Friday, September 11, 2009

A Day in Hood River

My excitement to start the day woke me at 2:00 a.m. and even then I had no idea how much fun and adventure the day would bring. We left early and drove along the Washingon side of the Columbia River to Wet Planet for our rafting trip. (We were with a group of 18 Rangers ready to be sent abroad and several guides). We slipped into our wetsuits/gear and took a bus up the White Salmon River. They paired us with a couple from Alabama and I fearlessly agreed to be at the front of the raft with the husband. We learned all the navigating commands from our guide and hit the rapids. As expected, the water was shockingly cold and we got wet but the wetsuits they provided were very warm. Halfway through the trip we had to get out and hike along the the river to a bluff where we jumped off into some slower rapids and swam to our rafts. That part was optional but no way was I going to pass on that! Aunt Janine jumped off too and it was exhilirating. We all cheered each other on and as you bobbed up to the surface and swam to the raft, all hands were extended to keep you from being carried down the river. That was cool. (I guess the part I enjoyed most was the teamwork it took to move down river). We got to go under a volcanic cave section and prepare for the waterfall drop at the end where we hunkered down and went completely under water. Simply amazing.

We dried off and drove across the bridge into Hood River, Oregon and had lunch on the river. Found a knit shop in town and made our way around the Fruit Loop making stops along the way to some of the 34 local farm stands with a snow covered Mount Hood as a back drop to the orchards. Made a stop at Cascade Alpacas and Foothills Yarn where I purchased some alpaca roving/yarn and Aunt Janine got to feed the alpacas and several crias. We finished the day going over to my Aunt Rita's where she prepared some fresh sole. It was very good day.