Cougs beat the summer heat on the Deschutes

During the hot days of August many Cougars from WSU Vancouver were on the hunt to cool down. The hot weather was perfect for OSI’s last trip of the summer, a whitewater rafting adventure on the Deschutes River.

On Aug. 11 Maupin, Ore. welcomed a group of WSU Vancouver Cougs with temperatures near 100 degrees and cloudless skies. The students camped along the Deschutes River under the illuminating show of a meteor shower.

A mix of experienced rafters and first timers faced the refreshing Deschutes the next morning. WSU Vancouver Recreation Director Anthony Derringer and Recreation Intern Jonathan Rader hosted the trip and made sure all participants were safe and comfortable on the water.

For Clark College nursing student Ashley Wright, the OSI trip was her first rafting experience.

“This was an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, try something new and meet students with similar interests,” Wright said.
OSI hosts trips throughout the year for students and their friends at discounted prices. The fee for the Deschutes rafting trip was $30 for students and $40 for non-students.

OSI advertises upcoming trips across campus, but fliers and articles can often be overlooked.

“I never knew that WSU Vancouver offered things for students outside of academics,” Wright said. “I will definitely attend another trip because everyone was friendly and offered a lot of support.”

The group rafted for a total of 16 miles, guided by the rafting team All Star. Periodic stops at designated spots allowed rafters to swim through rapids, jump off rocks and eat lunch.

Students rafting photo by Cambri Shanahan.

For Jen Ulrey, one of the group’s non-student members, swimming through the rapids was the best part of being on the water.

“As much as I felt nervous and intimidated by the water, it was really safe and such a fun experience,” Ulrey said.

This was also Ulrey’s first trip with OSI, and she was pleased with the price.

“I usually go rafting every summer on the Deschutes with a group of friends. For the time that we spent, $40 was such a deal. I took the offer as soon as I was invited,” Ulrey said.

Mechanical  engineering graduate student Jiheng (Bear) Zhao, has joined several OSI trips. He said they allow him to experience new things at an affordable cost and give him the chance to meet new friends.

“This was my first time rafting and it was very exciting. We all had a great time together,” Zhao said.

Students who want to find excitement throughout the year can check out trips and activities planned by the Recreation Office. For more information, contact OSI at 360-546-9163, visit their website or stop by the Recreation Office located in Firstenburg Student Commons.

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