What a great summer! 2015 saw the return and re-return of of our RAFTING GUEST; some started with Family Rafting and returned to grab a paddle for High Adventure, some guests came back to enjoy a different water level, a different River Channel, and some just to relive the fun on the Ottawa River! The weather was fantastic, hot, humid, and wet. We want to look back at some highlights from the season:
- A longer summer; 18 weekends vs 16 in past summers – May Long weekend wasn’t even on May 24 ???
- Photos are back! – An exciting new media feature to our rafting trips; high quality photography! This summer we teamed up with Ottawa River Photography which is owned by Jane Johnson and Lisa Utronki; two past staff members of OWL Rafting and Madawaska Kanu Centre. These two have been diligently snapping photos of our smiling guests and promptly uploading them to their website www.ottawariverphotography.com where you can still find all those pictures taken throughout the summer.
Many of those photos are featuring our spring rafting trips run on the Middle channel of the Ottawa River. Excitement on Garvin’s rapids lasted until June 11th at which point the water was low enough to start running the Main channel!
- High-water Coliseum is a favorite rapid of our raft guides here at OWL but early this summer became a fan favorite of some of our lucky June rafters. Coli was roaring at high levels briefly from June 15th to June 24th. A Cold winter with less snow meant a shorter high water season this summer but meant we could start running Black Chute and the infamous Garborator wave.
- Garborator wave was also the competition site for the 2015 International Canoe Federation’s World Freestyle Kayak Championship. We saw whitewater athletes from all over the world join our town of Foresters Falls for a week while they battled it out at Black Chute. The river was busy with a surplus of paddlers here to spectate some outstanding athleticism but our rafting trips leaving OWL still sailed past the spectators stands, announcers, and under the world flags.
- Another display of epic athleticism was taking place this summer in Toronto and around Ontario as the Pan American Games were hosted in our backyard. OWL Rafting and Madawaska Kanu Centre owners Claudia Kerckhoff-Van Wijk and Dirk Van Wijk were honored to be torch bearers for the opening ceremonies of the slalom kayak and canoe event in Minden, carrying the flame down the Gull River in a tandem kayak.
This summer has been a hot and busy one for OWL Rafting. Record breaking heat waves in the Ottawa Valley complemented the most family rafting trips we have had leaving OWL in the last 5 years! Having family groups has been a highlight for us as we get to share our love of the Ottawa River with lots of eager young faces.
Overall the summer of 2015 has been an outstanding season for OWL Rafting. With plenty of new staff eager to learn the ropes it was a successful four months resulting in many happy customers on the river, dinning at our resort, and enjoy all that OWL Rafting has to offer.
Thank you for spending time with us this summer!
the OWL Rafting Crew