For 8 straight days there was perfect sunshine in preparation for the Cowlitz River Pickin' and Paddlin' Retreat. I mowed, built trails and campsites, and stocked the fridge and cupboard with plenty of good food. Though it started raining on Thursday many dedicated paddlers, friends and musicians traveled through bad traffic and heavy weather on Friday and Saturday to the retreat.
The paddling on Saturday was a lot of fun. The rain broke some in the afternoon and we paddled up river looking at a nice rainbow. The rain had increased some the pushiness of the river. Thankfully, everyone was in good gear and the few swims we had could turn out to be just good fun. The upstream treasure hunt tempted several contestants to paddle into some hard to get to areas and challenge themselves with the promise of free Costa Del Mar Sunglasses and Stohlquist WaterWear. All this created quite a hunger. Steaks and fresh salmon were grilled to perfection with the help of the crew with great sides and dessert to go with.