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From Boise, Idaho we made our way to Oregon. Our furthest western destination on our summer road trip. After spending time with family in Portland, we headed back to Hood River to try some wing surfing. Gale force winds roared up the Columbia River Gorge creating large waves. The area was bustling with all manners of wind crafts; wind surfers, wing surfers, and kite surfers. Our lesson was in a slightly less windy and un-crowded area. It was a huge learning curve as I know next to nothing about sailing, but I was able to get the board to move across the water with the wing. Fun to try!

Wind surf scene at Hood River, OR

As we finished up taking in the wind scene, I contacted my fellow teammate Anna Bruno to see if she was around to get a bite to eat and catch up. She just got back into town and was definitely up for food and chatting. As we enjoyed a local restaurant, Anna also graciously offered to take us on her local river, the White Salmon, if we were available the next day. YES! We crossed the Hood River bridge to White Salmon, WA and found a roadside boon dock spot in the forest for the night.

Washington roadside forest boon docking.
Washington roadside forest boon docking.

The next day we met up with Anna and friend John. We set shuttle and headed for the put in. This section of river was absolutely stunning! The cold water is a beautiful emerald blue color. The basalt canyons rising up from the water create a dramatic atmosphere as we marveled at the magic of this river. Numerous fun eddylines provided stern squirt opportunities in the Antix.

White Salmon river views.

As we made our way downstream, Anna pointed to where the Condit dam once was. I would not have been able to pick out where the dam was 11 years prior without someone telling me. A testament to how quickly the river can recover if we let it. In addition to the beauty uncovered above the water, the salmon and steelhead have also returned. Check out this National Geographic video of the dam removal.

Thank you so much Anna and John for sharing this gorgeous river with us. It’s easy to see why people fall in love with the river and the area. It is magical.

-Hannah Ray J