Posts Tagged ‘Duffy’s Irish Pub’

Monday, 12 October 2015

Allan goes paddling on two rivers…

Gray’s River

You may recall that on September 19 I paddled up Grays River  towards the covered bridge, hoping  to reach the bridge and maybe get a take out dinner at Duffy’s on the way home. After some mix-up where to launch, I paddled 11.5 miles up to Duffy’s, failed to reach the bridge, and got back just as the sun was setting.

This time, using the highway, I drove to the bridge, then I drove to Duffy’s, and successfully made it. Even got the take out dinner for Skyler.


A rare sign on the road to the covered bridge.


Gray’s River valley


This launch next to the bridge could be used with a trailer.


Yep, I heard something fall off the boat as I dragged it to the water and nope, I’m not going up the creek without it.

As there was a good current, I headed upstream as I didn’t wish to walk back.


This is about how far I got, still in sight of the bridge.


Looking upstream, this part of Grays River gave me a treadmill or hamster ball-like experience. I couldn’t paddle fast enough to keep the shore moving.


Under the bridge where someone worked hard to tie up that rope .

This current is with an +8.1 outgoing tide but the river is supposedly not tidal past Duffy’s, just swift.



440 yards up, a quarter mile back. Now it’s time for lunch.

I left the covered bridge launch and drove to Duffy’s for food.

Duffy’s used to have a launch here until it was washed out a few years back. Now, I’m not really sure about car parking unless you buy a lunch. Duffy’s told me it’s popular to kayak upstream from Rosburg with the tide and return with the receding tide. The employees have no trouble climbing down to the river but the boaters stop in less often to eat as there is no place to tie up.


The view upstream from the Duffy’s dining deck.

Duffy's Irish Pub

The dining deck


Duffy’s from the road.

More interesting than a picture of a bowl of butterbeans and cornbread (my lunch) is this panel from a book of old comics they had. The panel is from Gasoline Alley, the reflection is brilliant, and worth a closer look.



The owner owned a concert venue in Portland in the eighties and maintains a stage among their eclectic collection.

There remains a sign “Ramona Salazars Garden 2001” over their always interesting garden.


Deep River

On the way back I decided I had time to drive out  to the end of Oneida Road next to Deep River and drive past the launch I used last visit. It finally ends on a single lane dirt road up past an isolated single wide that just looked like NO TRESPASSING. It’s a different feeling than looking at backyards in Surfside from their canals.

Driving back by the ramp I stopped, checked out the tide and decided that I could just drag the boat into the water for a couple of hours before the drive home.


When I launched at 4:50, these two were just putting in and I could hear them fussing over starting their outboard.


A mixed garden on a piling


A heron fishing without a truck, tent, kitchen, dock, power boat, gear…

A sunken ship! It must be almost a hundred feet long!



its forward deck


its superstructure.


dark, drippy and silent inside


Mud boots; good idea. Exploring inside; maybe not.

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I saw planted columns at old buildings done in the Little & Lewis style

Planted columns created or inspired by Little and Lewis are all the rage at many gardens we have toured over the years:

another use of planted columns by the famous garden designers Little and Lewis

another use of Little and Lewis planted columns at Bella Madrona

the Little and Lewis-y water feature at Floramagoria

the Little and Lewis-y water feature at Floramagoria

The Little and Lewis pillars in the boggy garden at Heronswood

The Little and Lewis pillars in the boggy garden at Heronswood

You can see more at The Little & Lewis Garden: An Appreciation

This fishing boat has a low deck under the spool.


scupper of the week

As I paddled past this vessel a “How ya doin!” came out the window. Whoa! (and I put the camera away). I then discovered that he’s fishing for salmon, (there’s not many), he’s setting his net soon, and he’ll leave me room to get by on the far shore.



I had to take a picture of this backyard as it was watching me.

Among the many wood pilings, this one looked different.



It was a six foot oar partially full of water and now it was mine.


A tree recovering from a twenty foot horizontal set back.


Ahead, the nets are now coming out. Time to head back. This boat was located by the abandoned lumber mill on Highway 4 by the tight curve with the flashing arrow.


There is an old single wide in the mill’s back lot that can be seen from the highway. It must be the residence for these fishing boats.


Need to get back before dark but there was that sunken boat again…must see. It’s enormous and the tide had gone down almost two feet.


Aww, from the river’s bend I could hear an outboard start, putter a few seconds and stop. It restarted then died, again and again. It had been almost 2 hours since I had left. I told them that I wasn’t trying to be funny but did they want an oar I found? There were two crew members and the boat likely only had one oar. It might put it to good use. “Where did you find that?” they asked. Turns out they had borrowed that same oar a couple of weeks earlier and had lost it. There it is by the their steering wheel. The boat is called ‘The Fishing Machine’ and no, they didn’t need any jumper cables.


