Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Riverfest Party at Solstice!

After a day of Education, it was time to Socialize and Party!
P.M. of June 4th, 2008

After the symposium, we had some time to kill before the evenings festivities. Some people went on a hike, some went home to catch their breathe, while others headed out to paddle the Middle and Lower stretches of the White Salmon River. Unfortunately, due to the river-wide tree falling about 50 feet below rattlesnake rapid that very afternoon, we could not hold the playboating clinic.

The evening segment of the day was held at Solstice in Bingen, WA. Here we had "all you can eat" pizza (and their pizza is awesome), pasta dishes and breadsticks. Solstice had to work hard to keep up with the appetite of river guides!

Many guides from local outfitters joined in the events of the day . . . it was good to see everyone under one roof. I met a lot of new people.

And . . . what's a celebration without cake! These eager participants are awaiting the cutting of the cake and the raffle!

Hope to see you next year . . . every year is bigger, better and different! If you have any questions, please contact one of the organizers through our website - If you would like to support this event and help us keep it going, we accept donations through the website for this non-profit event.


Heather Herbeck

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Successful Event!

3rd Annual White Salmon Riverfest

June 4th, 2008

I really don't know where to start in this blog. Everything and everyone was so incredibly amazing and played a huge role in the success of yet another White Salmon Riverfest. Alright, I have to start somewhere!

The Symposium

Location: This was our first year in the Husum Fire Station in Husum, WA. During our planning phase, we had to attend a council meeting and convince the Husum council to allow us to use this facility for our event, it was obviously passed that evening. Our symposium was held in the 'gym' area of the Husum Fire Station.
The Husum Fire Station facility and Katherine and Sara (our smiling, friendly greeters)

Our day started off with breakfast: Coffee donated by Grounds in White Salmon and bagels/cream cheese from Rosauers (freshly made that morning).

We started the morning introducing the organizers (Jaco, Hootie and myself) and immediately followed with an update on the Headwater's Insitute and how it fit into our White Salmon Riverfest (by Charles Carroll).

Todd Olson from Pacificorp talks about the Condit Dam, which is targeted to be taken out October of 2009.
Thomas O'Keefe talked to us about the Condit Dam as well as other dams in the area. Thomas represents American Whitewater and set up a boothe with information about that great organization.
Bill Sharp, representing the Yakama Nation Fisheries, talked on what fish we can expect back in the White Salmon, following the dam removal. There are even fish out there that will be able to jump up Big Brother on the Green Truss!!! Bonnie Rice, representing American Rivers, followed. She talked about the number of Wild & Scenic rivers in the area, how long the White Salmon has been Wild & Scenic and also shared in the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Act. Our last presenter before our lunch break was Teunis Wyers, a local settler in the Husum/BZ area. Teunis shared with us some interesting stories about the settlement of the area. Some interesting tidbits: Rattlesnake creek (which dumps into the White Salmon below rattlesnake rapid) used to be called 'lost stove' creek - because before the bridge was built, they had to cross this river and apparently lost quite a bit of their 'goods'.

Lunch was provided by Cork & Bottle (a catering company out of Husum/BZ). If you're looking for a quality catering company, I would recommend Cork & Bottle in a heartbeat. Lunch was simple, yet tastey and delivered in a professional manner. Thanks Dave and Tahlia!

After lunch we continued with our presentations. Charles Carroll representing the Headwater's Institute, talked about Global warming and its' effects on us. It is thought that our winters, on average, will be much milder - thus, less snow fall and more rain. This is pretty detrimental, in that our spring/summer will be much drier, due to lower snow pack. So, let's all start doing something about it!!! Research and see what YOU can do! Bengt Coffin returned this year and spoke about the Geology of the White Salmon. He spoke about how the Basalt rock that you see as you boat through the White Salmon River was formed. Pat Arnold, from Friends of the White Salmon, spoke about the possibility of rezoning throughout the White Salmon area. Marge Dryden was our final presenter and talked about Native American History. She talked about where the Native Americans would travel (around this area) during the different seasons. One thing that I've always wondering was whether or not Lewis and Clark explored the White Salmon, and she mentioned that they did not get up the White Salmon River during their exploration.
Due to an unexpected log falling into the river below rattlesnake on that particular afternoon, Sue Baker had to attend to that. We look forward to her Nature walk next year. I've had the opportunity to walk with her around BZ falls, and she is a book of knowledge - I learned a lot just walking with her for 15 minutes.

We had a ton of raffle items for the symposium attendees . . . a big thank you goes out to our sponsors who donated to this years' event. We had a total of about 50 + people at the 3rd annual White Salmon Riverfest. We even had "Amelia" - Liz's dog - take interest in our presentations.
Stay tuned for the "party" segment of the day in our next blog coming soon!
Heather Herbeck
Jaco Klinkenberg
Hootie Boucher

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Volunteers needed for the White Salmon Riverfest!

