Written by Tom Potter, Leavenworth-local kayaker and adventure-seeker.
As whitewater kayakers, we crave flowing rivers. The last six months haven’t delivered much regarding water in the Northwest, or on the entire west coast at all for that matter. Some of us have set out on travels chasing water, and others have simply turned to other athletic outlets. But for all of us, our thirst for juicy rivers has recently been quenched.
The rain storms over the last two weeks have delivered epic amounts of water into our drainages, in some cases, making our rivers too high to safely paddle. But what goes up, must come down. While we get to witness flows that we haven’t seen in years and watch our rivers change practically right before our eyes, we will be out there exploring and enjoying these whitewater playgrounds. With these heavy flows comes relocation of wood, rock, beaches, sediment, and everything else that is within the river environment. These changes may deliver features that enhance a particular river or cause it to be more hazardous to paddlers. Regardless, the rivers that we paddle are entirely natural environments that we have the privilege to immerse ourselves in and big floods are part of the game.
Here are some shots of Icicle Creek and the Wenatchee River after our last big flush on Wednesday, November 18th when the water peaked around 20,000 cfs in the Wenatchee and around 9,000 cfs in Icicle Creek. Enjoy!