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Washington Trip Report '07

Summer '07 is on, and we are now in Washington continuing to look for the most classic class III - V runs for the River Gypsies' Guide to North America. Here's a report from the rainy Northwest, where we hope summer will arrive any day:

The Mad Dash North
One of our main goals for the summer was to get some runs on the classic Little White Salmon near Hood River, Oregon. We had done the Little White back in the summer of '02, and remembered it as one of the best runs we had ever done. Hearing that the levels were dropping out fast up there due to very little rain in the spring this year, we decided to make a run for it so that we could get on the creek. We did one long day of sightseeing along the way in Oregon.

Andria got this sweet shot of Crater Lake. That's the deepest lake in North America, in the crater of an old volcano - with another cinder cone from a smaller volcano rising up from the lake.

Arriving in Hood River, we went fairly directly to the Little White takeout and waited. And waited. Most of the locals aare pretty spoiled with the water levels out there, and don't really go to the Little White below 3 feet. The level was just over 2.5 feet, so we were thinking we might be out of luck. That afternoon we went to town and found two parties to run the river with the next day. I didn't take any photos on Little White this year since the weather was a bit cloudy and cold for all of that getting out. Even at a lowish level in the cloudy chilly weather, the Little White is one of the greatest creeks anywhere.

One of the parties we hooked up with for Little White was a group of 6 guys from Britain. We decided to check out a park-n-huck on the nearby Wind River with them the next day. The drops are called Shipherd's Falls, and can be gotten to with some minor trespassing and then paddled several times due to the convenient walkway up the fishladder that parallels the falls.

"Sneaking" across the bridge over Shipherd's Falls.

The first drop of Shipherd's Falls.

The second drop of Shipherd's Falls.

And back up for another lap.

We had a great time paddling with that crew, even if the hot springs downstream of the falls turned out to be lukewarm and slightly soiled.

From there, we heard the levels were good in the Wenatchee drainage up near Leavenworth, so we drove North to check out some stuff up there.