Yakima River Canyon ~~~ August 25-27, 2011

Our biggest flotilla ever!

Here on Thursday you can see the two campsites I reserved. One with a big blue tent, the other with two green chairs in the driveway.

My home for four nights. On Friday we learned not to leave the door open at night with the light on inside. With a thousand insects flying around inside the motorhome Rich sprung into action and hit 'em with a half a can of sunscreen!
When I got up in the morning there were hundreds of little gnats, moths, and other bugs glued to my ceiling with 100 SPF!

On Friday afternoon there were nine of us eager to get a float in. I stand in the river holding my raft while friends caribiner on to the front of it. Then we launch!

It takes a few minutes for everybody to settle in.

Then it's time to kick back and enjoy the scenery as it floats by.

After the trestle one side of the river gets a little choppy. That's the side we aim for!

At this water level there is only one rock that's exposed. Paul went around it, Paul Jr. went over it! It was a very wet and exciting moment for him.

Smiles all around. No harm done, everybody had a good laugh. (You can see water being splashed up by the oars.)

The rocks are a lot easier to see from the backside.

I like how Andy builds a recliner out of cushions in his raft.

The greater Seattle area is a hundred shades of green; with all kinds of evergreens, mosses, mildews, and molds.
Just a two hour drive away is a whole different climate. I think that's really neato.

Paul taking a serious drenching.

The three foot long Stream Machine is the best soaker out there. If you're gonna float, you should have one for self defense!

The river is always changing. We used to only see this gravel bar at very low water. It seems to be growing. The ducks like it.

I feel like I should sell this picture to a certain truck rental company.

Years ago I thought those trees on the hill were too dry to make it much longer. They're thriving now.

Here we are approaching Sandwich Island.

Setting up the sandwich table.

Me and Paul.

We love this little island. It's a perfect lunch spot.

Approaching Umtanum Creek. The river flows to the left of the rock wall, a creek comes down the canyon on the right. There's a suspension bridge across if you would like to hike it.
(This picture is underexposed, but it turned out cool. Like looking through sunglasses.)

One of those quiet moments when everybody is in their own world for a few.

Approaching my favorite spot on the river. Where the road veers left and the river takes a big bend to the right.

It even looks enchanted. (In a good way.)

We passed under a few hawks soaring in the warm air.

As long as I can see that cell tower my phone works this far into the canyon. I should switch to that "can you hear me now" company.

Andy is feeling no stress. He told us. And I believe him.

Our campsite Saturday morning. By Thursday night there were no camp sites available, by Saturday the place is packed.

Looking back toward the picnic table and campfire ring.

Rich got stung by a yellowjacket. He's allergic to stings, but putting a slice of onion on it really kept the swelling down!

Dave cheffing up some breakfast.

We found a mouse under one of the rafts.

Paul and Dave and Tina drove up early to inflate rafts while we waited for our day floaters to arrive.

It took a few minutes to figure out who's going in what boat. I counted 18 rafts and 27 of us.

A lot of trestle pictures this trip!

We had to launch in two groups, here's our other half.

We reunited for lunch. Sandwich Island had fishermen on it. So we had lunch here at the tram crossing.

Sandwich table on the right, shade on the left! This lunch spot worked out fine.

Another large party passed us and we gave each other a cheer.

We had a lot of water fights.

It was too hot to wait for somebody else to float along with a soaker.

There's so many of us, you couldn't miss.

There's so many of us, my wide angle lens wasn't wide enough to get all of us in a picture!

A pause in the action while everybody reloads.

Sun, water, and fun!

The people on the suspension bridge got cooled off when we passed by!

Approaching PacMan.

With all of our encouragement, two guys jumped off the cliff for us.

Another day, but the place still looks magical.

One last waterfight!

When our crew hit the boat ramp, we took it over!
Had a great time!
Hope to see you all again next year!

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