Autumn is coming! The days are getting shorter, there is a crisp snap to the air, and the first rains are blowing in from the Pacific. To celebrate the changing of the seasons, Aubrey and I went out to the White River, east of the Cascades, and paddled the 14 miles of the twists and turns upstream of Lake Wenatchee. The tributaries of Lake Wenatchee are one of five spawning grounds for sockeye salmon in Washington, and now is the time that they are beginning their upstream migrations. Sockeye salmon fry (the baby fish) are unusual compared to other salmon in that they need a lake to mature, before they head out to the ocean (though land-locked populations also exist, called kokanee).
The river was never more than 300 yards or so from the road, and yet, it felt like a real wilderness, almost like being far from civilization in Alaska. In addition to the salmon, we saw bald eagles, river otters, american dippers, and lots of evidence of bears (paw tracks). It’s nice to see a healthy wilderness ecosystem thriving so close to civilization.