OARS to host community boathouse tour
All proceeds will go to BEACON program

OARS Moab is hosting a boathouse tour this Saturday, March 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at their warehouse on South U.S. Route 191. The event will feature a reel of short films, live music, dinner and beer. Tickets are available in advance at the price of $20, which will be donated to the BEACON (Building Essential Assets through Community Outreach and Networking) After School Program in Moab.

BEACON was started in 2005 in response to the spike in teen suicides in Grand County. The organization focuses on bridging the achievement gap and providing support to struggling students.

“This event is meant to be inclusive of everyone in the community along the same lines as the BEACON program, which is available to any families with kids going to public school,” said OARS Canyonlands Regional Manager Seth Davis. “We also want to let teens know about the career potential that exists in Moab doing warehouse work or rowing baggage boats on trips, that way they can work their way up to being river guides by the time they turn 18.”

March marks the start of the rafting season for OARS — and in order to prepare for several trips in early April the organization’s guides spent most of the month de-winterizing motors and unrolling rafts. With the addition of a Desolation Canyon permit last year, the 2018 season could be busier than ever.

Desolation Canyon trips take about six days to row and the campsites are remote. This trip offers guides in training the opportunity to learn how to rig and row a boat, as well as how to read the water, improving their confidence on the river. There are rapids at just about every turn of the river, ranging from Class I to Class III, making it a safe option for families with young kids.

The event will feature a series of short films touching on topics of conservation, public land use, and river running. The short film Return From Desolation, produced by OARS guide Justin Clifton, is about war veteran Garrett Eaton, who found healing and purpose working as a river guide. Eaton will be present at the event to talk more about the film.

“We’re very proud of this short film about Eaton, who has a unique perspective and lives with his feet in two different worlds [as a] seasonal guide and part-time oil and gas worker,” said OARS Guide Manager Lars Haar.

After the films there will be time allowed for public discussion of the featured topics, as well as live music by local bluegrass band Quicksand Soup.

For more information about OARS Moab visit boathousetour.org, or call 435-259-5865.

ByBy Vlad Dandu

The Times-Independent