Trip of Giants - Rafting the Willamette River

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July 20th 2010
Published: July 22nd 2010
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With my cough subsiding and temperature returning to normal, Jas now has picked picked up a variant of our flu and has the fever and slight cough. That hasn't stopped us from heading to south Corvallis to raft the Willamette River (remember it is pronounced liked "damn it" "Will-A-mette damn it"). But before the rafting, Matt had classes so the rest of us went into Corvallis for a little shopping. The toy store "Toy Factory" at 442 SW 2nd St is great. Loads of toys, made-up leggo and playland kits, polished stones for $0.25 each, stuffed animals, and all sorts. I looked at the large range of board games, none of which I was familiar with from Australia. In Aus we'd expect to see five versions of Monopoly but none in this store! With Ky, we ended up selecting two games Q-bitz and Ruin. Joseph found a crystal growing kit, and Liam a Robot claw that kept him amused for the next three days, even on the river. Ky also found a stuffed dragon to add to her small growing collection of unusual stuffed creatures. Jas picked up some extra life jackets for the kids from a local outdoors place.

Lunch was at the Great Harvest Bread bakery, near the water fountain by the river. The fountain was another one designed to let kids play under the water and get wet. The breads are absolutely delicious. Joseph opted for a simple 'foccaccia' bun (we would have called it a sour dough roll) for $2.25. It was the length of a football and half as high. Drinks from around $1.35, in-store made sandwiches $6.50 although if we wanted to save dollars there was a great selection of buns and bits and pieces from $1-$2.

After picking up Matt we took inflatable gear to the Willamette River Park, found the gap in the blackberries along the river's edge, and srcambled down to the river. Then a leisurely lie down while the river carries you along at a brisk walking pace. Joseph spent most of the course on a small round inflatable. Towards the end he hopped in the water and just let it carry him along. The river is really wide (to us down-unders) close to 100m and varied in depth, with some areas a meter or two where you could see the bottom through the greeny-brown water. Avery also hopped in for a little paddle and Matt a short swim.

Along the way we spotted a number of Ospreys. I saw a large brown furry thing on the bank which may have been a beaver. Some two and a half hours later we beached just north of Corvallis.

Matt then took the kids home where they feasted on blueberries off their bushes. We'd bought a large bag of cherries that Liam hoed into. Dinner was pumkin soup made using pre-cooked pumkin mash bought in tins, and Matt made perogie, a dumpling style pastry filled with curd, onion and potato.

The adults played Q-bitz and Outburst to round off the evening. Q-bitz is where players match a pattern on a card using their pattern cubes, and Outburst is a subject assimilation game where you try to link words with the subject or vice-versa. Matt's best answer set for Outburst was from "The Lewinsky Affair", even though "b~j~" was not on the list. I guess some things stay in the memory more than others.

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