The fish were safe today.


Lots of stopped the time as I was more distracted than intent on making distance.


Here’s a little eryngium (perhaps) that I spotted as I slid the little boat into the back of the van. Back to garden blogging tomorrow as we look at what the wind storm did locally.

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Saturday, 19 September 2015

On the anniversary of buying his kayak in 2014, Allan went boating on Gray’s River:

Gray’s River feeds into the Columbia River 24 miles upstream from Ilwaco. It features the only covered highway bridge still used in our state. It also flows below the back deck of the quaint Duffy’s Irish Pub. The river also is featured in several of Robert Michael Pyle’s books, including Sky Time in Gray’s River.

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A picture (borrowed from google) of a full river under the covered bridge

I read, on the internet, that it was only a little over seven miles up to the bridge. Then, on a fishing site, I found a boat launch on the adjacent Deep River.  With a tail wind and incoming tide until five, I figured to get back by five or sixish. It turned out more like  sevenish.


a twisty route


This is an upriver launch to fish around the Astoria bridge


As I left a fisherman was setting up. The boat’s anchor line indicates the river is flowing upstream.


Two things were going on here. Turkey Vultures were cleaning up a deceased sea lion and the wind indicator indicates a tailwind for sailing upriver.


Partially sunken logs are to boaters what pot holes are to bicyclists and motorists. The faster the boat, the harder the hit. Sometimes people mark them with a rope and a float.


entrance to Grays River


A scenic tree. If this was a highway it would have been cut. There was a bald eagle in it on the way back.


I’m part of a dog’s day


a cormorant about to fly off


Headed aft, past the coat locker to the galley. There I fetched provisions from the fridge, and returned fore to the bridge.

Arriving at the Rosburg Grange, just south of Hwy. 4 on the road to Altoona, I spied another boat ramp. I was two hours and twenty minutes into the trip.


the Rosburg Grange

After rechecking the trip review, I later discovered a shorter trip to the covered bridge that starts here at the Grange. No motorized boats allowed here so I hadn’t found it on the fishing site.


The boat ramp adjacent to the grange


Leaving the grange, under the bridge going to Altoona, and upward.


Maybe something interesting floating in the river…


..or not

I passed by a friendly couple in Rosburg.  You can see them below waving from their porch.


It was now 3:30 and I wished I had asked them how much further to Duffy’s as it’s a place I always like to visit when I am in the area. Not going to make it to the covered bridge today.


only seven long minutes later and there it was; Duffy’s Irish Pub.


good food and a garden too.

While gawking, I got off the channel and stuck in a sandbar. The staff came out and offered to help pull me off which I politely declined. Meanwhile I had put the camera away as I thought filming these nice people while stuck would be silly. Getting  afloat quickly seemed the nautical thing to do.


Here are pictures and captions from this blog, August 4, 2007, when Skyler and I visited here.



“Punk rock memories at Duffy’s Pub”



“The paths at Duffy’s Pub.. Some garden designer’s articles say you must, to be tasteful, stick with the same material throughout a garden, but I find this much more fascinating.”

It was too late to grab a bite or get a takeout dinner for two, so back downriver I went.


The mast didn’t thump the bridge at Rosburg.


A garden taking back a house below Rosburg.


Back past the scenic tree. Now it’s been over two hours since Duffy’s, but still another hour to go until sunset.


the low sun brightens up the shore


a view across the Columbia at the mouth of Grays River



The buoy marking the entrance to Deep River. The bridge to Astoria is nine miles away.

My longest trip so far I think, and I still didn’t make it up to the covered bridge, but I now know how to do it next time.


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Saturday, 12 April 2014

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kayaking in Skamokawa (name origin: Smoke on the Water)

Price Island tour by Columbia River Kayaking

$65, half day   approximately 3 miles

Price Island is part of the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge, and is located right at the mouth of Skamokawa Creek. We will paddle up protected Steamboat Slough, leaving from our dock at the old steamboat landing and general store building and into the Wildlife Refuge. Osprey nests are perched in the top of Sitka Spruce trees that are up to 400 years old. Beaver and river otter are often seen here.

