Tieton Eddy Repose

Tieton Eddy Repose
"So, this is the river." said the Rat.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Memories of St. Helens --- Thirty Years Later

Like Mike M, I was on the Wenatchee River the day St. Helens unleashed a cloud of ash that blanketed much of the western half of Washington. Orion River Rafting http://orionexp.com was busy with two large commercial rafting trips headed down the river.

In the morning, as we were prepping rafts at our launch site off U.S. 2, we heard what we assumed was a detonation by a highway crew doing road work, or avalanche control, or a peal of thunder from high in the Stuart Range. The day was cloudless, sunny and warm, and with everything else going on, we thought nothing of the one-shot rumble.

I led the first wave of rafts because I was scheduled to appear on a KIRO radio show that evening in Seattle and needed to get off the river as early as possible. As the rafts approached our take-out in Cashmere, I recall noting thunderclouds massing to the east and seemingly headed up the Valley.

I remember thinking how odd that weather was approaching us from the east. I also remember thinking how strangely ominous and dark this storm front looked. Being on the river all day, we had no way of knowing of the eruption of St. Helens. It wasn't until I was halfway up Stevens Pass that I got the word of the volcanic cataclysm, and then I was fortunate because Stevens was the only pass still open (other than Washington Pass on Highway 20).

Our second float on the Wenatchee River was not so fortunate. They were plagued by lightly falling ash and were forced to float downstream backwards to keep the ash at bay.

My interview on KIRO that Sunday evening was intended to be a 2-hour discussion of whitewater rafting and my company, Orion. But it was a good news/bad news scenario --- the whole Pacific Northwest was tuned into KIRO because they were noted for their news updates --- it was a publicity coup in that regards.

However, the seriousness of the situation precluded folks from focusing on rafting and almost 100% of the phone-in callers wanted to talk about the eruption of St. Helens.

In other words, an inanimate object upstaged me during my brief, ephemeral 15 minutes of fame.

in reference to: Memories of Mount St. Helens on the 30th Anniversary (1980-2010): Part 2 [Eruptions] | sciencestage.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Orion River Rafting's Guide's Backeddy

Chumstick Country Club the evening of May 15th. Group Dinner planned. Slideshow from stand-in photographers --- hopefully. Keg. Non-Guidelings (aka Orion Guides) please contact the office if you are planning on attending.

Many launch times will be later this season in order to cater to the Seattle metropolitan crowd that party's hardy on Friday night and wants to dodge the traffic headed east out of town.

What does that mean to you --- our fearful guides? Well, our Noon and 1pm Meeting Times on the Wenatchee do NOT include a meal which means you will need to eat a humongous breakfast or come prepared with a carbohydrate rich snack to get you through to 6pm.

You might have heard that I gave away the farm to this Groupon thing. Maybe so, but the Good News to you is that we are bursting at the seams with guide days on the Wenatchee and some of it is spilling over onto other rivers. Starting after the Memorial Weekend, we are busy, busy, busy --- especially on weekends and especially on Sundays.

If you want to bring Friends/Family, believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities on Fridays and Saturdays in June (because I 'blacked out' those dates to coupon users).

It is never-ending. Y'all are supposed to be currently certified in Basic First Aid and CPR. I am supposed to have copies of your certification. Please send them in. I am woefully short of proof of first aid for many of you. I am tired of asking and I know y'all are tired of reading about it. Just do it.

Keep an eye on the Calendar. I am updating it because I have already scheduled about 500 of the 2500 coupon holders who will be rafting with us this season. I will not be updating the Orion Guides FB calendar because I only have 24 hours in each day.

Okay, I gave Groupon users an offer they could not possibly refuse. Now, it is up to all of you --- and me --- to turn these casual rafters into diehard Orion rafters. We are not going to wow them with our healthy lunches, so we need to double-down on our customer service and promotion of the other river trips we offer.

One other thing, we will need a 'merchandiser' for the take-out. Someone who can get down their an hour early to set up our pop-up shade shelter and put out Release Forms, Chums, Belly Timber Bars and whatever else we attempt to sell. This person can also be incredibly helpful by checking off customers, collecting coupons, in advance BECAUSE we will need to be as efficient as we can possibly be to avoid working long into the evening.

May 24th to May 27th. Anyone interested?