By Joyce Stuart
The 2017 Memorial Day Weekend Solduc paddle, was a complete success. Sunshine and enough water to paddle! From Friday to Monday, there were 51 people paddling various watercraft: tandem canoes, solo canoes, hard shell whitewater kayaks, a double IK, a Packraft, a small R2 raft, and two Fishing cats. The largest group, all paddling the same river reach, was 38 on Saturday, paddling from Klahowya Campground to Hillstrom Road.
The Solduc has five whitewater sections, ranging in difficulty from Class IV to II beginning in the Olympic National Park and then flowing west to the Pacific ocean.
- Salmon Cascades to FR 2918 Bridge "Salmon Cascades run" (IV)
- FR 2918 Bridge to Klahowya campground "Below the Bridge run" (III)
- Klahowya Campground to Hillstrom Rd. "Riverside run" (II+)
- Hillstrom Rd. to the Fish Hatchery "Bear Creek run" (III)
- Fish Hatchery to Maxwell Rd. boat ramp (II)
The Klahowya Campground is in the middle and provided us with an excellent launch or take-out point. Paddlers organized themselves into which reaches they wanted to paddle. A nice float on Lake Crescent, hiking and soaking in the Solduc Hot Springs were also great options. We managed to squeeze all of us into the campsites, doubling up as much as possible.
There were a few swims (names revoked to protect the guilty), surfing at the Fish Hatchery "Mosh Pit", and big smiles.
I am pretty sure that this was probably the most amount of colorful plastic boats to ever float the Solduc at the same time.
Thanks to everyone for a GREAT weekend!