I just got back from a few days in Vancouver, Canada. I went to visit a friends who is working there with my friend and her sister. And we did a lot. And we played a lot. And we ate a lot. And there are so many stories and moments to tell and share. But, let’s talk about whitewater first. We had the most wonderful opportunity to raft the Nahatlatch River. Location somewhere around Boston Bar/North Bend, BC. Getting there from Vancouver was beautiful. We drove by these mountains covered in snow. With these waterfalls cascading down like it was just commonplace. Great big green pine trees were spotted all around. Everything felt more massive and expansive.
We arrive, eat some food, eat some cookies (well, mostly just me, as usual), and gear up. Believe it or not, it’s high water here too! In fact, the trip almost didn’t happen because the water was so high. But it simmered down just enough for us to be able to get on it. But, still high water. Which meant the whole high water shebang – safety kayakers, wetsuits (not that it was warm out), and in the case of this river, oar boats. At high water, the Nahatlatch river becomes less technical, but fast moving big waves of whitewater. It is continues, no pools, very few eddies, and those are small.
We get to put in, practice some paddling. Amy and I snagged the front, with Kimberly right behind. And I’m not kidding – this river was fast. So fast. I’ve never seen a river that fast before, much less raft on one. Stoked. And it reminded me a little of the Merced or the Dead river in Maine – continuous whitewater. No breaks. No breathers. Just go. Waves were massive and fun and splashy. Walls and walls of whitewater. This river was pure and utter stoke. Pure laughter. Pure joy. And we just moved down the river at the speed of light. On this river in this little canyon of pine trees, massive snow covered mountains in the distance. Once again, so expansive. So breathtaking.
We ran the same section twice. No issues either time. Just stoke. Pure stoke. Waves of whitewater. Skirting around holes. Face fulls of icy cold glacial melt whitewater. There is truly nothing better and more alive feeling. So much laughter with friends. After each rapid, I’d just look over at Amy and Kimberly, and was just met with grins. Big, whitewater induced grins. Our cheeks hurt so hard from smiling.
While the North Fork, and the South Fork as well of the American was high water and more technical, this was big and bouncy and never stopped. That is one of my favorite things about rafting different rivers. They are all different. Sometimes you are surrounded by rolling hills. Sometimes you are in a deep canyon. The style of river is different, and it’s never the same. This river was pure joy. Pure whitewater bliss.