Labor Day Camping and Rafting

Breakfast on Monday morning.
We went camping last weekend near Naches, which is about a half hour or so northwest of Yakima, in central Washington. We took our chances with first-come first-serve camping because, unlike two years ago, the campground wouldn’t let us reserve only one night on a holiday weekend – the minimum stay was three nights. After much beating around the bush with the campground and the service that runs all the reservations for all Washington campsites, they finally told me that they wouldn’t bend the rules and give us a site for the night, even though there were sites available.

So we gambled and drove out Sunday afternoon, crossing our fingers that there would be a site available. I must admit… I was doubtful. Beautiful holiday weekend + one of the last weekends of summer = lots of people. But there was ONE unreserved spot at the first campsite we checked! There were also a couple of spots that had placards saying they were reserved for five days but the sites were empty, no campers in sight. So being the go-getters that they are, the guys went to the camp host to ask why those spots were empty. I can’t speak for how other campgrounds are run, but this camp host told us that if the campers didn’t have any of their stuff at their reserved site, especially in the middle of a multi-day reservation, then it was available to campers who needed it. So we got a prime spot next to the river without a reservation!

Skipping rocks across the river.
Since we couldn’t have a campfire, we prepared all our food in advance. We brought sandwiches, others brought Subway, and others brought a pasta salad. I think that’s the first time I’ve been camping without a campfire and I missed the warmth! We told scary stories (ok, Mark told a scary story) around a Nalgene lit up with a flashlight and it just wasn’t the same.

The next day we went rafting on the Tieton River through River Recreation, a company I’d totally recommend. They outfit you with wetsuits, booties, helmets, and life vests and send you on your merry way down the river, with a guide of course! I’d forgotten how technical the river is – lots of rocks to navigate – but our guide was stellar. I'm really disappointed I didn't get a picture of us in our wetsuits – as you can imagine, they were super attractive. ;) Not. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't get a picture!
Self portrait of the crew since we couldn't find anyone to take
our picture!

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