Rafting with some of my best buds from the 2015 Mt. Adams Institute VetsWork Crew

by Jimmy Pardo

2017 marks the year that I get the privilege of working with one of the best rafting companies on the gorgeous White Salmon, here in Washington State. The crew at All Adventures are some of the most sincere, fun and pleasant friends I have made living amongst this outdoor-loving community. The guides at All Adventures not only love rafting, but are also ambassadors for healthy rivers making rafting so much fun and educational for kids, adults… even adult-kids! Every trip I’ve taken has been so exciting, from the class III-IV rapids you start in to the mighty (yet optional) Husum Falls.

My first trip with All Adventures was through the Mt. Adams Institute, alongside some of my best buds. Around the midpoint of a year of service, Mt. Adams Institute treated its VetsWork AmeriCorps members to a blissful trip down the White Salmon River. The mission of both the Institute and All Adventures share a lot, creating outdoor experiences with the natural world and allowing people to build on what they discover. Before that, I had never been rafting, definitely not on river as wild and beautiful as this one.

 1. create again.

Especially for a flatlander like me, the White Salmon River is the real deal; glacial-fed torrents of crystal clear rumbling rapids, carving through ancient volcanic lava flows. The conditions make for excellent rafting for all skill levels and draws world class kayakers.

What I didn’t expect on our trip were these wonderful moments of calm and serenity along the way, making the trip both exciting and yet so relaxing! The river itself is unbelievably gorgeous and as healthy as ever since the removal of the 100 year-old Condit Dam in 2011.

I know what it’s like living in the city and the feeling you get driving into the gorge. As you approach Multnomah Falls you start to see that the heart of the Pacific Northwest is recreation. I can say from experience, each trip with All Adventures has rejuvenated me in ways I don’t even understand… and I’m very ok with that.

It could be the pristine air that allows rare and threatened lichen to grow here, like Methuselah’s Beard. Or it could be the refreshing glacial waters flowing off Pahto, also known as Mt. Adams, the neighborhood strato-volcano that hasn’t erupted in 1000 years. We’ll just say it’s all of the above.

Speaking of Mt. Adams. If you plan it right… one could fit both a rafting trip and a hike to the top of this beauty for an epic three-day weekend. Soon we’ll be sharing more local area info with suggested trip plans and all our favorite local eats!

I can’t wait to get in a raft again and soak up all that 2017 has in store. If you can’t tell, I’m so excited to bring all of you to All Adventures. Come make some memories in what is sure to be an epic year, especially for those who love to get outside and play on the water.

Questions? Click here for FAQ’s .

Till then… Grab a raft!