Chelan for a night

Trip Start May 10, 2010
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Trip End Jun 21, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, May 16, 2010

The next morning the fog was hanging thick and low over Cheif Joseph Dam. This was our third attempt get just five lines up the reservoir. With our new equipment that could profile deeper, we drove swiftly through the mist. It was so gray that you couldn't tell exactly where the sun was, just that it was in that general direction. I carefully ran my lines and James got his photos. I was very aware of every move, making sure I didn't take any unnecessary risks to ensure that this would be the LAST time we would have to come here. We ran all of the lines and I breathed a huge sigh of relieve when the final line was in the bag. I checked the data three times to make sure, then we pulled the skis and made our way back down river. Below Wells Dam we launched again and for the rest of the day we worked toward Chelan Falls. The eerie morning at Chief Joseph dam had spooked me all day and the nervousness of equipment failure had started to make me not enjoy being out in the field. Around noon the sun burned off the fog and we traded our rain jackets for sunscreen again. As we neared Chelan I started to see more and more houses taking up the river bank whereas farmland and orchards had been most common above Wells dam. At the end of the day we pulled the skis and towed them to the town of Chelan where we would stay for the night. We had been put up in a Bed and Breakfast that was also an artisan bakery. The proprietors were very friendly and seemed interested in what we did. They were gearing up for the holiday weekend coming up and said that Chelan was pretty dead until Memorial day, which marked the official start of summer outdoor season. The owner pointed us in the direction of a Mexican restaurant where we all toasted to another complete day and then returned to warm showers, soft pillows and phone calls home.
The next day we were met at the bottom of the stairs by the smell of warm bread fresh out of the oven. We ate breakfast slowly as the sun rose and we talked over our plan for the day. If everything went according to plan, we could finish this entire stretch of the river down to the Rocky Reach Dam today, but it would require good baselines on our radios shallow enough water for our probe and no equipment failure.
From Chelan we drove down to the park where we launched our skis.Today it looked like it was going to be a sunny day so we slathered on the sunscreen and set out for another day of wrangling. This was now the longest straight stint of 12 hour days that I had done consecutively and it was starting to take it's toll on my muscles. The skis were a lot of fun most of the time, but they drafted a lot compared to some flat bottom or inflatable boats out there, and they left you wanting for room while surveying. Aside from that the ski's could not be beat when they were transiting, Their top speed between lines was over 40 mph and it made for some really cool transits at times.
We diligently worked our way down the river towards Rocky Reach dam, as we neared the bottom of the reservoir we discovered that it was too deep to use our standard SV probe. We would have to pull out the big probe just for one line. But that wasn't all, I was also having more monitor issues. When I revved the motor on my ski, for some reason the screen would start to flicker pink. I had no idea what was causing it but I ran my last line with a flashing pink monitor in an attempt to just get it in the back so we could move on to Wenatchee. Finally we had collected all the data and pulled the skis. Eerily enough the monitor problem never returned, I was almost sure that there was some sort of serious curse operating a PWC in the Reservoir within sight of a hydroelectric dam. Not to be deterred, we pushed on and checked into our final hotel of the trip in Wenatchee, WA.
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