Rafting Oregon’s Lower Owyhee River II 15-Apr-2019

Day 2: Lower Fletcher Camp to Pruitt’s Castle Camp (4,850 cfs)

The rain ceased in the night, so today started out overcast but dry. We need the rain but life outdoors is just easier when you’re not perpetually moist. The day stayed mostly overcast, with occasional spots of almost clearing. Teaser sucker-holes. Happily, it didn’t rain again, and then only briefly, until we’d reached camp at Pruitt’s Castle [RM 24.5]. After breakfast, we floated down to Weeping Wall Springs to take on fresh, clear water (the river water is pretty silty), have lunch, and take a short hike.

Early morning at Lower Fletcher
No rain brings joy to The LovedOne
Shana, Brad, and Jeff at breakfast
Lunch stop at Weeping Wall Camp [RM 17.5]
Weeping Wall Springs
Looking downstream from above Weeping Wall Camp
The LovedOne holds the raft while water jugs are refilled

At these elevated flow levels, the five named rapids between Lower Fletcher and Pruitt’s were just bouncy fun whitewater – but with wave trains big enough to produce a good soaking from time to time. 😉

Kaity pulls us away from Weeping Wall and into the flow
On the river below Weeping Wall
Churning waters between tall cliffs
Heading into a wave train
A calm stretch toward an elusive patch of blue sky
Shana makes steady progress in slack water

We had hoped to camp at Ryegrass (hot springs!) but that site was taken, so we moved on down to a camp below Pruitt’s Castle, an impressive colonnade of spires formed from white lake sediments interspersed with black and brown bands of lava. The rain held off until dinner was almost ready, then sprinkled on us as we ate it under a trap. It was still raining slightly when we turned in for the night. But, would it be clear in the morning?

Approaching camp at Pruitt’s Castle
Camp at Pruitt’s Castle
Kathy, Kaity, and The Loved One wait out the rain
What would the weather be like tomorrow?

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