Saturday, 30 May 2015
Allan’s day off:
This sounded like a good day off. Skyler dropped this on my facebook page and I put it on the calendar so we could schedule work around it.
Raymond is on the Willapa River upstream of South Bend & the Willapa Bay and it is a full day trip for me to paddle from South Bend up there and back (pics). The Willapa River has a lot more relics and stuff to explore in Raymond and upstream so this new dock needed checking out.
Raymond has a boat trailer launch located to the right of the last bridge as you leave town northbound. It needs dredging as it’s a field of mud at zero tide… (Here is a picture from Lee Roy’s site .)
Onward except for a tragic delay.
Traffic just north of the Bruceport hill was reduced to one lane as a crew cleaned up after a truck carrying a couple of thirty ton rocks southbound for our local jetty drove off the highway. The cab was badly crushed and I feared the worst for the driver but he survived. A video made by the towing company supervisor as they pulled out the truck was found by Jenna and can be seen here: (Kenworth Rollover) .
Map (courtesy of Google) showing Raymond and the new dock. (Also shown is where I discovered deposited two rubber ducks of the six duck depots).
If a boater returned with ducks from two differently located caches they received a nice prize and a free ticket for a new Pelican kayak being raffled. Energy bars were also available for sale.
However, even energy bars would not have enabled me to lift my hefty 63 lb. 16 foot boat over the zig zag rails down to the dock. See that guy behind the boat in the photo above? He was a lifesaver and the muscle I needed to get down to the dock and back. People with lighter and/or shorter boats made their way down to the new dock just fine.
Michelle has started a Facebook page called Willapa Harbor Paddlers – Kayak Group …”to share photos and let other paddlers know where your favorite places are to paddle and enjoy the scenery!”
Here’s the lower dock and Raymond’s new kayak platform as it slides in another boat.
The first person I met out on the water was a fisherman who wanted to talk salmon fishing. The season apparently just opened. As I am from Ilwaco, a town big on all things fishing, I should have had answers but I didn’t. I don’t fish.
I followed some others through this narrow passage and discovered a shortcut to the swivel railroad bridge.
Here is another shot of the bridge from a sign at the dock
I found out that one of the hidden duck bags was nearby and went back around the west side…
…and there it was
My first duck!
I gave a clue to a nearby duck hunter and then another one was liberated from the bag.
I see ducks on their decks.
I headed past the dock and upriver where I found this bird looking down at me and the disruption we were causing.
It’s hard to get good shots of flowers when you’re floating in a trench.
There were half a dozen baby ducklings (real ones) splashing away to my right while their parent swam left across the front of me. I went along with their deception, turned away from the cute little ones (sorry no pic), and got a long shot of their parent.
Above: Their decks decked out in ducks too. I got another clue to head upstream more, turn right and head down a skinny bit of water where I was lost until…
Here is a side view of a barge. I was told there were still hull markings but it looked like garden patina to me.
Location of duck number two between the two barges.
A first time kayaker. We later came across her mom, also out for her first time, looking for her.
One nice thing about organized events is that there are others around for advice and to make sure everyone has fun and gets back to the dock.
Another hunter of ducks who mentioned that he also has paddled Lake Chelan. Cosmopolis and Hoquiam also had boaters here today.
A very dry exit on Raymond’s new dock. South Bend has a low dock that helps prevent flipping over but this ramp and overhead bar is very secure feeling. Yeah Raymond!
I stuffed an auto GPS in a waterproof box just to gather numbers. Kayaking is slower than a bicycle but sometimes faster than walking.