There is a story, possibly apocryphal, of the distinguished British biologist, J.B.S. Haldane, who found himself in the company of a group of theologians. On being asked what one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of his creation, Haldane is said to have answered, “An inordinate fondness for beetles.”
We had other, closer in, hiking plans for the day, but the rain kept coming and we kept heading east until we finally (but only temporarily) ran beyond the wet at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area. This recreation area’s campground and boating facilities are located east of The Dalles, Oregon near the confluence of the Deschutes and Columbia Rivers. This recreation area offers hiking, biking, and angling on the river as well as equestrian trail and whitewater rafting adventures. Although its hiking trail system is not that extensive, it’s a go-to spot when rain is soaking the Gorge further west.
By 2007, we were done with mountaineering (a good run, but let’s not push it…), starting to do more hiking, and had done a little rafting (if you can call the Grand Canyon little 🙄 ). So, on the way back from some hikes near Lakeview (Crook Peak, Gearhart Wilderness) we thought it would be fun to sign-up for a half-day paddle raft trip on the Deschutes River. There were a bunch of people signed-up as well but, due to some inexplicable sorting behavior, all of them ended-up in one raft and we had one guide and a raft to ourselves. The Deschutes south of Bend packs a lot of fun whitewater into a short distance and we had a great time crashing in and out of the rapids. This only cemented our desire to do more rafting (which we did) and, of course, more hiking (we did that too). We also eventually figured out how to combine rafting and hiking! 🙂