JUNE 4TH, 2008
Volunteer: One who enters into, or offers for, any service of his own free will.
The White Salmon Riverfest needs volunteers for Wednesday, June 4th. If you've volunteered in the past, you already know that when you "give", you actually "get back" as well. We need help in the following areas:
1. Set up (Pre-event - June 3rd)
2. Breakfast set-up
3. Registration
4. Lunch - Set-up and Clean-up
5. Clean-up/Take-down
If any of these areas are your specialty, or you would just like to lend a hand, please contact Heather Herbeck at
Thanks! Hope to see you all next Wednesday!
Heather Herbeck

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Entertainment after the Symposium

JUNE 4TH, 2008

Guided kayaking down the White Salmon
Middle White Salmon (Class III/III+) with Tim Hardin/Kayak Shed
Lower White Salmon (Class II) with Heather Herbeck/Wet Planet

Playboating Clinics on the White Salmon
Rattlesnake - Intermediate/Advanced playboating maneuvers (River level dependant) with Andy Round/Wet Planet
Cave Wave - Beginner/Intermediate playboating maneuvers

Dinner at Solstice in Bingen, WA
Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.

Film Showing
7:00 p.m. - "Toxic Waters" by local BZ Corners Nate Herbeck (
7:45 p.m. - "Raft Carnage" and others

8:00 p.m. - Richard Tillinghast and the OneHum Band

Richard Tillinghast and his OneHum Band’s 2008 release, “Sweet By & By,” is stacked with well-played, emotionally melodic songs that take listeners on a journey from minor-key oblivion to soothing, front-porch sundown joy.
Cello, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, bass, and harmonies create “unique, American folk-pop” that “celebrates life in the Columbia River Gorge.” (White Salmon Enterprise, White Salmon, WA).
Chief among the players in the OneHum Band is Tova Cochrane on cello. “Pairing a guitar and banjo-playing singer-songwriter with a classically-trained cellist is not an obvious choice, but it’s a musical marriage that works beautifully,” writes Rodger Nichols of The Dalles Chronicle, The Dalles, OR, in his review of “Sweet By & By.”
Mr. Nichols goes on to write, “Tillinghast is blessed with a unique voice. He’s been compared to everybody from Eddie Vedder to James Taylor. For us, it’s a blend of John Prine and John Stewart, with echoes of Pete Seeger in the phrasing, but none of those do it justice; in the end, he’s an individual.
Tillinghast also has a poet’s ear and economy of expression, with a sweet spot for the telling phrase.”

From his first gig in London at age 19, Richard Tillinghast has played hundreds of shows nationwide. Recordings include “Blue Tattoo,” (1995), “Men and Their Machines,” (1996), “Onehum,” (2005), and “Sweet By & By” (2008). He has performed up and down the Columbia River Gorge and been invited to festivals from Arkansas (Ozark Folk), to North Carolina (Black Mountain Music), to Colorado (Telluride Mountain Film). “Soulful porch side rhythms.” (Hood River News). “His music is a deep, healing well.” (Edge Magazine, SC).
Kayaking is also a major passion in his life. He has been sponsored by Whetstone Paddles and, and the AT Paddles Promotional DVD is set to a soundtrack of his music.
Tillinghast is “reminiscent of folk innovators from Greg Brown to Iron and Wine”, and “shows great promise for what may come next.” (Annie Bloom's Books and Music Review, Portland, OR).

Hope to see you all there . . . more blog postings to come in a couple of days . . . check back!

Heather Herbeck

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Guide Olympics Training during the Riverfest


The WS Riverfest is Educational and FUN . . .

Every year, guides from each outfitter on the White Salmon River get together to test their 'guide skills' in friendly competition. Well, we have decided to include in our riverfest some training for this annual summer event.

Guide Olympics training will take place during each of our breaks - morning break, lunch break and afternoon break. Start getting ready, here are the competitions:

1st Event - Throw Bag Competition - you must be able to throw the bag into a 'goal'. This competition will test your accuracy.

2nd Event - Paddle Balance - we will see how long you can balance a 't-grip' on your chin. This competition will test your balance.

3rd Event - Ammo can 'tug of war' - You will have to come to the event to find out what this competition is all about!!! This competition will test EVERYTHING it takes to be a raft guide.

We promise you . . . whether you decide to participate or you are an innocent by-stander, you will be laughing your socks off! Hope to see you there.

JUNE 4TH, 2008

See the post below for detailed information about the days' schedule and event sponsors.

Friday, May 9, 2008

White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium

Wednesday, June 4th 2008

The 3rd annual White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium is less than a month away. This event will give you the education, the networking and the enjoyment that will benefit the White Salmon River for years to come.

