Spring is a great time to be on an a river East of the Cascades. It tends to be a lot drier in the high desert, yet a little colder in the mornings. We chose to paddle here to get away from the rain in the Willamette Valley. This trip was during the first week of April. We paddled a raft for 5 days and saw no other parties on the river. Just beaver, bighorn sheep, jumping bass, and many birds! We watched the thin clouds race along in the sky. Wearing wind layers and sunscreen is the norm. Desert wildflowers bloom and river levels rise and fall. We used a 13 foot Rocky Mountain Raft that was self bailing. With just two of us we paddled the raft R-2 style. One of us on each side in the middle of the small raft. Lots of communication between us to move the raft to where it needed to be. The biggest rapid on this section is Clarno Rapid. After a long scout of the hazards we carefully maneuvered our way through. This trip took us from Clarno to Cottonwood State Park, 69 miles of canyon country.