Thursday, April 7, 2016
Momentum River Expeditions get you out on the river
Story by Sandy Cathcart
Looking for something fun to do in beautiful Southern Oregon from June through September? How about a river trip that touches the soul as much as it does the body? That simultaneously offers invigoration and peace? Imagine cool passage across some of Oregon’s most beautiful waterways that will restore you with a renewed sense of wonder.
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“I know it’s rare,” says one happy guest, “but Momentum River Expeditions is a company that delivers everything they promise…great guides, great gear, great food, great times. We had an amazing trip.”
The most difficult thing may be in making a choice between the many available offerings. All of Momentum’s guides have a minimum of eight years experience leading river trips locally and across the world. With such qualified guides, guests can float the river or run the trail in safety. All meals are homemade and feature local and organic produce and all camping gear is included.
Have you ever wanted to walk the Rogue River Trail but didn’t want to carry a heavy backpack? The problem is solved with a raft carrying all your gear, and even you; if you become fatigued or want a change of venue you can switch from trail to rapids. You can also customize your trip. Want to stop and fish? Want to mountain bike? You can do it all.
There are many rivers to choose from, most right here in Southern Oregon, so you may have to take two trips, or maybe four. Perhaps it will become a yearly adventure. From a half-day to nine-day trip, children through seniors, large groups or small, Momentum can accommodate an adventure that is sure to produce smiles and life-long memories. They feature trips for first-timers and families with young children all the way to some of the most adventurous trips in the world.
“As river runners and river lovers we are so lucky to live in Southern Oregon,” says owner/operator Pete Wallstrom. “I have been guiding for over 20 years. I love rivers. I grew up in Vermont but started my guiding career in Colorado. As I learned to guide, places like the Rogue and Upper Klamath were always these mythical rivers. There’s a huge range of world-class river trips available here.”
Starting out in 2003, with a van, three guides, two rafts and more rivers than guests, Wallstrom desired to reinvent the way river trips were run. Today Momentum’s adventures range from mild to heart pounding, from “Wow! I can’t believe we just did that!” to jaw-dropping beauty enjoyed by three generations of family and friends.
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Momentum’s long list of guides reads like a who’s who of world-class sports lovers. Jenn Shelton, the trail running host, is a Patagonia athlete and ambassador, and one of the most well known ultra-runners in the world. She set the record for the fastest female 100-mile trail race and was featured in the bestselling book, Born to Run.
Two of the guides are Native Oregonians. Robyn Janssen has been running rivers since the age of eight. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art (painting) and a minor in Geology, which she blames on her years on the river. She is now the Clean Water Campaigner for Rogue River Keeper, and during her spare time you can usually find her in the mountains, either floating or painting the river.
Alan Svitak is also a Native Oregonian as well as one of Momentum’s most-requested guides. Growing up in the Rogue Valley, he developed a love of nature through his many outdoor adventures with his father and grandfather. A wooden oar served as the guestbook when he was married to his wife Debbie on the Klamath River.
Arden Prehn was drawn to Southern Oregon in 1985 to raft the Wild and Scenic Rogue. She is one of the Rogue Valley’s first female guides and is a favorite among younger participants.
Anthony Burgstahler, guide and Rogue fishing manager, is also another favorite among Momentum’s loyal guests and one of the original guides. He, his wife Sasha, daughter Emma Dayle, and their dogs, Milhaus and Phoebe, also enjoy time on the river.
Don’t wait too long to plan your trip. The most popular trips fill up incredibly fast. “Our trips are designed for those who like or want to be introduced to the outdoors,” Wallstrom says. “Our goal is to make these places we love accessible to everyone and protect our wild places by emotionally connecting our guests to rivers we love and call home.”
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Whether you’re a first-time paddler or a seasoned whitewater connoisseur, Momentum will work with you to come up with the perfect trip. You will find several choices on their website from building your own trip to classic, family, high adventure and school/youth river trips. They also offer trail running, adventure kayaking and even a two-day safari-style trip that combines big whitewater with a luxury riverside basecamp only accessible by raft.
Wallstrom summarizes, “For those wanting big summer whitewater, a classic wilderness river trip, and wet summer fun, join us this year on the Rogue or Upper Klamath. There will be tumbling side creeks, moss covered trees, fern covered cool grottos, green canyons and wild vistas, chances to see bear, bald eagles and otter, and a beautiful, vibrant river to float.”
Whether you go with Momentum River Trips or on your own, this year is a great time to unplug and enjoy the soul-strengthening beauty of Southern Oregon.
Momentum River Expeditions
3195 E. Main St., Ashland