Cleveland's Outing to Nason Creek Campground & Wenatchee River Rafting

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Cleveland STEM High School
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Trip Types:
Car Camping, Hiking, Whitewater Rafting
Saturday, June 2nd
8:30 am – Meet @ Cleveland High School – breakfast, introductions, expectations, some gear distribution, pack the vans
9:15 am – Hit the road!! (I am expecting to stop for a restroom break outside of Sultan, WA)
12:15 pm – Arrive Nason Creek Campground
12:30 pm – Lunch
1:00 pm – Set up tents, etc.
2:00 pm – Head out for a hike in Lake Wenatchee State Park
5:00 pm – Return to camp
Evening – Dinner, Games, Camp Fire, etc.

Sunday, June 3rd

Morning – Wake up, strike camp, & breakfast (although breakfast could also be done in the vans)
8:00 am – Leave for Cashmere Riverside Park
9:00 am – Wenatchee Full Day River Trip with Blue Sky Outfitters– lunch will be provided
2:30 pm – (possibly earlier) Head back to Cleveland High School (we’ll stop on the eastern side of the pass for a restroom break)
5:30 pm – Arrive @ Cleveland High School (depending on departure time and traffic)
We met at Cleveland HS on Saturday morning and enjoyed breakfast bagels while we distributed gear and loaded the vans. A few students had arrived significantly earlier than we requested and we had several requests for a quick restroom stop when we got on the road. This is a struggle almost every trip. We stopped in Kirkland, nearly an hour before our planned restroom stop in Sultan. Once we were back on the road, we drove straight through to our campsites at Nason Creek Campground because the cancellation policy indicated if we did not check-in by 1 pm, we would lose our sites. (Turns out the campground hosts do not enforce that rule).

After a quick lunch by Nason Creek, we loaded up the vans and headed into Lake Wenatchee State Park, planning to enjoy the "8 miles" of hiking trails. Not sure where all those trails are, but we only ended up doing a mile or so loop before pivoting to spend our afternoon hanging out at the lake. The students played frisbee on the beach and cards in the shade of a tree. Students took of their shoes and socks and waded in the lake. Our school rep rented a set of horseshoes and started a fiercely competitive horseshoe tournament. In hindsight, we should have been prepared to spend a significant time at the lake – including encouraging the students to bring/wear swim suits, etc. for wading. We could have even brought floats and hung out on the water for the majority of the afternoon. Alternatively, we could have done a short hike (Heybrook Lookout, Wallace Falls, or…) during our drive over and arrived at the campsite later.

Due to bad mosquitoes at camp, we waited as long as possible before heading back to set up tents and make dinner. Campfire smoke and a Repel candle and lots of bug spray just were not enough to combat the mosquito bloom!

On Sunday morning, we broke camp and drove an hour to Cashmere to meet up with Blue Sky rafting. Our guides were phenomenal and the students had an awesome time on the river! We enjoyed the provided steak BBQ after our rafting adventure and then did our closing circle at the Riverside Park before heading back to Seattle. Overall, the students had a great time, but they would have liked fewer bugs.
Two 15-passenger vans, rather than two 12-passenger vans. Not problematic for seating students but made loading and unloading gear slow and awkward.

So many mosquitoes!!! In the future, would have ICO leaders be in charge of applying bug spray, as the students tended to overspray. Unfortunately, bug spray really was not enough to fend off the hungry bugs. Might be worth investing in a couple shelters with mosquito net for car camping trips?

Lake Wenatchee State Park has excellent access (via the south entrance) to Lake Wenatchee. The hiking trails, however, are few and not well marked. We did a short loop hike and missed a portion of the trail due to the lack of clear signage. We ended up walking along the road for longer than intended. The mosquitoes were vicious and the students did not really enjoy themselves much on the brief hike.