I spent many of my summers relaxing on the water of the Deschutes River in Maupin Oregon. We would spend almost every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day there. You were able to see kids playing on the banks of the river, rafts floating down the river, and family's spending time with each other on the shores. My most favorite part of the entire summer was when my parents allowed me to go down the river in a canary yellow raft that we called flipper. The flipper was a 6 foot raft. One of the finest ones out there that I have been on, and I have been on a lot of rafts. Our mornings started out just a little after sunrise. I would hear my dad yell to us kids rise and shine. The early bird gets the worm or in our case gets more runs. We would all come climbing out of the tents, half sleep to the smell of bacon and eggs and pancakes. My mom would be sitting by the fire reading a book, while my dad made breakfast. You could hear the dogs barking, birds chirping, and smell the crisp morning air. After breakfast and everyone's first cup of coffee, we would start to load the rafts on the trailers to take them to the launch point. .
Upon arrival at the launch point everyone would help put the rafts in the water and my dad would give his safety talk that he gives before every run on the water. We would start to get into the rafts we normally had anywhere from 3 to 6 rafts full of people per run. Everyone had there designated spots on the raft. My dad was the guide, so he sat in the far back. I was in front of him to the right and my sister Jammi was to my left. My brother Travis was in front of Jammi and my sister Tanya was in front of me. My mom was in front of Tanya and a family friend Sid was in front of Travis. We hardly ever changed places. I loved being on the right, it was so much easier for me to paddle then the left. We would launch the rafts about 10 o'clock in the morning. There was a 20 minute float to the first rapid.