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After-Work Play

Photo: Post-work fun on Flake Fest (5.9), one of many routes on Trundle Dome near Leavenworth.

After-Work Play
by Andy Dappen

It's that time of spring when long days let you get out to play after work. Take advantage of it. Whether you road ride, climb, whitewater paddle, or mountain bike, there are groups that assemble each week focusing on your idea of fun.

Wednesday evening, for example, the Climbing Chatter group had rock climbers (ranging from intermediate to advanced skill levels) slinging ropes up a half dozen routes on Trundle Dome. The climbers present could bounce from one rope to another leading or following lines that were as hard or easy as they wanted. Andrew Toth wrote an email the next morning stating, "A fun time at Trundle Dome. Eight of us showed up for a balmy and very fun evening of climbing. Able to climb until 9:30 pm, most of us got 4-5 pitches of good granite in. We'll do it again next week. I'll send an email with the time and place."

While this is not an instructional group, any intermediate or advanced climber knowing how to belay, rappel, and following at least 5.7 is encouraged to join in. Get on the group email list keeping you informed of what's happening by contacting Charlie Hickenbottom.

Other activities happening regularly during the long days of spring and summer include:

Monday Night Women's Ride.
Every Monday night until mid-September, a women's group leaves from EuroSports (Leavenworth) at 5:30 p.m. for, roughly, a 90-minute ride. Typically six to 10 women show up to ride. The rides are very inclusive and accommodate average fitness levels --having a road bike is the main criteria. Some evenings, people with time to burn will meet at a nearby watering hole afterwards, but many evenings those who show up to ride have places to be after the ride. More details available here or by calling Eric Redrup at EuroSports (509) 888-5336.

Trail Tuesdays. Every other Tuesday, a work party organized by the Land Trust heads out to maintain a section of trail in the Saddle Rock or Sage Hills area from 5 to 7 p.m. Check in the week before to find out where the group is meeting. Bring gloves, sturdy shoes, protective clothing, and, if you have them, hand tools (shovel, hard tined rake, Pulaski). The Land Trust also provides tools. A safety briefing and guidance for those who have never done trail work before is provided. The next sessions are June 5 and 19. Call or email Tina at (509) 667-9708 or tduffey@cdlandtrust.org  for more details.

Tuesday Paddling. This 90-minute paddling session,  launching from Wenatchee Row and Paddle Club’s dock on the Columbia River at 5:30 a.m.,  is actually an early morning activity held waaay after work yesterday or before work today. These morning sessions are informal and ideal for the new paddler. The group goes at a slower pace and offers tips for less experienced paddlers. Although these sessions have Row and Paddle Club members in mind, non-members who are interested in getting involved in paddling or who want to see what paddling is all about are encouraged to come. For details contact Kim George at kgeorge50@charter.net.

A group ride along the Loop Trail.

Wednesday Night Road Rides.
 Every Wednesday night until mid-September, road rides that are about 90 minutes in length leave from EuroSports (Leavenworth) at 5:30 p.m.  Typically two groups  form -- a fast group of quite serious riders and a slower group for less competitive types. These rides have taken place for a few years on Wednesdays and are currently convening on Wednesdays, however many of the regulars this year have a conflict with the night and there's a reasonable chance the evening will change this summer. More details available here or by calling Eric Redrup at EuroSports (509) 888-5336.

Whitewater Wednesdays. Jean Luc, a kayaker who works for Leavenworth Mountain Sports is coordinating pickup paddling for advanced beginners and intermediate kayakers wanting to paddle the Wenatchee River’s  whitewater run between Dryden/Peshastin and Cashmere. Meet at Riverfront Park in Cashmere (the take-out) at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. These sessions will run until the flow trickles off (probably around mid-July). Once the flow drops, the Wednesday emphasis will shift to advanced/expert paddling for those with the interest and skill to handle runs like the Icicle River and the Tumwater Canyon.

Free-Riding Thursdays.  An advanced group of mountain bikers with a downhill emphasis meets in front of Das Rad Haus at 6:00 p.m. each Thursday. The group usually decides on the spot where they're going and carpool/shuttle onward. Anyone with the skill to handle advanced terrain with jumps and drops is welcome.

Post-work playboating on the Wenatchee River at Turkey Shoot (aka Gun Club Wave).

Rolling Sundays. Practice your kayak roll at the Leavenworth pool from 4 to 5:30 p.m. (pool entrance fee  is $5/person). Come with your own whitewater gear (it must be hosed down and clean) or make arrangements to use gear provided by Leavenworth Mountain Sports (509-548-7864). Help and instruction also provided by Leavenworth Mountain Sports.

Here’s a list with even more after-work activities that is permanently listed at the Wenatchee Outdoor Website on the right  (under ‘Groups,Clubs, Orgs’).

In light of all these opportunities you can imagine the conundrum some of us find ourselves in during a typical summer week here in Central Washington. Saturday and Sunday are the normal days for longer outdoor trips. Monday after work I can’t qualify for the woman’s bike ride so I take consolation playing Ultimate Frisbee in the shadow of Saddle Rock (details found in
this list of activities). Tuesdays are for trail work, Wednesdays it’s a tough call so cool evenings are for rock climbing and hot evenings are for whitewater paddling. Thursdays I’m not good enough to join the wicked downhill mountain bikers so I fly solo on a cross-country mountain bike ride in the Wenatchee foothills.

You see where this headed, right? By the end of the work week, my wife is getting annoyed that she hasn’t seen much of me. So I need to set things straight because … the weekly fun calendar resets on Saturday and there are already outings on the books. That makes Family Fridays (aka Divorce Deflection Day) a vital part of the weekly routine.


If you're aware of other after-work opportunities for hiking, climbing, running, cyclo-cross riding, road riding, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, geocaching, etc., please add the details (who, what, when, where, why) as a comment below.