White water, sunshine, and good food were plentiful this past weekend. On Friday, July 2oth, several members of our dental team traveled to Leavenworth, WA and camped together on the Wenatchee. Then on Saturday morning 15 of us loaded into rafts and paddled 15 miles of the beautiful Wenatchee River.
Jonna and Jessica actually left Thursday evening after work and drove to Leavenworth where they rented a cabin. The three and half hour trip turned into a very late night arrival. They were delayed over Snoqualmie Pass due to road construction and then found it challenging to find the isolated cabin in the dark. While stopped and looking for road signs, they saw a large black bear and several deer. They were very happy to find the cabin.
The rest of the group left the Silverdale area on Friday and met up at the Pine Village KOA campground. Mindy, Steve. and Caleb arrived first and checked the group in to campsite S7 and S8. Dr. Haws, Rachel, Natalie, and Mason arrived next and started to set up tents and prepare dinner. Sandi and Joey found the group and joined in on setting up the camp. Dr. Beck, Adam, Madeline, and Abby left Silverdale very early and hiked to one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the Cascades, Lake Colchuck. They tried to coax Jessica and Jonna to join them but they had their fill of wildlife adventures from the night before. When they received Dr. Beck’s text invitation, they listened to the thunder rumbling outside and decided jammies, warm bed, and coffee sounded like a better way to spend the morning.
By the time the Beck Crew arrived at the KOA campground, Dr. Haws had dutch oven potatoes cooking and garlic fries ready to eat. Dr. Beck had prepared chili and whipped up a batch of dutch oven corn bread. The rest of the evening was spent eating and enjoying a campfire together. Caleb, Mason, and Natalie also took advantage of the KOA swimming pool.
The weather Saturday was clear and warm. The team cooked a quick breakfast, broke camp and applied generous amounts of sunscreen. At 9:00 am we checked in at the Ospry Rafting Co. and were fitted with wetsuits. We then loaded into a bus and traveled 10 minutes to the put-in site on the Wenatchee. Dr. Beck, Adam, Madeline, Abby along with Dr. Haws, Rachel, Natalie and Mason manned the first raft. Jessica, Sandi, Joey, Jonna, Mindy, Steve, and Caleb filled the second raft. The first half hour on the river was calm and a perfect time to be trained by our guides on how to paddle, watch for hazards, and rescue an overboard paddler. Little did we know how useful that would be about two hours later. Soon the adventurous Clear Creek Dentistry rafters started paddling through the rapids on the 15 mile ride. The larger rapids had descriptive names, some of which needed no explanation. We first went through “Rock and Roll” and then “Satan’s Eye Ball”. “Rodeo Hole” and “Pig’s Snout” also provided us with a face full of water. However, some of the rapids, like “Granny’s Panties,” were creatively named and required an explanation from our guide. Apparently, several years ago an older lady who had a homestead near the river would hang out her washed clothing to dry. She probably never knew about the fame of her laundry!
As we came to “Drunkard’s Drop” our guide wisely chose a line that would give us a good ride, but keep us safe. The raft right in front of us tried, and failed, to go right over a huge boulder and flipped. Both boats manned by Clear Creek Dentistry quickly went into rescue mode. We pulled 4 members of the flipped boat out of the water and our guide, Joe, coordinated the rescue of two remaining paddlers who had washed onto a sandbar. Dr. Haws pulled in the guide of the capsized raft who was not too happy about his craft’s misfortune. In the end, all were safe and happy to be out of the cold Wenatchee River.
The remainder of the river run was exciting as we plowed through “Turkey Shoot” and “Snow Blind.” Before heading back to Silverdale, the Clear Creek Dentistry team finished off the day with a barbecue lunch and a game of horse shoes.
The Osprey Rafting Company showed us a great time. Dr. Beck and Dr. Haws, along with the rest of our Clear Creek Dentistry camping crew, send a big thank you to our river guides, Joe and Brian, for giving us a great trip, shooting the right lines, and making us laugh!