Thursday, July 17, 2014

GUNDERSUMMER14: Leavenworth and White Water Rafting down the Wenatchee

Day 7 & 8. Thursday July 3 and Friday July 4, 2014.

Thursday morning we met the Phillips in Leavenworth. It's this awesome Bavarian town with so much history! It used to be a busy sawmill and logging town but when the railroad was re-routed in the 1930s(?) the sawmill closed and what was once a hub of commerce turned into an empty ghost town. In the 1960's they decided they needed to do something to get the cash flowing again or Leavenworth would cease to exist. It's surrounded by beautiful alpine hills, so they decided to turn it onto a Bavarian village in the middle of Washington, perfect for tourists. They also have a ton of festivals there too (though i've never been to one). It's so cool, even the Safeway and Starbucks have the Bavarian twist to them. It's always a fun little place to spend the day. (And I hear sledding down the hill is AWESOME in the winter). 

We did our favorite things to do there: strolled through the Christmas store, ate a waffle cone, and tried on all the different hats at the hat shop. (But if you're going there for the first time... by all means spend more time! It's soo SWEET!)

Our nautical themed photo(And Carly with a unicorn):

the toy shop

But we had more on our agenda for the day... like white water rafting down the Wenatchee! Yes please!

We (and most importantly, the Phillips) had never gone down the wenatchee this late in the summer before, so the water levels were different. Which is huge when you're white water rafting... you want to know how to hit the big rapids to get the best thrill, but also know where you need to be and when you need to be there to not flip the raft or run into big rocks and all that jazz. But needless to say, it still worked out magically. The first run we had "older (Craig, Amy, Nathan, Kayla, Jacob, Rebekah and I)" people go, who were more prepared in case we flipped or hit the water wrong or something. But we didn't! Some of the big named rapids were a lot smaller, like snowblind and rodeo, while others were bigger, like rock&roll and Granny's, with the change of water levels. We still hit class 4 rapids (they only go to class 6... which are considered too dangerous to be reliably safe) and not a single person even fell out on all 3 runs we went on!

13 people in a Sienna, not too shabby. 
 Getting those dang wet suits on took some work, I tell you! 

That night we stayed at a hotel in Wenatchee because we were too slow in reserving a camping spot... I didn't mind. We slept in real beds and had free breakfast the next morning! Although Thursday night I tried out my waterproof phone case in the hotel pool. It didn't seal properly.... But it was nothing that a little rice couldn't fix! :) Can I get a round of applause for rice please? 

Stuffing the raft into the hotel room. 

 The few underwater pictures before we realized it didn't seal properly

The morning of the 4th we did 2 more runs down the river then headed over to the Lakehouse in Hauser, ID (up in the pan handle) just in time to roast some hotdogs and smores over the fire for dinner.

Then we walked down to the dock and watched all the different fireworks shows from different groups all around the lake. It was pretty sweet! Happy birthday, America!!

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