On Saturday, January 18 -- before the whitewater trip planning party -- I offered to take Dave Orland, our WKC president, down the middle run of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, his first real whitewater run. It was a sunny day and we had about 1100cfs of rather cool water. Dave paddled my Sotar IK, a boat he had tested on the Cedar River a few days ago. He had a good foundation of paddling skills and braces, and the Sotar was very helpful keeping him upright and on course.
Susan Bachelor, Bob Prothero, Dave and I set off downstream and ran rapids one after another. With someone to lead, and other support around him, Dave made the run very nicely with no flips, therefore no swims and lots of wide-eyed grins. In fact, all the paddlers ran clean and nobody had any serious trouble negotiating the many currents, waves and holes.
The after party was at Mike’s house, where 15 folks gathered to tell stories and plan the whitewater paddling schedule for 2014. And it looks like another full schedule of action trips, and a very complete beginner class.
We have 50 trips planned so far this year, from Class II to Class IV on some great rivers: the SF Calawah, Chehalis, Green, Humptulips, Illinois (OR), Matheny Creek, Nisqually, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Teanaway, Thompson (Canada), Tieton, Tilton, Wenatchee, White Salmon and Wynoochee.
I turned 68 years old on Friday, January17, and paddled Class III whitewater the next day. I hope to keep doing that as long as I can, because it has been a life pleasure. Thanks WKC. Thank you Mother Earth and Rivers.
with much Aloha, Mike Grijalva