011- CHILEAN EXCURSIONS, PAYETTE WHITEWATER, RIVERSIDE BEER ON TAP | Debbi Long, co-owner of Cascade Raft and Kayak, talks shop with Johannes and Wrangler Laramie about all things whitewater!
Guest: Debbi Long
Company: Cascade Raft and Kayak URL: www.cascaderaft.com
Show Sponsor: Radify Development
This episode takes a look at a booming guiding operation on the Payette River north of Boise, ID. Debbi Long, husband Tom, and family, run a kayak school and raft guiding company on the Payette in the summer and ship down to Pucón, Chile in the winter for more international whitewater action.
Debbi and Tom bought their spot on the Payette River, just north of Horseshoe Bend, ID in 1994. Affectionately called “The Rio” it’s now a river recreation powerhouse with up to 500 guests coming through in a single day during high season. A tight knit, family run operation, the Long’s Cascade Raft and Kayak is more than a business, it’s a way of life.
Debbie tells the story of how Cascade Raft and Kayak came to be and where it’s headed, about what makes their Whitewater Camp in Pucón, Chile such an experience, and the importance of balancing increased recreational access with environmental stewardship. The Long family gets a lot done, so be ready to keep up with the action!
Debbi Long is a whitewater wonder woman of sorts. The enthusiasm she exudes for the Long Family’s Cascade Raft and Kayak is palpable. It’s clear that the soul of this successful alternative development is in the family dynamic. Each one of Debbi’s sons and their families run a different element of the business, and from the kayak school to catering, to swift water rescue, there’s plenty to manage.
And just wait for her to paint the picture of the Chilean Experience. This scaled down, southern hemisphere version of Cascade Raft and Kayak will likely make you want to jump on a flight bound for South America, thirsting for those Chilean rapids. Sense of place, environmental stewardship, logistical bonanzas, and community engagement. Debbi hits on all the alternative development hot ticket items!
We are lucky that Debbi made some time for us between shuttle runs! Whether you’re a whitewater lover or not, there’s plenty to learn, so listen in!
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