Archive for the ‘boating’ Category

  Monday, 19 June 2017

Allan goes boating on the Naselle River

It’s going to be the first day of summer tomorrow. Today is going to be the first kayak expedition since last November.

Back in October 2014 I thought I could launch at the Willapa Refuge, head all the way upriver to the town of Naselle and back in one day. In six and a half hours I made it just past the 101 bridge, up the Ellsworth Slough and back.  The bit of the river around the town of Naselle I paddled once in February 2015. There is no launch in between unless I pull off the road and drag the boat across a field, which is possible, but too athletic.

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Today it’s the lower route



The fog was still out hiding the bridge across the Columbia to Astoria


Same view later from on the way home

The tide was plus five foot but would be going down all afternoon. The Naselle River stays deep enough for a kayak all the way up to the town of Naselle even when the Willapa Bay is mostly mud. The plan was to launch from Naselle and go out with the tide. The current would be on my side but there would be a headwind with gusts to 20 mph. If I took a sail, I could sail back and maybe cover the almost 20-mile trip.

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The boat launch with enough concrete to walk on.

When I returned after the trip, the launch was concrete deprived.

At the low tide of 2.2 feet, it’s muddy

It’s sticky, sucking off your shoes, covering your boat muddy.


Fortunately, it was easier to launch than it was to return and I set out.

I thought I’d snap a picture after just avoiding the overhanging trees

Watching for sunken trees and things that go bump.

A fallen tree had blocked three-quarters of the river. I think it used to be an island that is now being washed away.

The root ball and channel are off on the left.

Tree branch ribs

This helps show the tidal range. It’s plus 1.6 foot now.

A toy for a water fun


Someone had done a long climb to get that rope up.

A backhoe scoop had been installed the right, a modest garden is now on the top deck.

The rear deck and a doorway for someone else to explore. I did wonder if it opened.

Another old boat up on the shore

There was very little breeze through the woods. When I got out of the trees the wind picked up to to 15 to 20 mph

A furled sail makes upwind paddling easier

Before this boat, my usual experience was that I had to fold up the sail to get home. Tacking back and forth trying to work back upwind with my dad’s boat would usually just be back and forth but no upwind progress until I got the oars out. Small sailboats usually don’t come with oarlocks but I find them handy.

Around the bend, I partially unfurled the sail as it was gusty from 15 to 20 mph. Too much sail at once can be too exciting and actually slower.

Someone left these pilings in the way to zig zag through


Less than eight miles per hour but it seemed fast.

This is the bit of river I see when driving north of the curved 101 bridge over the Naselle River.

I ducked up into a calm Ellsworth slough to put on some warmer, dryer clothes and grab some lunch.

The 101 bridge, the goal.

Made it

Now the wind was at my back. The river isn’t straight, nor does the wind keep coming from the same direction as the terrain changes. This makes the sail sometimes flip from hanging off one side to hanging off the other side. The boom running along the bottom of the sail will whack the inattentive sailor as it flips to the other side giving notice that the boat will be instantly leaning the other way.

The internet suggested I could hold the sail out if I cut a notch in the paddle.

When the sail wanted to switch sides it would wrestle the paddle away.

Low-tech worked better.

It was an easy 6 mph glide back up to the woodsy part of the river. That beats 3.5 average paddling speed. That made the extra time setting up a sail worth it.

On the way back I saw this leftover relic from logging.

Someone has a nice garden with a river view which I’ve never noticed from the road.

I thought I saw a herd of deer scramble up from the shore. When I ‘developed the film’ I saw that someone is raising goats.

Into the woods and the wind was quiet

As the signboards used to say along the freeway, “If you lived here, you’d be home now.”

Or, more affordable, here.

I’d settle for this and a good tent.

Six ten and nearly home, the landing is just beyond this bridge in Naselle.

Something to look at, maybe salvage if it’s a sailboard.

It’s got tent poles. Here’s another use for a water proof camera…use it under water.

Perhaps it blew into the river during one of our windstorms. Perhaps it was trash tossed off the bridge

Now to do the responsible thing because creatures could drown in it. It won’t decompose.

dragging it back

Dragging stuff up the muddy landing

A tent ready for a leaf bag from the car.

