Friday, August 31, 2007

Splish Splash Along the Skykomish River

Last month, I finally made my way out to Seattle and Vancouver. I’d been meaning to go for a long while. In fact, a couple of years ago, the trip came so close to materializing that I had actually booked a flight. But because of the bunglings of a friend who should be glad that I don’t name names in this forum, the trip was cancelled.

It’s definitely a beautiful part of the continent – Vancouver especially. Water everywhere. (I have a certain affinity for water. I don’t understand how people survive in landlocked cities. Like Dallas.) Mountains everywhere. And Asians everywhere. I’ve never had dim sum that was better than what I ate in Vancouver. Wish I had more time to spend there, but we had much to do elsewhere.
From Seattle & Vancouver

Our very hospitable tour guide was an old friend from high school. He recently moved to Seattle from Phoenix just so he could go “yaking” all the time. (That’s “kayaking” for the uninitiated, by which I mean normal people. He’s a fanatic!)

Yaker friend put together an amazingly fun whitewater excursion for us along the Skykomish River. The river wound through some picturesque snowcapped mountains, the runoff from which fed the river, so it was freakin’ cold! The water temperature couldn’t have been much higher than 50 degrees. We had to wear wetsuits, as if we were going surfing in Alaska.

My only other experience whitewater rafting was along the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. Well, it wasn’t so much whitewater rafting as it was brownwater drifting. The water level was so low that we had to walk our raft at times.

But the Skykomish River is the real deal. It was a class III+ run with one IV+ rapid. The fear of being tossed overboard has a strange way of making you feel alive.

Thanks, yaker friend, for showing us a good time.