My very first river trip was a full month spent in the canyon lands of southeastern Utah.
Back then, “getting away from it all” meant escaping the daily humdrum cadence of commuting, cubicles, calls via land lines and the cacophony of an urban environment.
It also meant leaving behind amenities and luxuries like running water, flush toilets, refrigeration and The Tonight Show.
My first river trip was on a legendary river in a landscape rife with history - John Wesley Powell, Butch Cassidy, Brigham Young and the Seven Cities of Cibola. I’ve rafted rivers on every corner of the planet but, most likely, you will find me these days on the Deschutes River, north of Bend and south of Hood River.
It’s known more for its fly fishing than its wilderness aspects but, when you are down floating amidst the basalt canyons and in the shadows of the Mutton Mountains east of Mt Hood, out of touch with the connected world we now live in, the experience is sublime. This kind of experience may not be long for this world because each and every season the reach of the cell phone towers get a little better.
It’s a double-edged sword.
The ability to contact the outside world is wonderful if it is absolutely necessary. As in the case of an emergency. Or if you want to use an app dependent on cell service that would enhance your outdoor experience, or provide another layer of safety. Say, a constellation app or wilderness first aid reference app.
But it will ruin other aspects and bring distractedness to the sanctum of the river.
I prefer a device-free river trip. My own screen-time habits are atrocious and, I fear, I’d abuse them given the opportunity. Give me three days, seven days, a month away from my devices and I know I will return to civilization recharged. and I know I will be the better for it.
I’ll be eager to see what I missed, but definitely recharged and invigorated!
So, if you want to try some time away from the social media madness and everything else about the modern day world - except for these days there are composting, sweet smelling toilets; hardy, indestructible coolers that keep beverages cold for days and multiple ways to emulate running water - take a look at our overnight options on the Deschutes.