So, two hours after spotting the tent, I was heading home to clean off the mud and to cook up a late dinner.



‘MapMyTracks’, a phone app.








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Note: If you enjoyed Allan’s recent Audubon trip to Long Island with author Robert Pyle, you might want to go back to that post and read the two post-trip messages (now added to the end) from the organizers. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017: Allan’s Day

Friends of Willapa trail clean up


A map in the Headquarters Unit showing protected lands and their recreational features.


Today (Saturday) the gate was open. The trails are accessible even when the gate is closed

I was there to help perform maintenance on the Cutthroat Creek trail as organized by the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.


Pre-cut steps ready to dig in. They’re pre-drilled for a couple of two-foot rebar chunks to ‘nail’ them down.


Supervisor Jackie and the first of many series of steps on this trail.


Jackie and some of the asphalt installers


The pink flag meant work. Here’s a new step almost ready for a piece of asphalt.


A fungi party parallels the trail.


Natural steps are sometimes in place.

I found that the log installation was going well. I thought an undrilled log could support a wiggling step. I learned it would just be a hazard later if it rolled underfoot so I packed in soil instead.


I beat up some old clippers slowly cutting a step top. It’s better to score, bend and break.


Some more steps going in

At this point I found myself hauling shingles to try to keep the shinglers shingling. Pruners were cutting and others were hauling but when hugging shingles, it wasn’t easy taking pictures and besides, I wanted to look busy.


Maybe bark later when this muddy spot dries out.


This fungi party extends off into the forest.

The logs are nearly done, some more need to be made, and the asphalters are near the end of the trail.




Todd ahead as someone behind asked us to pose for a picture. Then I turned around and followed instructions to be included in a photo.


Our ‘Garden Gang’ Todd who’s been doing this for years.


Yumm, and I thought we had to bring our own.


Maybe about twenty volunteers who have been making the Willapa a better place to visit.

Black Lake

Todd went right to work after the Cutthroat trail project. I went home (it’s supposed to be a day off after all).


The kids in the book I was reading were figuring out how to sail a frozen lake with their sledges. Something to do with an expedition to the North Pole at the north end of the lake.

We had a good wind from the north, so later I went to practice at our local Black Lake. There is no walking or working out when you’re in a sailboat, unless the wind dies.


Tucked under a tree by the generous permission of the land owner who likes to promote sailboats on the lake. The other two ‘yacht club’ boats have yet to be used by their owners.


If the boat works sideways, it should work keel side down.


Years ago, Ilwaco City Hall had an extra rhododendron which Skyler recommended they plant at the lake. Here it is on the east side.


Downwind to the furthest tip.


Now to sail back, step off on shore, and NOT use the oars. I’ve done it once in eight outings. That’s why I installed oarlocks.


A flowering salal where it should be, in its natural state.


Tried to grab the camera and get a horizon shot with the mast leaned way over. To do that I have to let go of lines and or rudder. The boat straightens up and, well, maybe it doesn’t lean over all that much.


The top speed was all of five and a half mph, easier than running or rowing.

The landing is to the right, just beyond the grass. The shore blocks the breeze. It takes inertia to glide in. Too slow and the boat looses steerage and drifts into the hazards.


Smooth water, no breeze near the landing.

I grabbed the camera, got the shot,  but in letting go of stuff I drifted into the island.


Rippled water out in the lake meant there was enough wind to try again. I pushed off the island but didn’t row.

I put the camera down and went around again, and again, for an hour. The challenge was to not to paddle. The kids in Ransome’s books don’t paddle without good reason.

When I got home and was asked “How was the trip”, I thought that spending an hour circling the landing was the highlight of the trip. “That doesn’t sound very productive.” I thought I’d try to illustrate it here.

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A google map with the challenge highlighted.

In chess, there is a fifty move rule where the game is a draw if no piece is captured or a pawn moved. Time spent learning how to win an endgame is productive if you want to get the game over.

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White can checkmate, or it’s a draw if white isn’t careful.





