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Deception Pass Dash – Extreme NW Paddling Event

Do you wonder if you have what it takes to paddle Northwest waters in extreme conditions? The cold water temps, chilly weather conditions, onshore winds, and choppy waters of the Washington coast combine to provide a challenging playground for experienced paddlers who have mastered their defensive boating techniques and self-rescue skills. Extreme Paddling Event! Each December nearly 200 adventurous paddlers converge on Deception Pass State Park near Oak Harbor for a 6-mile paddle race known as the Deception Pass Dash. In it’s 8th year, the DPD has become the extreme winter paddling event of the Northwest. The event is open to all human-powered craft. This years event will be held on Sunday, December 8, 2013 with rescue practice and on-water clinics held at the Park on Saturday, December 7th. Racers come from as far as California and Montana to compete in the…

San Juan Island Hopping – Men’s Journal Approved Travel

Boating the San Juan Islands Hidden in the rain shadow behind the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades, the San Juan archipelago sees the sun 247 days a year. During the summer and early fall, when calm seas are the norm, clear skies are as common as the eagles and whales that swoop and breach in the waterways between the 400 islands, some no bigger than a rock. But the weather is just icing on the cake. These islands are chock-full of cool towns, of-the-moment restaurants, and opportunities for adventure. There is no bad decision when it comes to choosing which island to stay on, but there is a best decision: Stay on a boat. The best place to begin your week around and on…the Juan de Fuca Strait is in the funky town of Anacortes, home to Anacortes Yacht Charters,…

Wild Sky: A wildly popular wilderness

INDEX — Local residents of this Cascade hamlet off U.S. 2 spilled across the lawn by the Skykomish River,  in a festivity that 50 years ago would have been about as likely to happen as watching the sun rise over the Olympics. They spent Tuesday celebrating the fifth anniversary of the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness Area, beneath peaks of the wilderness and a nearby forested ridge recently rescued from logging.  They feted Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., who fought to make it happen, and took Murray on a hike into forests of the wilderness. In days gone by, lines of logging trucks…decorated with anti-wilderness placards and with horns blaring would have protested.  Property rights activists would have spun conspiracy theories about the “them” who “want to take our land.” Signs reading “Forest Service: Kiss my axe”…

Those who pushed for Wild Sky Wilderness celebrate its 5-year mark

INDEX — Five years later, Wild Sky is still wild. This was precisely the goal of the people who pushed for the creation of the Wild Sky Wilderness area in the Cascade Mountains — to set aside a wild area to make sure it stays that way. About 60 people gathered in Index on Tuesday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the designation of more than 106,000 acres near Index as off-limits to any kind of development. “This is a big deal,” said Meg Town, who formerly lived near Index and now lives in Duvall. “This is a special area.” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, who saw the measure through Congress, attended. “Hundreds of years from now people will walk through there and see what we see today,” Murray told the crowd of environmental activists, local residents…

Outdoor Adventure Center hosts Wild Sky Wilderness Celebration in Index, Washington

Sen. Murray, Rep. Larsen visit Wild Sky on 5-year anniversary Index, Washington The Skykomish River was sparkling last week as it danced with the sun, seeming to join in the festivities. United States Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Rick Larsen traveled to Index on Tuesday, Aug. 20 to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the creation of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act. Wild Sky was a hard-fought designation which established 106,577 acres located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as a federal wilderness area. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on May 8, 2008 and was the first new wilderness area created in Washington State in over 20 years. Murray and Larsen worked in partnership, championing for the bill for nearly a decade. They were welcomed in Index by over 50 wilderness advocates and local residents, many…

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