It’s an annual guided Whitewater Rafting trip with some friends and some family.
We leave Portland early in the morning and drive over Mt. Hood to Maupin, Oregon. The town is Oregon’s whitewater rafting capital, for sure.
Our group has gone with three different rafting companies–but All Star Rafting is our favorite, hands down.
So in my ongoing series of Friday interviews, I’m talking with All Star Rafting’s Silas Lewis. He was our rafting guide years ago–now he own’s the company!
How does weather impact your business?
The biggest way it affects us is that many people don’t even think about rafting until the sun comes out. And they don’t realize that the weather in Maupin is much better than in the valley.
We do have many customers that come out when the weather is less than ideal. They have a date set or a vacation planned, and will come no matter the weather, because this is something they really want to do. And even if the weather is less than ideal, we have gear for them to wear that can keep them warm so that they can still really enjoy the experience. You can’t change the weather, but you can still have a good time.
What’s the deal with the forecast on weather.com?
Maupin has sort of its own micro-climate, so getting an accurate forecast seems to be hard. Weather.com often shows us around 10 degrees colder than we actually are. People will call us and say that the internet shows Maupin as 75 and cloudy when it is actually 85 and sunny. The National Weather Service Forecast is the most accurate, but it does still show Maupin as 2-5 degrees cooler than it really is. Or for an accurate forecast, look at KOIN’s forecast for The Dalles and add 3-5 degrees. (My comment: yeah, that’s a good way to go!!)
What are the impacts of the epic snow pack from our recent La Nina winter & spring?
The Deschutes River is the most consistent flowing river of its size in the country. 80% of its water comes in the form of groundwater so seasonal fluctuations of rain and snow pack make a surprisingly small difference in its flow. Having said that, we obviously have seen higher than average flows this year. The other rivers we run–the Clackamas, White Salmon and Grande Ronde–depend much more on snow pack and they have seen amazingly great flows this summer. The White Salmon in particular, is going to have the best (most fun) river flows this August that I have ever seen.
Maupin is basically a river town- any idea how many jobs rafting and fishing create?
This town would not exist if not for the rafting/fishing industry. Maupin used to be a mill town and lots of folks worked for the railroad, but the mill closed many years ago, and the railroads just don’t employ many people any more. So really the whole economy is tied to the rafting/fishing industry. The obvious ones are all of the stores, the restaurants and lodging, and the shuttle companies.
What do river guides do during the off season?
Lots of our guides are college students. Many work in the winter recreation industry Mt. Bachelor or Mt. Hood. Some of our guides are semi- professional kayakers and raft guides and follow the season to the southern hemisphere, working and playing in Chile or Argentina. Lots of our guides take time to travel and find other seasonal work. Some of our guides have other “real jobs”, such as teaching, photographers, construction, etc.
How can people follow you or connect with All Star Rafting?
Or give us a call at 800-909-7238.
Thanks, Silas–and we’ll see you next year on ‘rafting day!’