Schedule for the day is as follows (subject to change):

Event Location: Husum Fire Station in Husum, WA
Dinner & Party Location: Solstice in Bingen, WA

Pre-registration (Before June 2nd): $12.50 includes event, dinner & party
Day of the event: $15.00 includes event, dinner, party and one raffle ticket
Dinner & Party only: $10.00

Wednesday, June 4th:
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Opening and Welcome - Heather Herbeck and Jaco Klinkenberg
9:15 a.m. Condit Dam - Going or Staying? Todd Olson - Pacificorp
9:35 a.m. What's new on the WS dam? Thomas O'Keefe - America Whitewater
10:05 a.m. Fish Restoration: Impact on boating? Jeanette Burkhardt - Yakama Nation Fisheries
10:35 a.m. BREAK - Mini-Guide Olympics Challenge #1
11:00 a.m. Native American History
11:30 a.m. River Valley stories by settlers Teunis Wyers & Kelly Kreps
12:15 p.m. LUNCH - provided by Corks & Bottles, a BZ/Husum catering company and Mini-Guide Olympics - Challenge #2
1:00 p.m. Global Warming Charles Carroll - Headwaters Inst.
1:45 p.m. Geology of the WS and Klickitat River Bengt Coffin - US Forest Service
2:30 p.m. BREAK - Mini-Guide Olympics Challenge #3
2:50 p.m. White Salmon River Valley pending rezoning Pat Arnold - Friends of the White Salmon & Brent Foster - Columbia RiverKeepers
3:15 p.m. Wild & Scenic Act - 40th Anniversary Bonnie Rice - American Rivers
4:00 p.m. Plant Identification Sue Baker - Forest Service
4:45 p.m. Optional Paddle on the White Salmon
6:30 p.m. Dinner, raffle, film showing of "Toxic Waters" and music at Solstice in Bingen, WA

Hootie Boucher

Heather Herbeck


Sponsors include:

Wet Planet Whitewater, Kavu, Strawberry Mountain Spa, Chaco, Shred Alert, Mountain Khakis, Smith Optics, Ella Vickers (recycled sailcloth collection), SnowAngel, OtterBox, Pistil, Next Adventure and the KayakShed.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Meet the 2008 White Salmon Riverfest Organizers

June 4th, 2008

Heather Herbeck

With her pink helmet, her pink/purple Jackson Kayak and her penchant for running big waterfalls, Heather is a recognizable figure in the whitewater kayaking community. Heather is currently on the water full-time as a whitewater kayaking instructor and raft guide.

Heather first moved to the Pacific Northwest, along with her husband, in 2004. The two made their move to the area to pursue their passion for whitewater kayaking. While personally growing and progressing in the sport of kayaking, Heather is now giving back to the kayaking community. She specializes in women's clinics, kid's clinics and motivational speaking. Heather has presented at Expos throughout the United States over the last couple of years, as well as the 2007 Whitewater Symposium.

Over the last 5 years, Heather and her husband, Nate started a film production company, Sheer Madness Productions, and have produced two kayaking films - "Liquid Insanity" and their new one, "Toxic Waters".

Heather's easy-going personality and sheer enthusiasm for paddling make her a favorite with the people she's in contact with, both on and off of the river.

"This is my third year in helping to organize the White Salmon Riverfest and Symposium. I continue to be a part of this event, because the White Salmon is one of the "Northwest Classics", and I wish for this river to be enjoyed by everyone for many, many years to come. However, we cannot continue to enjoy this beautiful river, if we neglect the fact that we must we must also care for it. In order to care for the White Salmon, we must first be educated about the rivers' history and its' future. This education is available on June 4th, 2008. I hope to see you there!
- Heather Herbeck -

Jaco Klinkenberg

While there are few people who can actually pronounce Jacomijn Klinkenberg's name correctly, Jaco (pronounced Yako) holds claim to being the inventor of the name 'Wet Planet Rafting and Kayaking'. A native of the Netherlands, this Dutch paddler's route to becoming co-owner of Wet Planet has its' beginnings in the European Alps. Born and raised in Holland, Jaco spent much of her childhood in the outdoors. An accomplished skier and climber, Jaco first encountered whitewater paddling on a trip to the United States. On this trip she took her first kayak instruction at the New England Outdoor Center.

In Holland, Jaco spent 10 years in the advertising industry before beginning her career in outdoor recreation. Working for several of the world's top international advertising agencies, Jaco worked with international clients such as American Express, Texaco, Philip Morris, and Canon. This experience and training is evident in the professionalism, organization, and vision that Jaco brings to Wet Planet.

