Posts Tagged ‘pics’

Rafting White Salmon & Klickitat

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

One year and eight days since the last post about rafting… and I’ve only managed one post in between. Oh well, such is life with a kid.

Anyway, last month marked another year of me organizing some sort of river-based dude weekend. This time around we rafted the White Salmon and Kickitat Rivers, just north of Hood River, Oregon. Two friends and I loaded up in the swagger wagon on Friday morning; meeting Mike and another friend late afternoon in Hood River. We ate vittles and essentially brewery hopped until it was dark – which is about 10:30 pm during the summer in this part of the country. Hood River is about what you expect of a PNW town where young families go to escape the city and work their tech jobs remote. I was surprised the breweries weren’t all HOPS HOPS HOPS and was able to find a good many beers that I liked. Given most of the breweries are walkable and there are so many great nature things to do in the area, I can definitely see vacationing around them parts when Dom is a bit older.

Saturday we did a half day on the White Salmon, which was a fairly quick river squeezing down a sheer cliff canyon. This river had bigger waves with lulls in between, but I really like the closed in feel with all the greenery seeming to reach in on us. I think we did pretty well that day and no one fell in the drink, which they’d drilled into us that morning due to the somewhat dangerous and inescapable nature of the canyon. The video below is 15 minutes of highlights from this day – hit up the full youtube link here if you want a more detailed description. Also, we jumped off a 20′ bridge into the water near the end of the day. I almost chickened out, because I was afraid of falling off the bridge while climbing up to stand on the side, but I managed. Unfortunately, my gopro battery died by then.

Saturday night we camped up on a mountain I can’t remember at a campsite I can’t remember. Not everyone was super excited about the campsite, but I thought it was super quiet and backed up to a small river. We found a great little deli in the tiny town of White Salmon and treated ourselves to a quality dinner and breakfast. I don’t think I’ve ever had shrimp while camping, which is surprising and something I plan to change in the future. The downside to one night of camping and rafting the next morning is you set it up for about 14 hours. It was actually pretty chilly up on the mountain, despite it being June. All in all, a good night.

Sunday was a full day rafting the Klickitat. This river was wider, the waves were a bit smaller, but it was nearly non-stop action. It was actually a bit like riding a horse at time, with the constant bobbing on the waves mimicking cantering on a horse. The Kickitat also had a lot more to look at given it was surrounded by basalt formations created by volcanic flows before humankind was even a thing. We liked our guide from Saturday and had requested him on Sunday, so we went into the day already meshing well as a group (we didn’t share a boat either day). This river is safer and our guide already knew we all could manage ourselves, so we spent a bit more time goofing off on the river and sightseeing. We actually dumped two swimmers in the middle of the tamest rapid; hitting a random lone rock in the river while our guide was trying to point out an osprey nest. Everyone was able to swim back to the back and re-embark without dying, so all’s well that ends well.

I’d totally raft both rivers again… and we just may do them next year. Oh wait, maybe not… I want to raft in Colorado again for the 40th birthday.

In the meantime, here’s the video and pics.

Rafting North Umpqua

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Back in Virginia, I used to organize an annual canoeing and camping trips for me and friends. It was a long standing tradition (eight times in nine years) that served a good way for a bunch of us to get away from everything for a weekend, drink beer, and eat things that weren’t good for us… oh, and canoe. That tradition died when I moved to Seattle, but I was eager to start it anew.

After a few years of settling into our new city, and feeling the need to set up a new tradition before we had a kid, I decided to set up a rafting trip. Not only is canoeing uncommon in the icy mountain rivers of the Pacific NW, rafting opportunities abound. A bunch of emails later, there were four of us headed down the southern Oregon for two days on the North Umpqua River.

Day one was cold and rainy, but a fantastic representation of spring adventures into nature for this part of the country. The sun did break a few times to warm us up, despite the 50° water temp. Sunday was much warmer; warm enough that two of us tried out an inflatable kayak and I took a (short) swim in the river. Two days of quality, moderate white water and an evening of dry camping… including a wicked sweet turnaround of our campfire situation… made for a pretty good Father’s Day weekend that will be my last as a non-dad.

Here are some photos – a video or two will be posted next.

Tour de Whatcom

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Yesterday, I completed the 50 mile version of the Tour de Whatcom. The ride itself was a bit less than that, especially since we kinda went the wrong way towards the end of the course, but I did a few laps around the parking lot to make sure I went over the 50 mile mark. Yeah, I’m like that. It’s the farthest I’ve ever gone on a bike; having done 45 miles once in high school.

I have to admit that it wasn’t as miserable as I was expecting, even with twice as much elevation gain as promised. My 40 mile training ride last week was a lot worse, but I think that’s because I really pushed myself last week and made a point to pace myself yesterday (to the point of talking to myself out loud). I was really hoping to get in under the three hour mark, although I’d rather finish slow than not be able to finish.

My Life List goal is to bike 100 miles in a day. Melissa talked me out of signing up for the 105 mile version of this ride, which was probably a good idea given how little I’ve ridden recently. I only did four training rides for this event, ranging from 25 to 40 miles, so I feel like I could do 105 with no major problems given a solid level of training. If nothing else, I could stand more saddle time to avoid the swelling… which is a new experience for me. >_< Maybe I’ll do the 105 next year.

As for the ride, I had a really good time. I would have liked to do it with someone I know, but a ride that size means you’re never really alone. I didn’t form any lifelong friendships, however I did chat with a handful of people here and there. Most of my time was spent contemplating life, enjoying the spectacular views and coaching myself through the 16.8k pedal revolutions is took to complete the ride. It was my first proper open road ride and I liked it SO much more than the urban and suburban stuff I’ve historically done. There’s something freeing about cruising down a country road at 20 mph in a line of bikes. I can see how cycling clubs build friendships.

Did I mention I raised $1,150 for the American Cancer Society too?  Yeehaw! A sincere thank you to everyone who contributed.

A gigantic thank you to Melissa for supporting me before, during and after the ride. We made a weekend of it by booking a plush room with a view. As you may have guessed, a review is pending. I think we’re going to get her a proper bike and do some riding together.

What’s next? I’m back to CrossFit after six weeks of training and rehabbing my back. That and three months of strict Paleo. Eek!

 

The winning bib number

The winning bib number

Large back, tiny bib

Large back, tiny bib

Showing off my money calf at the start

Showing off my money calf at the start

First rest stop

First rest stop

The biggest climb, right after the first rest stop

The biggest climb, right after the first rest stop

Back squatting my Trek at the halfway mark - NO SMILING!

Back squatting my Trek at the halfway mark – NO SMILING!

High school cheerleaders to congratulate me!

High school cheerleaders to congratulate me!

Victorious!

VICTORIOUS!

I told you I won

I told you I won