River Geology

My Uncle Eddie has been rafting for many, many years. I remember when I was young, doing 15 miles down the Santiam River (san-tee-AM), a tributary of the Willamette River in Western Oregon with him and a bunch of our family. Well, since then, I’ve started joining him on more trips and have been helping him guide trips.

He found himself a little short handed this fall and asked me if I’d like to come out to Bend, Oregon to be a guide on a three day float down the Deschutes. This wasn’t just a regular group of recreational clients, this was a geology class from Western Oregon University. What better way to conclude a 10-day geology field trip in central Oregon than with a trip through a natural slice in the earth where many of the geologic layers are reveled? It’s a rafting classroom. Perfect.

The beauty of this trip is the prof was the man in charge. All Eddie, our cook Dave and I had to worry about was getting boats and gear down the river and food on the plates. The rest of the program was run by the prof. If I had everything in camp set, I would join the class on their little excursions away from the river as they investigated rocks. Good times.

About the author

Adventure Correspondent Cameron L. Martindell is a freelance adventure travel and expedition writer, photographer and filmmaker who founded Offyonder.com in 2000. He has contributed to Elevation Outdoors Magazine, The Gear Junkie, National Geographic, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Outside, Backpacker, Wired, Australian Geographic, Mountainzone.com and others. He has been to all seven continents and lived on five of them, including a four-month stint at the South Pole. Cameron has more than 10 years of mountain search and rescue experience, is an Eagle Scout, has been an Australian bush firefighter, competes in sailing regattas, plans national and international youth programs, guides Oregon rafting trips and Australian bush backpacking trips.

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