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My Solo Whitewater Rafting Retreats

Waves and rapids

Moving Forward by Lynda Best

Maybe it is a substitute for the psychedelic mind-altering drugs of the Sixties.

A couple of years ago, I decided to do a monthly solo retreat in a nine-foot raft on the famed Wild & Scenic section of the Rogue River in Oregon. This 35-mile stretch has lots of class III and some class IV (expert) whitewater, no roads, primitive camping (no toilets), and a few bears. This three-day retreat is like entering into another dimension. Maybe it is a substitute for the psychedelic mind-altering drugs of the Sixties. Getting away from traffic, away from the phone and Wi-Fi, and out of electronic fields provides lots of exquisite time for reflection and meditation. It’s time to spend with the gods of the river, as well as the bear, eagle, osprey, and salmon. Going solo has its risks. One bad oar stroke at the wrong time and you are flipped upside down in the middle of a tumultuous rapid, with no one to call for help. Then the river goddess may suck you down to her cold, wet bosom, where she tumbles, pummels you in a chaos of passion and bubbles. If you’re buoyed by a good lifejacket, she typically spits you back, and you thrash toward shore, sputtering, gasping for air, relieved to have esc …

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