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Rafting offers outdoor adventure

OPR+offers+rafting+trips+throughout+the+spring.+Their+first+trip+of+2019+is+on+Saturday%2C+May+18+and+departs%0Afrom+OPR+at+10+a.m.
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Rafting offers outdoor adventure

OPR offers rafting trips throughout the spring. Their first trip of 2019 is on Saturday, May 18 and departs
from OPR at 10 a.m.

OPR offers rafting trips throughout the spring. Their first trip of 2019 is on Saturday, May 18 and departs from OPR at 10 a.m.

OPR offers rafting trips throughout the spring. Their first trip of 2019 is on Saturday, May 18 and departs from OPR at 10 a.m.

OPR offers rafting trips throughout the spring. Their first trip of 2019 is on Saturday, May 18 and departs from OPR at 10 a.m.

Austin Lane, Staff Reporter

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Rafting is an activity that is available during the spring and summer here in Central Washington. It’s an activity that can cure the need for something to do in the area. Students are not limited to one choice when it comes to rafting.

One option is going through Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals (OPR) for a rafting trip. On Saturday, May 18, there will be a Yakima River rafting trip hosted by OPR. All rafting gear and transportation is included with the cost of the trip that departs from OPR at 10 a.m. There will be a pre-trip meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15. That is also the day the pre-registration that is required for going on the trip is due. The cost of the trip is $33 for CWU students and $40 for non-students. Students may use student charge to pay for the trip.

Outside of the planned trip, OPR also rents out rafts. The raft package costs $36 per day for students and includes a raft, four paddles, one hand pump and six personal floatation devices, also known as life jackets.

The trip leader for the OPR rafting trip on May 18 is Ava Barabasz. One thing Barabasz said she noticed is that students are usually nervous before the trip. After the trip, however, students feel accomplished.

“Even I was really nervous when I first started rafting,” Barabasz said. “Over time that confidence built up. I see a lot more confidence in the participants after doing rafting trips because they were a part of the work.”

Rafting is different from other OPR trips as it relies on teamwork to get through the trip. According to Barabasz, unlike hiking or biking, team building is a big part of rafting trips.

“It’s so fulfilling cause you get to grow and then you see people growing at the same time,” Barabasz said. “You always learn something new every time you go out no matter what the trip is.”

OPR stays open throughout the year, not just during fall through spring quarter. OPR trip leader Kendra Turner said she wishes that students knew more about their opportunities to get out and do activities.

“It is tough in the summer, there’s not that many students around,” Turner said. “Our biggest way to get people to sign up is people sharing their experiences and then we get other people to sign up as well.”

Another option for students wanting to go rafting is the Troutwater Fly Shop in Cle Elum. The shop hosts rafting trips starting around the end of May or early June to around early September.

According to the shop’s website, the two river rafting options they feature are a “River Float” and a “Gourmet Lunch River Float.” The “River Float” option is $95 per person with a minimum of three people per group. You can choose to float either the Yakima River or the Cle Elum River. Trips are available every day at any time. The trip takes about three to four hours and includes a selection of beverages, simple snacks, dry bags for clothing and electronics, sun screen, toilet tissue, first aid kit and a personal floatation device for each person.

The “Gourmet Lunch River Float,” which costs $120 per person with a minimum of three people, offers similar things as the “River Float” but adds more options for food on the river of your choice. The morning trip features an omelet bar breakfast on the river or for trips during lunch or dinner you can have a grilled sockeye salmon with appetizers, dessert and beverages. The shop handles groups big and small and the biggest group they have done a trip with was 72 people. Also, according to their website, “water guns are included for epic water battles between rafts.”

Troutwater Fly Shop rafting guide Gabe Wegener said he believes that the rafting trips offer a good chance to relax and enjoy a day on the water.

“A lot of times people seem really content and really happy,” Wegener said. “We get a lot of people who are nervous about doing it and about being on a boat in a river, but by the end of the day they are very happy with the experience they’ve had and being able to enjoy the river peacefully.”

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