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Showing posts from May, 2012

History of Orion River Rafting - Part 6

Leavenworth, Washington

Talking to our profs about our hare-brained idea to launch our own river company was anything but a walk in the park. They held the power to dash our concept into tiny, irretrievable pieces. So, we approached our meeting with a great deal of trepidation.

To our complete surprise, they did not resist. Cris Miller was non-committal. Jim Moore said that we had to be nuts to attempt something as risky as starting a business and, since we were clearly addled, we should 'go for it'.

And Ron Riggins --- the one who could easily pull the plug with a mere look of disdain --- practically embraced the idea as his own. A week or so later, he was co-signing a loan for $3,500 using his new Bellingham abode as collateral. The loan was needed for equipment such as boats, pumps, paddles and other necessary river-related stuff. We'd already blown through our modest 'war chest' on advertising, insurance and day-to-day expenses.

The minor bank loan procured two new…

Cocky River Rafting Guides Need Not Apply

River rafting is - for lack of a better term - fun.

White water rafting is an exciting means of getting out into the great outdoors.  And it brings the great outdoors to a wide variety of people.
Reynolds' character in Deliverance was both empathetic AND cocky. If you have read any of my previous posts related to this one, you know where I am going here.  The river rafting public comes in all shapes and sizes, many different ages and physical abilities.  But what they all have in common is they are  A) counting on our professional expertise, and B) have absolutely no idea how important it is that we exercise prudence when we are guiding them through white water.

It doesn't matter how many times a guest has gone rafting.  Unless they spend their spare time out from behind their desks floating white water in a life jacket or getting intimate with white water in a hard shell or inflatable kayak, when we meet them at the river side for their day of rafting, they are '…

Today's New River Rafting Guides

Leavenworth, Washington
Orion River Rafting just completed 2012's annual river guide training.  Twenty intrepid individuals signed on to take this year's course.  We had nurses, EMTs, firefighters, IT types, parks and recreation administrators, small business owners, and college and high school students.  The usual gamut of personalities, occupations and attitudes.

Some were fast learners blessed with a natural proclivity to wield a guide paddle and a laser sharp attentiveness to details.  Some needed more time to absorb the lessons.  For them, repetition was the key to learning.  But the longer I do this (this was my 34th season of training new guides), the more I realize how much better prepared these new river rafting guides are as compared to the founding days of river rafting in Washington state.

River rafting guides in the twenty-first century are benefiting from several decades of accumulative experience and passed on knowledge.  Guides of today know more ab…

Questions? Call Your Local River Rafting Outfitter

Leavenworth, Washington
Convenience is over-rated.  For instance, do people really need the convenience of drive-through liquor stores, and what subliminal message does that send?

I understand the attraction of doing everything online.  I know I don't always want to have a long, drawn-out conversation with a stranger.  For instance, when I am shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, I want to be left to my own devices until I determine I have a question to ask.  In my opinion, most salespeople tend to 'badger' their customers.  I'd rather wander around aimlessly until I am ready to be assisted (which may not ever happen).

But some purchases, like a river rafting journey, more often than not, require further information.  Users of our service need details and particulars.  They need to know what the river classifications mean or indicate.  They need to know what they are getting for the price they are paying.  They need to know if granny can participate.
Grann…

Outlook for Washington River Rafting Season

Leavenworth, Washington
What should we expect for Washington rivers and river rafting?

Sunny on the east side of the Cascades, soggy on the west.  That is what is always expected out of rivers located within an easy drive of Seattle.
Wenatchee River - Drunkard's Drop Sunshine on the eastern slopes, and moist marine air backed up from the passes to the sound on the west side.  Spring is in full bloom on both sides of the mountain divide and our healthy snow pack continues to settle amidst the vales and forests deep in the heart of the North Cascades.
In other words, the spring melt off is still to come.

Temperatures will be rising over the next few days, touching the 80s in Leavenworth and, it is possible, the white water game will be on.  Last season, turbulent and cold spring conditions persisted right into and throughout June, and the snow melt never built to a crescendo.  River water levels - on both sides of the mountains - were sustained well into August.

There is …