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Showing posts from November, 2011

The Past Season in Review

The 2011 rafting season began - as it typically does - with a memorable April training trip peopled with old faces, new faces; aging faces, faces with peach fuzz; the same old routines, sprinkled with the occasional unexpected wrinkle; a steamy hot sauna, a mind-numbing swim and a blow-out party (or two) to wrap it in a bow.

2011 was the 'official' 33rd river season and, because I have a reverent, irrational affection for the number, we decided to honor it by kicking off the season in May with a gathering of the many generations of the Tribe at the Chumstick property. Jeff Bullock and his brother barbecued a pig on a spit on site, Jeff Archer and his musical band of cohorts rocked the warehouse, Nina Maus gussied up the place, kegs were tapped, shelters were erected - and moved, and moved again - as the rains commenced and never relented. Multiple generations of Orionites emerged - including a few of the original founders - and, despite the high moisture content in the ai…

2011 Through a White Water Lens

The snow pack in February of last winter did not portend the season that was to come. In fact, for Washington, the quantity of snow in the Cascades and the water it contained, at that point of the winter, looked grim for a sustained runoff and an exciting white water season. I would not have placed any bets we were to have rafting out of Leavenworth extending much beyond the end of June. And then the snow started falling. And falling. And falling. Snow fell right on through March and part of April. The water content within the snow increased. Spring broke chillier than normal. The runoff happened slower than normal. And what had started out as grim began to look incredibly promising.

As it turned out, the snow melt happened in moderation and, though we never rafted on exceptionally high water, we had a sustained, strong water level on rivers around the Cascades all the way through August. I receive e-mail alerts via Google which keep me apprised of everything going on raf…