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By Heather Herbeck

1st Annual
Halloween Howl 2008
White Salmon River, WA

What’s black, red, and orange, paddles AT and hucks miniature ghords? Well, it’s the “Great Pumpkin” and “Grim Reaper” on the White Salmon River during the Halloween Howl.

A rainy, November 1st, brought about 50+ people to the White Salmon. The Halloween Howl event started with registration for the “Great Pumpkin Chase”. With 44 registered ‘chasers’, we knew this event would be exciting. Before the “Great Pumpkin Chase” took place, paddlers showed off their creativity for our Halloween Howl ‘Costume Contest’. The costume contest participants received extra applause if they included their kayaks in with their costume design.

Once the costume judging was finished, the “Chase” participants and spectators headed for BZ Corners. The “Great Pumpkin Chase” took place on a class III+ stretch of whitewater on the White Salmon. With 44 “chasers”, the “Great Pumpkin” and the “Grim Reaper” throwing around 25 miniature ghords, and a short, technical stretch of whitewater, emotions were high. The boaters knew that maneuvering through a technical course as well as 43 other people, while trying to get pumpkins to win raffle items, was going to be very intense. The spectators were eagerly awaiting carnage.

A few swims and 25 mini-pumpkins later, the “chase” was finished. The participants all fought hard for the pumpkins, awaiting great raffle prizes at the BBQ.

Once everyone got dry, participants and spectators headed down to Northwestern Lake for the BBQ, which was put on by OutdoorPlay.

We want to thank all of the businesses who supported this event: Yakima, NRS, Jacksonkayak, OutdoorPlay, AT Paddles, Kokatat, WRSI, Immersion Research, Wind River Cellars, Worldkayak and Seals – we could not have done it without you!!!

The Halloween Howl is all about paddling with great people and having fun while doing it. I think this event met that goal. I cannot wait until next year.

BTW – Have you guessed the “Great Pumpkin” and the “Grim Reaper”? Which local NW paddlers were they??? I will never tell 🙂

Heather Herbeck
Team JacksonKayak, Level Six, Sweet, AT, Girls4Sport

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