Wenatchee River - July 8-10, 2011

Always an adventure!

Is it Montana? Alberta? No! This is Mount Index in little ol' Washington. About 30 miles east of Everett on Hwy 2.

The weather looked wet approaching Stevens Pass. But 20 miles later it was sunny and warm. Thank you Cascade Mountain range!

Behind our camp was Nason Creek. In the evening we were entertained by a little flock of American Dippers.
They have restless knee syndrome and like to bounce up and down a lot.

Because Nason Creek dumps into the Wenatchee River right below Lake Wenatchee (where we usually launch) we decided to scout it out
and see if it's floatable. This fish counting device would be the first obstacle we would have to steer around.

After passing the fish counter on the right, we would have to paddle left to avoid getting swept into the embankment.
See the calm area around the inside of the corner? Thats' where we want to be!

From the bridge just downstream from Lake Wenatchee. The lake is up to the right. Nason Creek enters at the left.
It occurs to me, I think it's been 20 years since I've seen anybody paint a bridge in Washington.

Saturday morning, hauling our rafts to the creek.

God Bless my courageous friends, the Dunn family! Thanks Crystine, George and Therese, you made my weekend!

And we're off!

Usually this creek is way too rocky, but we had more than enough water to float on.

Soon we were out of the creek and onto the river.

The river is very tame in the beginning.

We usually don't see this many people.

We were really suprised to see our usual lunch spot swarmed. Must have been that hot weather forecast.

Our first little bit of choppy water. The strategy here is keep it down the middle.

When the water is standing up making a whoopdy-doo, it's fun to go for a ride over it.

The water moves quickly around this corner. It's crucial to avoid the debris on shore.

Sun, wind, water, earth - all the elements for a good time.

Places where the water drops, like that rapid on the left, are to be avoided. Too easy to get stuck.

This guy made it down the river fine. But I think that raft is too small for the conditions... Dude, life jacket?

Pretty geology around here.

Like a flyswatter in the middle of the river, here's a big brushy obstacle to steer around.

Our lunch spot. That sandwhich tasted GOOD!

Back on the water.

This was the choppiest section. Very exciting! (Is that an orb in my passenger seat?)

Had trouble holding the camera straight. Spilled some beer too.

Usually George's pontoon boat is riding high on the water. Also, the currents wanted to pull us into eddys on the side and not let go!

Ah, a calm strech where we can all laugh about it.

Approaching the wild stretch of river with no roads or cabins. It seems everybody else today got off the river before this point.

The evening sun lighting everything beautifully.

Almost to the Highway 2 bridge where the van is parked. This is the last mile of our 19 mile float.

Past this bridge the river goes from Class II to Class V - this is where we get out!

Our cozy camp. George rolls in style! (In a camper he built! I'm impressed every time I think of it.)

On the way home Bridal Veil Falls was looking extra spectacular.

In Goldbar there is a garage with so much character, even the Blues Brothers stop by.

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