EDITOR’S DESK: The bond between siblings, between brothers… Is there any relationship stronger in our human experience? It’s hard to imagine so. As we continue January’s #DBFamily issue, we thought we’d examine that relationship through the lens of theultimate two-man adventure sport: R2 or rafting with only two paddlers. And what more intense way can two brothers R2 than on the crucible of the North Fork of the Payette River, once considered unraftable and one ofthe more challenging stretches of whitewater in North America?
I invited DBP Admin Jesse Delamotte of Idaho to tell us abouthis relationship with brother and fellow Admin Dylan, their love of the River, and the true meaning of Brotherhood. These guys truly live the #OneLoveOneRiver Philosophy, and pursue their passion in tandem in a way that would be impossible for mere friends who didn’t grow up side by side. Now the Delamottes are side by side in a raft. I’lllet Jesse take it from here…
“Brotherhood to me is my relationship with all my boaters and friends alike. Brotherhood describes that unexplainable love that we all have. That smile that comes to your face when you see the people that mean the most.
I have been fortunate enough to have a birth brother who shares the same passion for boating that I have. For 23 years we have been brothers, but it wasn’t always a walk in the park. Growing up, Dylan and I had different thoughts and ideas on life. He’s a year older than me so he went off to college while I was a senior in high school. Honestly, I wasn’t aware of how much my brother meant to me until after he left home to adventure on his own. Eighteen years in the same house together makes you grow closer than you realize.
The summer before my freshman year in college, my father took Dylan and I to Colorado to visit our uncle and get a taste of whitewater. From the moment we began that cross country journey, we were both hooked. Life back in Ohio was just a means to get back to the whitewater and lifestyle of the west. Another trip out west to Idaho two years later and our plans were set. We sold all our belongs and took off on a life changing journey.
Once in Idaho, boating took over our lives. Together as brothers we accomplished what many doubted we could, including ourselves. Boating was the bond that made our brotherhood stronger. Paddling class V water takes a lot of skill and determination. For Dylan and I, brotherhood is what allowed us to take on the most challenging water.
When we began R2ing, things weren’t so smooth for us; we argued about lines and we bickered with each other. We chalked this up to our lack of boating skills. Slowly but surely things got smoother. We took a break from paddling with each other but quickly found out that our brotherly bond was much stronger than any paddlers we could find.
Being in Idaho, the Class V goal was the North Fork of the Payette. However that was not our goal when we first started boating. The North Fork (NF) was not even on our radar. Quite the opposite. After seeing the NF from the road, Dylan and I agreed that this river was never going to be our thing. After a year of pushing rubber hard, we started to rethink this whole “never” idea. The NF started to seem obtainable.
Our first run down was R2ing the Lower 5. We followed Dan McCain and Jeff Compton. The warm up stretch was much more involved than we had anticipated. Huge holes and lots of small moderate moves to make. On to Otter Slide. This Class V rapid went pretty smooth.
I was feeling stoked to continue on with Juicer and Crunch. Dylan was a little more reserved about running the next two class Vs.
We decided to continue on. The first move in Juicer is a right side entry with a big curler coming off the right shore. A little too far right and the curler sent us so vertical we began to corkscrew. A twist and a flip and WALLACE! we are swimming the entire length of Juicer. Everyone has those stories about their worst swims and this happens to be both of ours. We ended up on different sides of the raft and both managed to keep a hold until the end. The emotions we both felt that day connected us on a whole different level.
While our first attempt on the NF ended in disaster, our second run went a lot better. No swims just smiles. The biggest hurdle we crossed was getting back on that stretch of river. It was very humbling to take a swim in one of the burliest rivers around. We both took a step back and hit the reset button. We cleared our minds and started paddling as the true brothers we are, paddling with a determination that is hard to describe. Since our swim on the NF we have returned to complete multiple laps.
Our brotherhood got us through the rough times and has made us both stronger beings.
this is our first run-
and our second run-
There is something indescribable about paddling with your brother. That comforting feeling of having someone who you trust with your life, ready to save you if the moment arrives. That brotherly smile that comes onto our faces after dropping a waterfall or running a new river. A sense of accomplishment that means so much, more than most things in this world.
Without brotherhood, my life would be a whole lot different. If it weren’t for my brother I wouldn’t be in the place I am now. Brotherhood is much more than just blood relation. Brotherhood is the bond that keeps me striving for more. Brotherhood is the soul satisfying relationship that we are all searching for. Luckily for me, that brother has been around since the day I was born.”
THE DELAMOTTES are talented boaters and skiers, and also passionate adventure writers. Jesse heads up an impressive blog documenting their epic missionsin Idaho and beyond that is well worth following. Even dad Derek gets involved! Check it out, you won’t be Wallaced!!