My staff and I have introduced hundreds of beginners to the wonders of river running for more than four decades. Every time I write a sentence like that stating obliquely how long I’ve been at this passion of mine I marvel because there was a time when I could not even imagine living for four decades.
Yet every spring for the past 41 years I’ve organized my river gear, stuffed everything into a waterproof bag and trucked to north central Oregon to start another river season anew. For those of you considering attending Orion’s guide training course let me reassure you - whether you’re young or old, agile or not, bold or timid, familiar with the outdoors or more comfortable with the indoors - you will not be alone in that regard.
Orion’s students come from every walk of life.
Some are strangers who heard about us secondhand. Some are friends, family or acquaintances of members of our staff.
Some have been on river trips before. Some have never camped, let alone rafted a free-flowing river.
We offer a comprehensive course to get you started river running, or started guiding, whether it be with us or somewhere else. Some folks take our course as a personal challenge, while a majority plan on commercial guiding. Some choose to join us for training to get an idea of why someone they know and love is so passionate about rivers.
We welcome all of you.
As I mentioned, our Guide Training course is comprehensive. It exceeds the standards the State of Washington has placed on us. But we run the course with the hope that you not only learn the skills and guidelines critical to safely boating white water but that you, too, get caught up in the passion we have for rivers and community.
See you on the river!
I especially hope to see you on the Deschutes River this coming March.