If you’re in the Seattle Area and want to charge, you will quickly meet Sam Grafton. I met Sam last year up at the Stikine but unfortunately it didn’t line up to paddle together. But once he knew I was planning on spending the last part of winter and spring in the Seattle area he/we began hatching plans. Initially my back injury was holding me back but it wasn't long before Sam and I were charging hard. The water didn’t really give us everything we wanted, but we definitely got some juicy flows on most the classics in the area, and there are plenty of those! Robe Canyon, Deer Creek, Ernies Canyon, Icicle Creek, Tumwater Canyon, Top Tye and more. All within 2 hours of Seattle. Here is what we got up to...
Dawn Patrol on Robe Canyon
Sam Chesley and myself during the team Robe Race
Sam at home in high-water Robe, 'Hole in the Wall'
Over 7ft, and I am out taking photos. 'Face-Plant'.
Tumwater's first challenge, 'The Wall'
The Brits, scared, coming through low water Chaos
Sam Chesley with a good flow on Chaos
Todd Wells following Aniols lead down Exit.
Sam trespassing on Sean Lee's territory, Ernies Canyon.
Nate showing everyone. 'Jacuzzi', Ernies Canyon.
Sam Ellis smiling, you cant see it but you know he is!
This would be the extent of my paddling in the Northwest, just going between these runs as they came in and out. There were a couple of LW weekends are lower flows but it seems people don't really take photos down there nowadays. As flows began to drop, Ari arrived back to the US and the NF Payette came in, it seemed the stars were aligning to head to Idaho. But one quick trip to the Northern Cascades would keep us in Washington for another few days. Will post about that soon.