The WS Riverfest & Symposium just keeps getting better and better each year. I think that is in part, due to the creativity, passion and dedication of the organizers involved, and the support from many business and organizations across the country.
The morning session was all about education - learning about the White Salmon River - its' history, current events and the future of the watershed. About 50 attendees for the morning session, ranging from raft guides, to kayakers (the youngest around 11 years old), community members and dogs. Again, a big thanks to all the presenters who made the morning informative and entertaining:
Chip Carroll - Headwater's Institute
Thomas O'Keefe - Condit Dam update
Rod Engle - The Return of Salmon
Bill Weiler - Climate and Wild Life found along the WS river
Jeannette Burkhardt - History of the WS River
Sue Baker - Plants along the WS watershed
and . . . Cork & Bottle for supplying the symposium attendees with a great lunch!
The afternoon consisted of some fun competition on the White Salmon - rafting and kayaking races. We had 3 teams compete in the rafting race - 2 teams from the Oregon Rafting Team and a Wet Planet Team.
Stage one was intended to be a head to head race on the Middle White Salmon, but we changed it to a timed course the morning of the race to due the high water (4.5 feet!) and a few poorly placed trees. The course went from the bottom of Maytag Rapid to the river right take out just above Husum Falls. The results:
First Place: Oregon Rafting Team (Red) 29:05
Second Place: Oregon Rafting Team (Grey) 30:31
Third Place: Wet Planet Whitewater 30:39
We decided to move the inflatable kayak race to the Lower White Salmon due to higher water. We started the inflatable kayak race just above Rattlesnake Rapid and ended it at the boat ramp at Northwestern Lake. This was a head to head race and the participants had to flip their kayaks and get back in them before finishing. The results
First Place: Val Shaull
Second Place: Jim Wells
We also did a "fun race" on the Lower White Salmon for rafts that followed the same course as the inflatable kayaks. Wet Planet took an early lead at the beginning and the rac e was competitive most of the way.
At the finish, the rafts had to flip their boats, get everyone on top of the upside down boat, and then flip it back over. This was a great ending to the fun race especially since the Wet Planet team was about a minute behind as they approached the finish, and nearly took second place due to their well honed boat flipping skills. It was fun to watch to say the least. The final results were the same as the timed race:
First Place: Oregon Rafting Team (Red)
Second Place: Oregon Rafting Team (Grey)
Third Place: Wet Planet Whitewater
Sorry, no photos for the kayaking event, but we have results:
Extreme Race on Truss (in teams of 3)
First Place: Tao Berman, Todd Wells, Brendan Wells
Orletta sprint race:
1st: Tao Berman
3rd: Todd Wells
After a fun-filled day, whether you hung out cheering for your favorite competitor or competed yourself, the big Next Adventure watershed social was next. The venue this year, thanks to Dan Ingerson, was located at the Trailhead B & B in Trout Lake, WA. It was about a 15 minute drive from BZ Corners, but totally worth it and plenty of camping. A big thank you goes out to Next Adventure for donating the food for the evening . . . it was sooooo good! And, another thank you to the Kayak Shed and Jackson Kayak for donating the biggest raffle item of the night - a Jackson boat of choice. . . that was a popular item for sure! And thanks to "The Quick and Easy Boys" from Portland for coming out and entertaining us into the wee hours of the night - everyone LOVED them!
See you next year for the 5th Annual White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium!!!!
***To check out more photos from the event (and you will, 'cuz this event was awesome), join the White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium on facebook and become a fan!