liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Trip Report: Peshastin Creek and the Wenachee

We put in on Peshastin creek only 1/4 mile above Fresh Squeezed, the most interesting rapid. The creek was low but in the little gorge it was still powerful. It was raining. I was paddling the MAC1, another blisstic boat. It was cattywampus from having its parts used in other boats at FD camp. It was OK but rather too much like the SCUD for my taste. Don't like that boat. Too much primary stability. But back to the river. Peshastin Creek. We had scouted a trib of Peshatin---Ingalls Creek---but where T wanted to put in was right above a continuous and woody class IV section. I didn't want to put in there in a boat I'd never paddled before. I also was suffering from diarrhea and that creek scared the shit out of me, had to go wash my undies before we could head to the launch. Been a while since I crapped my own drawers. Not pretty. Not comfortable pants without my undies either.

Everybody has off days. On Peshastin Terry was off. His balance wasn't right. He pitoned on a rock wall at the final slot in Fresh Squeezed, and must have pitoned hard. Put a big crack in the black boat just behind where it had already been repaired. Flipped over. Rolled, got sucked back into the hole, flipped again, came out. I saw he was clear of the slot and came through, he swam to shore, I chased the boat. Continuous creek. Boat kept going. Finally I managed to grab it with one hand and a tree with the other and bring it to a stop. Then it took me a few moments to sort out how to get out of my boat and get my footing while not losing either boat. No free hands. Water rushing into another slot. But I did it. Then T came swimming down the creek, emptied his boat and got put back together. Swimming downstream is often easier than walking.

We paddled on down from there. The creek turned from class IV- to class II with an occasional low volume IIIish spot. Then the confluence with the Wenachee. Big water. A portage river right around a low head dam. Get in that hole and you will surf for the rest of your life. He said something like 6 people drown there every year. A river guide on the portage had some duct tape for the cracked bow. A few big splashy rapids, a couple of nice surf waves, a lot of miles of sloshy big water, and we were back at the truck in Cashmere. Sun came out, warm on rainy humidity. T got naked to change in a crowded parking lot and girls squealed. Made me smile. There's a southern BBQ place in Cashmere. They offer their pulled pork sandwich "Carolina style" and I had to ask. They put kraut on the sandwich. I never saw that anywhere in the Carolinas, but I'm not a BBQ fiend like some people.

The first night we were up that way we camped up Icicle Creek (south from the west end of Leavenworth), at a pullout next to a class V- section just above the gauge. There is apparently lots more creek (some class II-III up high) and lots more camping up that way. The second night we camped up the North Fork of Teannaway Creek, south from Leavenworth over a pass on hwy 97. There's a little gorge up there that looks like great fun but it needs 90cfs according to T, and it was not that much. So we just camped and looked around, and drove home in the morning.
Tags: kayak, river, washington, whitewater

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