– Ben Martens

Whitewater Rafting

Last weekend was crammed full with activities. Saturday was beautiful so we hopped on the motorcycle and had a picnic at the Ballard Locks. Since we were so close to the zoo, we stopped there to use our wedding gift zoo memberships. The zoo was packed but it was fun to see some of the new exhibits including the meerkats and the tree kangaroo that we adopted last year.

The weather on Sunday was wetter, but we headed east across the mountains for our whitewater rafting adventure. I got a half price deal through Groupon a while back and this was the day we scheduled to do it. We had no idea what to expect so we were a little nervous about what to wear, especially because it was much colder than I had hoped it would be. We wore underarmor and a swimsuit under the provided wetsuit. Then on top of the wetsuit I had a dry shirt, fleece, raincoat, and shorts. Do NOT wear any cotton on any layer.

We met Orion Rafting Expeditions in Cashmere and road a bus into Leavenworth where we hopped into a boat on the Wenatchee. There were about 6-8 people per boat plus a guide. I was surprised that we were on the river for over three hours. It sure didn’t feel that long. The trip itself was a mixture of relaxing floating and high adrenaline rapids. I ended up in the front of the boat so I got completely soaked. There were times when waves were crashing over my head and I was blindly trying to comply with “Ahead!” instructions from our guide.

The river is 100% mountain fed and that means it’s mostly snow melt this time of year. The water was around 45 degrees but somehow neither one of us felt cold. We even finished the trip in sunshine. The river was running at about 10,000 cubic feet per minute which is about as high as it will go and still be open to commercial rafting trips. They were rated as Class 3 rapids and I think that was just about perfect for our first time.

We don’t have any pictures of us in the raft, but the one I used for this post might as well have been taken on our trip. That’s what our boat looked like, and the only difference is that we had seven people including the guide.

If you get the chance to try rafting, don’t pass it up!