Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The River Wild

The stop at Mt. Rainier on Saturday was on the way to our destination for Sunday: the Tieton River for some whitewater rafting. Cheryl and I had such a good time on the Wenatchee River in July that we signed up with the same guide to raft the Titeton. The Tieton River is benign most of the summer, but in August, water is released from Rimrock Lake through the Tieton Dam, and the river runs at a steady Class III+ in August and September. Rafting the Wenatchee was the perfect thing to do on a super-hot day in July, but the rapids were far and few between; we signed up for the Tieton for a few more thrills. We were hoping for the last of the hot weather but arrived at the river bank to a cloudy, slightly cool day. The Tieton is much colder than the Wenatchee so we geared up in wet suits, and the Tieton runs a lot faster than the Wenatchee, so we donned helmets for this one. No one in our raft got tossed out, but there were a few close moments, and one of the river guides who was accompanying us in an inflatable kayak got tossed out of her IK a couple of times. Cheryl, Wendy, and I, however, along with Shelby and Andy, two other intrepid clients, and Annie who works for the guiding company and who was also in our raft, managed to stay put, as Hudson, our expert guide steered that raft like it was on rails. The river delivered as promised, it was fast and fun and there were some pretty good drops and a lot of whooping! I dug an ancient camera out of a junk drawer, wrapped it in a plastic baggie, tucked it into my life-vest, and managed to get some pretty good pictures, but not as good as the ones taken by the guys on the shore.  
gearing up
Pocahontas?







Next year, the Skykomish!

Or is THIS the Best Hike Ever?!


I didn't think I'd find a better hike than the one Cheryl and I did in July at Hurricane Ridge, until Cheryl, Wendy, and I walked the Naches Peak Loop Trail near Mt. Rainier on Saturday. There's no point in debating, they were both gorgeous, and in the immortal words of David Letterman, "it's an exhibition, not a competition..."  He was talking about Stupid Pet Tricks, but whatever, it works here too, if you consider all the wilderness to be an exhibition. It was a beautiful day, the trail wasn't crowded, the views were spectacular, and although it was warm, the leaves were showing a faint touch of autumn.

click photo for full view
view from our spot for a picnic lunch
Cheryl and Wendy


Rimrock Lake...
... our adorable lake-side cabin for the night