a special trip down through Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River, which borders Oregon and Idaho.  They teamed up with Plate & Pitchfork to do a celebrity chef-catered 4-day weekend, featuring locally grown/raised/harvested/ foraged foods and some gnarly class III and class IV rapids.  Rick loves white-water rafting (he did it about a decade ago), and I love food.  A lot. We accepted the invitation.

My anticipation for this trip sometimes kept me awake at night.  Did I have the right gear?  Do I have the skills and the strength to do this? Would I hit my head on a rock? Am I going to get sunburnt and get my typical photosensitivity skin rash (Yes, that’s a real thing)?

Gathering up my gear for our weekend on the Snake River in Hell’s Canyon, OR.

I agonized over having the right kind of clothes that would dry quickly and give me ample coverage—cotton-free materials, a sturdy cap, Keen-like water shoes, and a new bathing suit to match my new turquoise-blue Roxy rashguard.  Yeah, I’m that high-maintenance.  REI, Quicksilver, and Patagonia have finally reached BFF status with me…well, just FF if we’re being honest.  Rick had to get an update on his clothing and gear, too, but he is a good and quick decision-maker.  I admire that so much.

This was at the start of the drive.

Early on a Thursday morning, Rick and I loaded up my car with our sleeping bags, enough clothes and appropriate gear for three days and two nights on the river, and enough snacks to get us through the eight to nine hours it would take us to drive to Joseph, Oregon.  I was the Designated Driver.  Rick was the Designated Worker on the Computer.  Driving for that long sure affords you lots of unexpected opportunities to learn new and, let’s say, interesting things about each other. We made it to Joseph in one piece and still a couple.

Enjoying a scenic drive through Washington and Oregon.
Rick makes the most of a nine-hour drive by getting lots and lots of writing done.

That night, we briefly met Paul, who would be one of our river guides, his wife Penny, the owner of Plate & Pitchfork, Erika, and the rest of our fellow rafters. But it wouldn’t be till the next day when we really started on our adventure.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on this series about our rafting and food adventures on the Snake River.

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