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une Saturday, 27 May 2017

Allan’s Day, part two: Long Island

This was the feature of the day, the weekend, to me: A guided trip by naturalists of a route to easily land and hike up to the small stand of old growth cedar that has been preserved on Long Island.


Here’s Long Island as it compares to the Long Beach peninsula

Here’s another view of the island.

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I’ve paddled into the bottom of the large green meadow in the center. Another time I paddled to the meadow opposite the Refuge and Baby Island but didn’t spot a good place to land with a trail. Actually, I felt it was OK to just sit in the boat.


Not all birders are boaters, therefore, canoes and planning.

Once again I ran across Baylee Layman, owner of Willapa Paddling Adventures. She had just driven 35 miles south from Raymond with a customer’s rental. Her shop has a fleet of varied kayaks and paddle boards. It’s a great place to get a lesson and into the water.


Baylee with one of her kayaks


Robert Pyle loading up with Tom & Ann

I was the last to leave as I had boots to help push boats off.


We were careful not to break the bug net


A canoe returns for more passengers while the kayaks head for the old ferry landing.


The pickup truck of the paddling world



I dragged the little Mary Beth kayak to just over the grass bank.


Robert Pyle & crew followed


Here’s the party getting ready. Someone suggested I pull the Mary Beth up even further and tie it to a post next to Dr. Pyle’s canoe.


Here’s the same scene after we came back. The tide had risen six feet and fallen back a half a foot and was still flooding the grass bluff.

There was a large group paddling around to the far side of the island to set up camp at Smokey Hollow, one of five campsites on the island.


The evergreen huckleberry grabbed the focus


Here’s a story


Dr. Pyle pointed out a solitary Silverleaf at the boat landing.

The trail was easy to follow as it was an old logging road covered with grass and fallen branches.



Fungi on the trail



Water droplets – I just had to touch one and find out. I don’t recall any rain that day either, just fog maybe four hours earlier.



The underneath was quite different from the top


After about two miles we came to a sign and a narrow trail.





The beginning of about a fifteen-minute loop trail



An evergreen huckleberry high up in the grove.




A topped tree with multiple new trunks


A fallen tree is bridged instead of sawn.


The differences between lichen and moss are examined.


Not sure of the book’s title but this sighting turned out to be a grey jay, sometimes called a whiskey jack.

A phone app that was recommended was ‘Merlin Bird ID’ by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Back to the landing with the boats still there


Steve, on the left, handled the logistics that made this trip possible. 




Dr. Pyle, Tom and I are the last boats back.

Now I can share this trip again with a friend or several. I have one person already angling for a trip to be organized later this summer.


From the Refuge to the grove and back, at an average of 1.6 mph, with side trips took almost five hours and covered eight miles according to my ‘MapMyTracks’ app.


Smokey and our Robert Pyle book collection  

 Post Script…Emails from Steve & R.M. Pyle June 4

Hello All:

Just wanted to say a final Thank You to you for a fun & friendly gathering last week at the refuge.  We managed to stay safe on the water and to enjoy the incredible beauty of the several environments we visited, plus see, and hear, some birds.  I think the hiking was a bit more than what I had estimated but a welcome workout nonetheless.  It was a pleasure to be involved and great to meet some new folks.  I think we all enjoyed our human company as much as the flora and fauna.  Hope we can do this again.  I’m looking at the Ellsworth basin nearby as a potential trip next Fall or next year.  For those of you who are not Willapa Hills members I invite you to join or at least visit our website http://willapahillsaudubon.org/.  So long!

BTW, we had 25 bird species identified, several by sound only.


Bob Pyle wanted me to forward the following missive:
Dear Folks,

Thanks so much for coming out with Steve and me to Long Island Saturday. Everything seemed to work out well, and I, for one, had a fine time. Thanks to those who helped with my big canoe.
I was glad to see that the Grove of Ancient Cedars was named for Congressman Don Bonker. Don was a great representative who sponsored ALL the major land protection bills passed during the Reagan administration, which wasn’t many: Columbia Gorge, Mt. St. Helens, Bowerman Basin, and Long Island. Even then, Weyerhaeuser tried to hold the cedars hostage for more money than they had agreed to take in the first place. Bonker called their bluff, and saved the rest of the cedars. (This, of course, with lots of local support, including from WHAS.) His successor, Jolene Unsoeld, got the refuge expanded and the island protection completed. We won’t see their like again in the Third District, the way it has been gerrymandered by the Republican Party.

