What you think you know about whitewater rafting debunked
On a river trip, you’re guaranteed to hear tales of legendary boatmen, legendary high water years, and maybe even legendary whipped cream challenges. Rivers have a way of inspiring mythology. And while we’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind about the ghosts in Blacktail Canyon or Bigfoot on the Klamath, here are four myths about whitewater rafting we’re happy to declare officially busted.
1) Myth: You have to be an athlete to have fun on the river.
There’s more to a river trip than the whitewater. Sure, there are Grand Canyon hikes to challenge the super fit and Tuolumne rapids to thrill the most ardent adrenaline junkies. But there is also spectacular canyon scenery to see from the raft on the calm, winding Green River through the Gates of Lodore and bald eagles, river otters and black bears to watch for on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River. Not to mention, peaceful mornings to be enjoyed over a cup of coffee (or cocoa!) while watching the beautiful sunrise no matter where you are.
2. Myth: “River food” means hot dogs on sticks and beans out of a can.
Maybe there was a time when camp food meant one of two flavors: raw or burnt. But one of the greatest luxuries of traveling by raft is the freedom to bring a whole kitchen’s worth of implements along with high tech coolers full of ice and fresh produce.
Forget about canned goods and cold cereal. River trip food is fresh and often locally sourced. On the river, it’s no joke to wake up to hot breakfasts like French toast with bacon, pancakes with fresh blueberries or perhaps even Eggs Benedict, carefully poached and drizzled with warm Hollandaise sauce. At dinner, you’ll dine under the stars on river trip classic recipes like grilled tri-tip or lasagna baked in a Dutch oven. And there’s definitely no skimping on dessert. Just don’t blame us if your pants don’t fit at the end of your trip.
3. Myth: All river guides are cast from the same mold.
If the words “river guide” conjure images of hulking, bearded guys with a wise cracking sense of humor, you’re not wrong. We have those guys around here. But don’t be surprised when you find out your guide is an English literature major, professional dancer, geologist or elementary school teacher. Some guides are soft-spoken, some are hilarious, and some are dainty. In fact, the only thing they seem to have in common at all is a boundless enthusiasm for the outdoors.
4. Myth: Formal attire has no place on the river.
By all means, bring your quick drying pants and your sun shirts on a whitewater rafting trip. But don’t, in a fit of rationality, leave your cheetah print pants, tutu, fake mustache or other costume ideas at home. Some call it “flair.” Some call it “dare wear.” Whatever you call it, you might just find that you aren’t adequately prepared for fun without it.