Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cassie & Garrett's Wet Wedding Weekend

Launching the drift boat
Getting on the river
Ok, let me first say that IT DOES NOT RAIN IN THE SUMMER IN OREGON. That being said, it has been pouring non-stop for 3 days now in the middle of July… yup… what the HELL IS GOING ON? Early in the week a few of us came up with the awesome idea of floating the Willamette River on Saturday from just north of Albany all the way to the Rogue Hop Farm for Cassie and Garretts wedding, camp overnight, and then float again Sunday morning to the take out in Independence. On Friday night Kevin and I shuttled my truck to Independence for the takeout and also dropped off a dance floor at the hop farm that was ultimately never used. On the way home I noticed some ominous looking clouds passing hugging the coast range but come on, it doesn’t rain in Oregon in the summer right!??

Mischa's a boat captain!
Seeking shelter from the rain
Yeah, 6am the next morning I got a text from Danielle waking me out of my sleep who said she was out… and then I heard the rain… not a soft rain, but a pelting “God is dumping a bucket on the house” type of rain. After some quick texting and radar checking on my phone we (Kev, Lex, Danny, Scooter, Em and I) decided to go for the backup plan and float the 2 hour trip from Beuna Vista to the hop farm later in the day hoping for better weather. And I went back to sleep.

Upon waking up at 10am and looking outside at the clouds above that appeared to breaking up everything seemed fine… It must have just been a sun shower right!?? We all piled into the cars and headed to the put in to meet up with BD, Carrie, Mischa, Erin and Cathy in Brians Drift Boat. Scott and Danielle and I and Em were in a 12 foot non-self-bailing raft while Alexa and Kevin were in a double inflatable kayak. We put in the slow moving river under some puffy clouds but only got about 30 minutes in before the rain started… again, not a soft rain but an absolute downpour that lasted for nearly an hour. We all took out at a small beach and ran into the woods where it was a bit drier and found ourselves on an old farm road next to a field enclosed by a fence of railroad tie-thick logs. None of us could figure out why there needed to be a fence that thick! I was eating cherries that Scott and Danielle brought and was wondering if we came back to the same spot in 10 years if we would see a row of cherry trees? While we were waiting for the rain to pass Bridget, Aaron Thiel, Jay and a few others showed up to join us out of the rain.

Group beach huddle
Cathy attack!
Eventually we decided we needed to get back on the river to make it to the hop farm and change in time for the wedding and thankfully the rain had stopped. Unfortunately, I had been drinking quite a bit on the float and for a split second when we took out at the beach thought I had actually dropped my phone into the river but thankfully I found it at the bottom of a dry bag. From there it was off to Colin’s van where we had stashed our clothes and camping stuff the night before. We all changed quickly thinking we were late but then heard the wedding was delayed by at least an hour (a forgotten mom we heard…). During that time we decided to go for a very cool stroll through the huge hop vine field to check them out and noticed that Emily’s dress with hop vines on it was perfectly appropriate for the occasion.

Near the end of the float
Em and I at the wedding
The wedding was beautiful and believe it or not the weather held for the full 4-5 hours of the wedding and dance party afterward. I had fun hanging out with Elise as usual and as usual had a long convo with Russ (don’t know why I get into such long chats with Russ while I’m drunk…but he only had nice things to say about me which was great – side note: I really like Russ as my boss, I think he’s a great guy). Anyway, the night after the wedding was a bit fuzzy. I know there was amazing food and the smoked salmon that Doug had made for Cassie was outstanding as was the BBQ chicken we had for dinner. The dance party on the deck of the hop farm didn’t last very long and unfortunately none of the dance music playlist songs I had made for them got played before the official wedding ended and people moved down to the beach for a bonfire. Not surprisingly with Garrett’s friends there was a lot of drunk nudity and skinny dipping in the river with several people spending a bit more time than was probably appropriate standing in their birthday suits by the fire. I was definitely pretty drunk by this point and Emily decided it was time to make our way back to the tent in the big field next to the parking lot. When we got back we heard a whole ton of fireworks being lit off and hoped that nobody would get in trouble for it. Not surprisingly with the state I was in, I had a pretty rough night as was evident in the field around the tent the next morning… L

Dress matches background
Smothered in hops!
Big surprise… we woke up to a friggin’ pouring rainstorm upon us. There is nothing I hate more than packing up a tent and sleeping bags in the pouring rain! Thankfully Colin was still around to take our bags back in his van while we were forced to float the last few hours in the rain to the take out in Independence. Emily and I have been in far, far worse weather conditions, with less clothes, and under much more exhaustion than this but we could tell from other people’s faces that they were going through hell, particularly Alexa. The rain did not stop for the next two hours of our float as we followed Brian in his drift boat down the river, which seemed to be barely moving. It definitely wasn’t fun and if it had been 5 degrees colder we would have been hypothermic by chance… And for Alexa who is part Cuban, it was nearly hypothermic.. so she was not having a good time and admitted at the end that it may have been the worst experience of her life. On the upside the rain did eventually stop but only with about 30 minutes left of the float and we did get to see some bald eagles and ospreys on the trip diving for fish in the river. Our boat, not being self-bailing actually had a couple of inches of freakin’ rain water in the bottom of it.

Mmmm... food & Doug's Salmon
Elise dancing at the reception
After a quick shuttle to the other cars in Beuna Vista and a drive home we all gathered at our place to watch the Women’s world cup final between the U.S. and Japan. Unfortunately when I turned on the tv to find the recording I actually saw the end of the game and who won so I had to keep my mouth shut for the whole game. Although the U.S. did lose I feel that they totally outplayed Japan who seemed to have someone looking over them as all our shots seemed to bounce off the goal posts. But, for a country that just lost 25,000+ people to an earthquake and tsunami I’m glad they got the win. It was a great weekend and a hell of a rainy journey down the slow moving Willamette and boy were we happy to be in a dry bed and apartment on Sunday night. Believe it or not, we actually started a fire in the wood stove in the middle of July!!!!

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