North Umpqua River Paddlerafting

June 5, 1983

The first Obsidian paddlerafting trip on the North Umpqua River won resounding applause from most participants. Oregon River Experiences (ORE), owned by Obsidian Bob Doppelt, outfitted our trip providing four rafts, guides Bob, Jim, Trish, and leader John, lunch along the river and a most continuously challenging raft trip. After meeting at Susan Creek State Park, we carpooled to just about the mouth of Steamboat Creek where we put in. We had only a few minutes of practice in coordinating our paddling before we successfully navigated the first major rapid, Steamboat. Our ORE leader, John, described the North Umpqua as a “pool and drop” river, but there were a lot more drops than pools. John Cecil was the first person to “test the water”. Dallas Cole located the river bottom at about neck level while getting out of her raft to scout Bathtub Rapids. Shortly afterwards, Dallas and her guide Jim took an unplanned swim together. Island, the last major rapid, proved a surmountable challenge to the new well-coordinated paddlers. The trip ended too soon for some rafters, but at the right time for other tired paddlers. We had so much fun that we have scheduled another paddleraft trip on the Upper McKenzie on September 25th. Those on the North Umpqua were John Cecil, Barbara and Debra Clapp, Dallas and John Cole, Bob and Leona Devine, Margaret Crosland, Bob Doppelt, Barbara Elsen, Jack and Joella Ewing, Mary Fulton, Betty Legris, Cara McKenzie, Liz McMullin, Parker Riddle, Gene Thaxton, Paula Vehrs, Tom and Ken Woxell and leader Joe Lowry.

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