If you would like to know more details, you will find a fairly complete summary of the whole story in my book Wintergreen: Rambles in a Raveaged Land, in the chapter called “The Last of the Old Growth.” Earlier editions leave the story somewhat up in the air, but the latest (fifth; 2016, Pharos Editions/Counterpoint) brings it all up to date.It’s available in Redmen Hall, Skamokawa, at Powell’s Books (Including Powells.com, far preferable to Amamonster for on-line book shopping), and of course in our fine libraries.

The trail penetrates just a corner of the cedar grove. There are many more, and denser, ancient trees protected there than we saw, but they take some work and time to get into. Dr. Jerry Franklin (UW & USFS), the old growth guru, said upon beholding them that this was the first climax forest he had ever met outside a textbook. He thought there were 3,000 year-old cedars there, and no significant disturbance for 1000 years. Their survival  was a close call.

Oh, and I was  little surprised to see NO butterflies on the island, given our lucky warm, sunny day, and plenty of nectar in the salal, evergreen blackberry, and spring beauty. Not many species occupy the coastal strip, but a few have been recorded on the island, and half a dozen or more could easily have been in the habitats we traversed. The long, wet winter and spring (so-called) have been rough on their survival through the winter, thanks to what I call the Rot Factor. Another, warmer & sunnier spring we might have seen some.

I much enjoyed meeting and seeing you all, and I thank brother Steve for getting this great outing together. Hope to see you again soon.

All the best,

R. M. Pyle
Gray’s River

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I managed to find the slow way out of town. Here I am watching a crew clearing the large tree that recently took out the city’s power. Down the road I was stopped again as traffic watched a crane working on a new culvert.


Left is the tree top and right is the sizable trunk with fresh wires in between.

After arriving in Seattle and settling in and visiting with my brother, I attended a Christmas party with old friends Saturday night.


A bunch of Moto Guzzi owners-but no motorcycles parked outside in the snow.

Next day started with some detective work.

A Wedgwood grade school classmate of mine had posted this picture on her Facebook page. The house in the background looked familiar but I couldn’t find it on google’s street view.


The car may be a classic but it was just a couple of years old at the time.

Soon the case was solved.

Here it is almost sixty years later.

Next, I walked a little further to our grade school, past a ‘Little Free Library.’


“Every book is a Tardis”

A small portion of the Wedgwood grade school’s playground has been made into learning gardens divided by grade level.

A greenhouse just like ours with an ambitious self-leveling water collection system already half full for the sixth graders.

The faucet by the fence is plumbed a long way from the school.

For the third graders

A friendly sign.

I went by my old house and noticed a more efficient heat pump had been installed by the new owners. Mom’s plants are maturing in the foreground and our Scottish Terrier’s play area was behind the fence.


Across the street was a beauty berry bush.

Next, it was down to the water where Seattle likes to boat.

We are at the site marked number one.

In spite of a Seattle SeaHawks game and a forty degree day melting the snow from the day before, I saw a couple of boaters.

The Aqua Verde Cafe rents little boats and serves up Mexican food.

A tetrapanax highlights Aqua Verde’s small garden. The Interstate 5 bridge is in the background.

One of these tours might be convenient. They know where to go and will try to bring us all back right side up.

Birds of a feather flocking off the dock.

Next, I headed for Duck Bay in the university’s Arboretum, my favorite place to canoe as a kid.

Duck Bay residents.

When I was a kid, we used to drag our boat to the mud bank closest to the “You Are Here” arrow and muck our way in.

The Arboretum now has dedicated graveled landing sites, and they’re not very near the car at all. I was told at the visitor’s center that with the scarce parking, most boaters launch from the University crew house and paddle across the highway of motorboats going through the Montlake cut.


The university rents canoes from the upper left.

When I was a kid, this seemed a lot bigger.

Here’s the water route that leads to the noisy freeway bridges.

