Mike Jones

was one of Insight’s first editors. He speaks and writes from Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at mjones@paclink.com.

The Day the River Almost Killed Me

The John Day River drains the Strawberry Mountains of central Oregon and meanders for 284 miles before it empties into the mighty Columbia River. It’s a pretty little river, the second-longest free-flowing river in the United States. My wife, Diane, and I had floated the John Day many times before without incident in our two-person raft. But on this day I had no idea the river had the heart of a dragon.

It was sunny with temperatures in the low 80s when my son Pat and I reached the little town of Spray, prayed, and started out. I was at the oars while Pat fished. The current didn’t seem overly strong as we started down the river, and I had no idea …

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