This year’s Hike Bike and Boat proved to be the biggest and the best. First off, there was sunshine! After 9 years of scheduling this program for early May, we pretty much just assume there will be some precipitation. This year was the weather was warm and sunny and the river conditions were just perfect. Low enough to keep the whitewater section challenging yet manageable and high enough to make the braided lower section navigable and not too bumpy for our disabled participants. The Outdoors For All foundation showed up early with a fleet of adaptive cycles and mountain bikes to ride along the Clear Creek Campground loop. The hike team gathered trail runners (like all terrain rickshaws so children in wheelchairs can ‘hike’ the trail too), some compasses and the Moss Man costume and headed up to the Old Sauk trail. Meanwhile, the boats were topped off as the lunch crew furiously chopped and prepped their tasty buffet.
We counted 117 participants from 8 different groups this year in Darrington, a new record! Kids were recruited from Rehab Without Walls, Swedish Pediatric Clinic, Neighborhood House, Tukwila Elementary ESL program, South Park Community Center and Refugee Women’s Alliance. Our amazing volunteers were able to divide these kids into three groups, taking them on three simultaneous rafting, hiking and cycling trips and somehow make it look easy. It always surprises me how quickly the kids lose their insecurities and fear once they enter into the whirlwind of the Hike Bike and Boat. Most would have perceived any one of these activities as impossible just yesterday but now having done all 3 in one day, most kids are self proclaimed experts!
We are thankful for support from Windermere Foundation and Cascade DAFO for sponsoring the event. We have already starting planning the for May 2013, cant wait to see what the 10th annual looks like!