Paula Keezer Outdoor Adventure Girl! (new adventure site beta)

Wa-Wa Whitewater

July-Aug 2006

Photo Albums:

             Kings Canyon September 2004

             Swimming hole trip August 2004

             Motogirlies Cabin Run August 2004

             Cascades Trip July 2004

             Other photos


Those who are willing to exchange freedom for security deserve neither. -- Ben Franklin


Coast Trip: Flew down to SF and rode the Vstrom back to Seattle.  Three days and 1250 miles.  The Oregon coast is spectacular.  Washington coast not so amazing.  I timed it for perfect weather.  Sunny and warm every day. 


Colorado Trip:  This was a ten day trip through the desert southwest and the west ranges of the rockies.  I met with Craig and Greg (just call me a silly girl) in Austin Nevada on day 1.5 (850 miles from Seattle) and arrived before them (coming from SF 450 miles).  Needless to say I boogied on those desert secondary roads (triple digits between gas stops).  There was Baker, Bryce, Calf Creek, Escalante, Burr trail, Lake Powel, Monument Valley, Navajo Nation, Four corners, Mesa Verde, whitewater kayaking on the Animas in Durango, Ouray, Engineers Grade, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Moab, Dead Horse Canyon, Great Basin National Park, Hells Canyon, Wenatchee and I�m sure I missed some others. 


How long can you hold your breath?

Imagine skiing down a mountain in an avalanche while trying to avoid large fixed objects.   Add to this being wedged into a plastic container shaped like a torpedo and sealed about the belly with a super stretch elastic band with nothing more then a paddle in hand.  Now, do this in icy cold snow melt water from one of Washington�s many mountain rivers.  I just don�t understand why people say I�m crazy!

Dirty bikes, sporty bikes, big touring bikes, fast twisty roads, screaming desert roads, gravel roads, knarly mountain mining roads, big kayaks on open ocean, in rip currents and pounding surf was just not enough.  I had to up the thrillometer another notch.


Before I launch into my whitewater adventures let me tell you what else has been going on. 


House:  Yup, bought a house in Seattle.  The musts were: a big garage :-)  small yard, good bones, quiet neighborhood, not to far from work and enough room to have some guests. 


Trips:  Mostly motorcycle; 

Flew down to SF and joined the NorthStars for trip to the famed Song Dog Ranch where we enjoyed catered �on the grill� dinner and breakfast, fast bikes, twisty roads, amazing views, good company, metal objects that spew lead and spirits (wonder what Craig was thinking when he handed me the loaded 45 at the range!)

In between motorcycle trips I found myself joining Anne and Karen on numerous whitewater trips.  Anne and Karen are amazing instructors.  After taking the WKC whitewater course with them in March (burrrrr) I kept up with their invites to class II, then class II+ and class III rivers.   I think my post class persistent visits to the local roll-practice pool help.  I actually have a combat roll (and have used it!)  Notable rivers and spots include Power House on the Snoqualmie, South fork of the Snoqualmie, Big Eddy and Cable Drop on the Skykomish, YoYo and Headworks on the Green,   Wenetchee and the Tieton  (both class III).  Not many photos. Still working on the waterproof camera thing and keeping my head above water (rocks!). 


I picked up a used Dagger RPM whitewater boat and armed with some knowledge of sea kayaking and an �I can do this� attitude I took the WKC course.  It�s a great course that is almost all volunteer funded (you pay for such things as membership in WKC, pool sessions,  instruction rooms etc)  In very short order Anne and Karen and a lot of great people from WKC take you out to a river. Power House was our first stop.  Just outside of Seattle (30 minutes) with several nice drops and pools to pick up the carnage,  we, little ducklings, head out into moving (very cold) water.  I can�t recall whether I went for a swim that day but I know I was totally freaked out!  The river seemed much more in control then me!  �Paddle! Paddle! Paddle!) were the war cries from the instructors and helpers as we slid down a rapid and tried to �eddy out�.  Eddying out is where most of the initial carnage happens.  Going from moving water to stopped water means getting your boat on the correct edge and paddleing to get across! Stories abound and as I get a chance I will fill a few in.


Fast forward to Tieton (class III end of summer flipflop)

Anne invited me to try out the Tieton while the flow was just being pushed up at the dam.  Tieton flows at the end of summer when the dam operators open water up to aid the Salmon  downs stream.  Whitewater Mecca begins! 

We scout out Waffle wall (also known as pin ball).  It�s a class III+ drop with a subtle river left to right move that drops you into a V of foam and pops you out on top of a jet moving left to right.  With the proper entry and a good stroke you get rocketed into an eddy

just above the famed Waffle wall!! 

Anne goes first.  I see her head bobbing down the rapid then shooting to the right.  I head in looking for that V of foam knowing its going to splash my face and I�m going to be blinking water out while I finish the move!

Blowing this means you have one shot at a roll and will for sure miss the eddy out.  Blowing it and pulling the ejection means a swim that will likely take you into Waffle Wall or a big boulder just off of the wall.  Going to far left and you over shoot the jet ending off sides to a wave guaranteed to flip you and going to far right drops you into a nasty little hole.  A little bit to far to the right pops you out just below the hole but in the wrong eddy!!  (Day one mistake).  Day two, second time down, I manage to take a nice line into the foam, bury the kayak, pop out on top of the jet, get a good stroke in and shoot right into the eddy (whoo hoo!!).  Thanks Shanna for great pics :-)