Next place to check out was at the south end of Lake Union next to the original Boeing airplane plant .

The mouth of Cedar River has a small park and a boat club centered around its racing shells.


When Boeing is done building the plane on the right it will be towed over the slender bridge to the field to the left.

Not the prettiest place to paddle, but lots to look at.

The couple on this bridge were waiting to see a plane take off.

A sign you don’t see very often.

I was behind the building when there was a loud roar overhead.

I missed the potentially fatal jet blast, dang.  The couple on the bridge was excited to see the plane take off,  whoa! How did the locals know the time of this thunderous event?

Later, back at my brother’s place:

A couch surfer’s view of my brother’s apartment on the last morning.

When a guest stays too long they look like prey.

On the way home, I stopped at Trader Joe’s for a few special groceries from the ‘big city.’ There I learned when not to get another free sample.

Sign at Trader Joe’s

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Allan goes boating on Young’s River

It’s been 84 days since I had set sail. During that time I had installed a fence, helped plant thousands of bulbs and watched a record rainfall during September. Life is good; today its even better.

I had been been looking at a list of over twenty local kayak launch sites that Columbia River Kayaking located upriver in Skamokawa posted. Given that I had an almost free day,  a 17 mph SE wind, and a high enough tide all afternoon, it must be a sailing type of day. Young’s River is remarkably close, wide enough to tack upwind and as yet unexplored by me.

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The launch site post states that the… “Astoria Yacht Club is located at the SE corner of the Old Young’s Bay Bridge. The Yacht Club is a funny name. It consists of mooring for a commercial gill net fleet around salmon net pen docks, an old green building, picnic shelters and tables, and an outhouse.”


The dock with the Old Young’s Bay Bridge in the background

It continued: “The boat ramp and dock are atrophying into oneness with nature. At low tide, the launch area is a marvelous mudscape. But it serves our purposes just fine.”


a modest but capable boat launch at a +3′ tide


Fishing dock art


heading past the first ‘yacht’


Looking back, the boat ramp is on the right.

I first checked out the nearby bridge and probably could have cleared it but the goal was to get near another launch seven miles upstream at Olney, where the river is much more narrow.


Signs not seen by cars such as how to call ahead to get the bridge raised.


off into the grey


According to a chart Skyler gifted me, these might be male ‘oldsquaws’.


this might be a ‘harlequin’


a house of gulls


I think he was sorting out his nets.


rain ahead with a good breeze blowing my way


Here I thought I was getting near to an inattentive heron on a piling.

As a squall came throughI reached my top speed of 7.9 mph.


not a lot of color but a nice cloudscape coming my way


I just finished a couple of books set atop the isolated mesas of Venezuela. This could be their view from the Orinoco River.

After tacking upstream and expecting a quick trip back, the wind died.


I headed around the first island to at least set a landmark as to how far I had gotten.


A tree stabilizing the upstream end of the first island


Looked like bamboo getting established


a relic

There was a small river I’d passed earlier. I wanted to check out its bridge.


Entrance to Wallooskee River

A modest breeze powered me up.


looks pretty low for a sailboat


kit cat


Too low, turning around

The breeze had been fronting another squall.


The wind is gone, rain is pouring, and it’s back out to the main river.


A wet and shy heron


the sail catches the rain and drips it down


so I hung it off to the side and encouraged it to drip elsewhere


The Astoria Column


A Cormorant Column and the Lord Nelson Column

Here is a photo I found of the view from the Astoria Column looking up the Young’s River.


I made it up to the edge of the river’s view and partly up the river edging the tree line on the left. The launch is off the picture to the right.


power boat returning to dock


an accidental wet lens effect

The rain paused long enough to pack up and get back to the SALT pub to hear about Skyler & Carol’s adventures that day.


A working class yacht club


Putting an old GPS on a waterproof box with a small battery shows I was moving ninety six percent of the time and faster than a brisk walk.

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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Allan goes boating in Ocean Shores

Last year I attended a paddle race that looked to be frantically fun. I would see how fast I was compared to other boaters (Last year’s race). All human powered craft were welcome and the pictures showed a wide variety.  This year I thought it was history but the organizer called and asked if I was coming.  So, with no training (as usual), off I went.