Jaco first met Todd Collins on a 12-day whitewater trip in Utah. At the time, Todd was already working with ideas for creating a new whitewater company. The two shared similar visions of what this company could be, and Jaco's marketing background and professional work experience provided pieces that made the vision a realistic possibility. It was on this trip that Jaco decided to leave her life in Amsterdam to pursue her passion for outdoor adventure and travel. Says Jaco, "I wanted a job where I could actually see the beauty of the world we live in."

Jaco and Todd joined forces again in Costa Rica, where the two worked for the same whitewater company. For two years, Jaco worked as operations manager for the Turrialba based company providing custom whitewater and travel trips to foreigners visiting the country. She handled everything from planning logistics for multiple week trips to designing content for the web site to guiding customers on scenic trips throughout Costa Rica. During this period Todd and Jaco started to plan for the creation of a new style of whitewater company, and it was on a jungle paddling trip that Jaco first spoke the name Wet Planet.

Although Jaco is currently most visible at Wet Planet managing schedules, logistics, reservations and day-to-day operations around the Wet Planet headquarters, she is also responsible for much of the behind the scenes work with marketing and strategic planning. While she may not spend much time in the back of a Wet Planet raft, she does also bring a high level of whitewater expertise and adventure travel experience to the company. She is a certified whitewater raft and kayak instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, a certified ACA whitewater kayak instructor, a trained Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Educator. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Central America. She speaks five languages and pours a mean espresso.

"I see this unique and wonderful river, and so many individuals who care for it: whitewater rafters and kayakers, as well as people and interest groups involved with the White Salmon. There is a fascinating history on this river and in its' valley, and now things are happening that will change its future. For the better or worse, everyone has their own opinion and interest concerning these changes. With the White Salmon Riverfest and Guide Symposium, I want to create an opportunity for people to share knowledge and passion and to learn from each other and other professionals in their field of interest to the White Salmon River. In addition, I would like this event to take place in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, where people feel safe and respected, and where they will all have a good time in a way that builds bridges among a diverse community.At Wet Planet, we see a great opportunity to share our gained knowledge with thousands of guests each year, while exploring the river with our guests each day. We feel fortunate to be one of few permitted outfitters on this river and are grateful for this opportunity to give something back to this beautiful river and its community."

-Jaco Klinkenberg-

And, here's our new recruit! We are very excited to have Hootie on board.

Hootie Boucher

Christopher (Hootie) Boucher grew up in Natick, Massachusetts, home of champions and the dreaded Natick Mall. With a father who was a high school biology teacher, a mother who was a nurse, and recovering injured hawks and owls as pets, Christopher developed a strong appreciation for nature and a genuine desire to help others at an early age. Of his early years, Christopher states, "if it isn't weird enough having hawks and owls as pets growing up, then perhaps being nicknamed after the owl is." When he was 12 years old, for reasons that have mostly been forgotten, his peers named him after one of the owls. The nickname Hootie stuck.

With a loud voice and an ability to remember camp songs, it was a natural progression for Hootie to become a summer camp counselor. In a life-changing experience, Hootie became a camp counselor for a unique camp program designed for children and adults with special needs. The compassion, patience, and desire to help others that Hootie developed during summers as a counselor is still evident in his current work.

Hootie's career in whitewater began at an early age when his father first took him on a whitewater rafting trip in Maine. Several years and a few whitewater adventures later, Hootie found himself looking for a summer job in Colorado after college. Working as a raft guide seemed to be a natural calling. Living in a tent in the Arkansas Valley with an incredible view of the Collegiate Peaks and working on the river four months out of the year, Hootie developed one of his greatest passions... river travel.

Hootie believes that the time he has spent on rivers has changed his life in positive ways, providing perspective and helping him to focus. Working as a raft guide has provided Hootie with the opportunity to share his passion for whitewater with others, while learning to kayak has allowed him to experience rivers in a much more personal way.

Hootie spent several years migrating between the summer rafting season in Colorado and winters in a small mountain ski town in the Eastern Sierras. In 2002, prompted by the suggestion of a friend, he moved to the Columbia River Gorge. An avid whitewater paddler, skier, and mountain biker, Hootie found equilibrium in the Columbia River Gorge. These days Hootie is easy to spot around town or at a river put-in with his truck loaded with boats or bikes and the unmistakable license plate "River Zen."

He has this to say about spending time on the river with Wet Planet Rafting and Kayaking, "I love the opportunity that guiding offers in that I get to meet new people and share with them something that I am very passionate about. I also feel very lucky to have come to work for Wet Planet. The diversity and experiences of my fellow staff has helped make it an ideal work situation. We all like to have fun and enjoy sharing that with others. See you on the river!

Mark your calendars for June 4th, 2008!

Stay tuned for the next posting and find out where the event is taking place and what topics will be discussed.

Hootie Boucher
Heather Herbeck
Jaco Klinkenberg