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Emerson Park on Duck Lake

I arrived with a half hour to set up, register and be in the water.


They’re unloading a 26 foot Huki. Long and slender with an outrigger (or ama, as it is called in Hawaii).


These are considered ocean canoes for two. (class: OC-2)

I think he said “Stay left of first island, then right on the next, then stay left.” Mentally I was flipping the map 180 degrees to align with the lake but in reality, I planned to stay in sight of someone ahead-then pass them at the finish.


Bob showing us the six mile course.


Pretty hard to get lost


With the tailwind drifting me into these beautiful boats, and six miles ( 5.6 on the GPS) to catch up, a few feet back is no big deal.

Some people start really fast. Now, I need to start passing them all, except the lead boat so I don’t get lost.


Steve and his canoe, a fine paddler indeed as I had this stern view most of the race.


Boat racing class: C-1 (m). A canoe, one person, male. The more classes, the more winners.

If you brought a sea kayak for one (SK), there were six other boats out there in that class. There was also one fast sea kayak (FSK) which are extra long and slender but I couldn’t spot it.


Headed around the first island, on the left, I think.


We disturbed the gulls as we passed one of the support boats.


The first of a singular set of boats I managed to pass.


Back at the finish. I was twenty seconds behind Steve and his canoe, but always catching up.


Last year did 1 hour, 8 minutes. This year I was slower by 82 seconds.


Meanwhile, I noticed later looking at this photo at home, was another ‘MaryBeth’ kayak like the one I have at home.  (That means I purchased it from our friend MaryBeth.)


The red #20

DSC07306Brady raced in the class: SOT (y). (Sit On Top (youth). He finished with a first place medal in the two miler.


The start of the two mile event.


A home made canoe and a Huki behind me.

Turns out I could get better pictures from the back of the crowd.


Off they went.


Paddling hard



Around the one mile buoy.


Michael’s brilliant home built propeller pedal craft. He started late but finished first in pedal craft. He also posts a lot of pictures for the Sound Rowers club based around Seattle.

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The left view shows the chain to shaft transmission. the right shows the bar he uses to adjust the prop’s height. The plate that protects the hull is under his car rack.


Next up was the poker run.  We were each given a map to six docks to gather playing cards. I had more time to look around and enjoy as we went another three miles to the various neighbor’s docks.


And their little dog too.



waterlilies (nymphaeaceaes)

This pedal boat also entered the six mile race. I caught up with them here in the poker run. Their Nauticraft’s ‘Escapade’ has a simple belt driven propeller .


One person to pedal, two to give encouragement and wave.


A semi-transparent ‘skin on frame’ design. I think this was the boat that was doing eskimo rolls near the dock later. Apparently there are roll competitions as I listened to a tale of an eskimo roll with no hands.


Oooh, an ace. No prize here.


Combining the 2 mile sprint and the slow poker run.

I maxed out at 6.9 mph last year with faster times last year too. Looks like I need to rest even more and save up more energy


Now it was cardboard boat building time.


Our team with two sheets of cardboard, three rolls of tape and a couple of box cutters. Bob had a plan.


More teams at the ready.



Our budget kayaky boat with a seat.


Also a paddle board and prams. 

We all used lots of tape for waterproofing.

Meanwhile, I had earlier taken a photo of the Girl Scout parents. Their troop was sharing the park with us today.



Here they later are building a cardboard boat with us.


The Girl Scouts are ready to launch. Our team’s boat is in the background.

Each team was allowed one helper to help with the launch.


And we’re off.


The ‘S.S. Win’ skimming away while the Girl Scout brings out her cardboard paddle.

The first and second place boats were still loading up while most of the pack took off.



Our team launching last…


…but fast.


Her boat was sound but the paddle was bendy.


Our boat headed opposite the crowd around the buoy.


First and second place


The last sunken boats including ‘S.S. Win’ swam back. The Girl Scout is still heading out to the buoy.


No one is left on the water but the support boat. She’s still heading out to the buoy…


…and back.


A strong design indeed as they took this boat out to play after the race.


Great fun for all but, unless someone else steps up to run the show, this year is the last.


More bountiful and bolder deer than on the LB peninsula.


Attractive planters with spiky plants at their city hall as I started the long drive home.

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Allan’s boating excursion

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Returning to the scene of part 2 in the August 7 blog 

The last time I was on the Willapa river my goal was to find the most shallow part that could be paddled. I had been advised it was just over 2 miles up from the Wilson Creek launch .


Just a couple more miles upstream!


With a slight tailwind, here I am back at the bridge 2 miles upstream from her dock.

This resulted in a formula:  GIVEN: (glass half fullism + pity (ghf+p)) equals a multiplying factor of 2.25,   AND: ( a stranger’s given distance (sgd) x (ghf+p)) equals the ACTUAL DISTANCE (ad),  The formula looks like: (sgd) x (ghf+p) = (ad).

Substitute the given values: (“2 miles” x 2.25) = 4.5 miles actual distance.

This was proven true today, twice.


Into new territory. The wind was predicted to be 15 mph and carry me right upstream. It wasn’t blowing yet

The river is salty on its incoming tide which might explain this sharp high tide vegetation line.



Lots of attractively planted pilings. I bumped over a few underwater which must be even more a thrill with an outboard engine.


The second bridge. This is about the upper limit for small fishing boats according to LeeRoy’s Ramblings  , an excellent local fishing blog.


A typical North American small fishing boat.


Wow, what a destination!


This is a “no tickets’n turnstiles” budget water park featuring a unique high dive with tidal adjustable height.


Also featured is a water swing plus a return ramp up the beach. (More about this river’s beaches later)


The locally sourced return ramp


Many hours of work involved, and such an accomplishment! The old time artistic signature above and the modern era disclaimer below.


This was worth paddling by many times as the river kept pushing me downstream while I  studied and imagined this place in use.


A not so quality picture of a couple as they quickly kayaked downstream. “Just another 3/4 mile.” they said.

Applying the earlier formula again, briefly, ((2.25) x “(3/4) miles)”  equals just under 1.75 miles to go. I measured it….


Looked like a tree wanting its picture to be taken.

…and with a slight round-off error factoring their downstream exuberance…


Upstream at the ‘end of the line.’

…it was actually 1.5 miles upstream from the kayakers’ friendly ( ghf +p ) advice and 4.5 miles from the dock near the launch.


Shallow rock bed all the way across. Time to wade like an explorer or turn around.

Banging into pilings and shallows resulted in a rod becoming bent and a flipper stopped moving. One flipper would equal only half speed so I took a few minutes to replace it.  I can straighten the damaged rod later.




Headed back downstream against a wind.


An attractive farmhouse with a beach.


Returning under the first bridge with a wet lens.


Past the cute ‘Lany Bug’ again.  It just called for another photograph.


Last visit I thought this ramp only needed a replacement dock. Now I think the bank washed away from underneath it too.


Adjacent to the ramp the riverbank looks scrubbed.


Alert boaters must become shorter than this stick.


I learned that when a ski boat is being towed the towed person gets soaked.

Back at the launch I installed the other pontoon and headed into the brisk wind downstream.  I intended to to paddle down and sail back.


A fine house and a riverfront fishing camp.


A turret, skylight, fireplace and style.


The beginning of a very long row of pilings.


Tightly spaced and extending around the bend.


The head wind still blowing should make for a quick trip back.


The apparent source of the pilings, an old mill.


Remember the water park’s beach ramp? This is the typical river beach. I learned to wear knee boots, they built a ramp.


Part of a old belt system I think


It’s next to the burned and ruined dock


It looks like a small cedar shake operation still continues.


Where’s the wind?


Getting a scrub before boarding


A house with a fine view while the trees slowly grow back.


Calm, windless water. It was still a faster trip upstream against the current than downstream against the wind.


A shy deer from Raymond.


Professional model deer from Raymond


A colorful rail on what looked like a day care center.


12.3 miles with about 20% of the time not moving.

Piecing together about three trips, I’ve now paddled  the Willapa river end to end except for the swampy bits on the upper left of the map near Raymond.


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