If the river is calm and paddlers are willing, we will return to Skamokawa on the outside of the island, using the main channel of the Columbia River. Cormorants and Bald Eagles are often seen on this side of the island, along with a sweeping westward view downriver. This is a great introductory tour for beginning kayakers.

what to bring:


One quart plastic water bottle (full)

Lunch for full day events, snacks 

Sunscreen and lip protection 

Sunglasses with strap 

Hat for rain and sun 

Paddling jacket or rain jacket 

Non-cotton shirts (2) for layering (wool, pile, polypro, other synthetic) 

Non-cotton pants (nylon, wool, spandex, fleece) 

Eyeglass strap 

noseplugs (optional) 

Sandals with heel strap or neoprene booties, or tennies that can get wet 

Wool or fleece socks 

Swimsuit (optional, but makes a quick-drying under-layer) 


Change of clothes for the trip home 

Wetsuit if you have one 

Gloves for blister protection (optional) 

Drybag if you have one 

Camera, film, binoculars 

The Other Months: 

Drysuit if you have one 

More and warmer non-cotton layers 

Shatterproof thermos with hot drink 

Warm paddling gloves or pogies 

Evening and Moonlight Paddles: 

Flashlight or headlamp 

Warm non-cotton clothes 

Wetsuit, paddling jacket, and pogies available

At Columbia River Kayaking & their fleet of nice kayaks with another couple & instructor Mark Whitaker

At Columbia River Kayaking & their fleet of nice kayaks with another couple & instructor Mark Whitaker

The 14 foot boat I got to use. I looked it up and it retails for $1399. & the paddle was a couple hundred more. Quite a deal to use such nice equipment, have a guide, the trip planned and not have buy or to store the boat later.

The 14 foot boat I got to use. I looked it up and it retails for $1399, & the paddle was a couple hundred more. Quite a deal to use such nice equipment, have a guide, the trip planned and not have buy or to store the boat later.


heading up the shore side of Price Island

heading up the shore side of Price Island

The tandem kayak the other couple got to use. These sell for over 2 grand and are very stable and fast

The tandem kayak the other couple got to use. These sell for over 2 grand and are very stable and fast.

A barge that is used to ferry cattle that had broken loose and drifted aground

A barge that is used to ferry cattle that had broken loose and drifted aground

Cormerants on the river side of the island on the pilings.

Cormorants on the river side of the island on the pilings.

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Skamokawa Gardens Nursery

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Old Megler Mansion

At a site down 8 miles of gravel road OR easily accessed from the river. An old 100 foot apple tree & leveled areas, lots of sword ferns and my kayak instructor had spotted daffodils.

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Duffy’s Irish Pub 


  The little tower building is across the street.  The garden belongs to the pub.  Duffy’s in Gray’s River is a place where I like to stop for a lunch when I go on an excursion upriver.

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And on the way home, an old ivy covered house.  Old is relative compared to the age of ruins in Mr. Tootlepedal’s blog set in the Scottish borders!


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I confess: This is actually written on August 12th, because work has been all-consuming, and during days off I have been obsessed with a big pruning project at home.

This isn’t the most suspenseful way of telling the tale, but on the morning of Saturday, August 4th, I read an article by Dan Hinkley in Garden Design magazine in which he mentioned Dichroa febrifuga, an Asian shrub with hydrangea-like flowers and cobalt blue berries.  It’s been a fixture on my must-have list for years, and I have indeed bought a couple of them by mail order but they were small and fizzled out.  Why, I thought to myself in frustration, do I STILL not have this excellent shrub?  It’s not one I see in nurseries.  And then, as kind fate would have it, by the end of the day I had a dichroa febrifuga of my very own!

We had been planning another garden tour day trip.  (If I lived in Seattle or Portland with their excellent weekly open gardens by members of the Northwest Perennial Alliance and the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, I’d rarely spend a spring or summer Saturday gardening at home.)

Up the Columbia River we drove to a small riverside town, stopping on the way at Duffy’s Irish Pub in Gray’s River because Allan had discovered it on his latest motorcycle trip and wanted me to see the punk rock poster collection inside. Indeed, it took me back to happy days of the 80s in Seattle clubs.  Back in the 80s, my significant other, Bryan, had managed a delicously grotty punk club called the Gorilla Room, and our subsequent life together included many shows… and we stayed, when visiting Vancouver, B.C., at the D.O.A. house. So it certainly took me way way back to see a DOA poster on this wall in small town southwestern Washington.

Punk rock memories at Duffy’s Pub

The pub’s back deck overlooks a charming river and their garden features an interesting array of paths, convincing me all the more that I love walking a mysterious warren of paths between drastically raised beds and that I like to see a variety of materials used, and that I forgot to do a blog entry about our visit in Seattle to the Tilth garden with  its enjoyable paths.

paths and raised beds at Duffy’s Irish Pub

The paths at Duffy’s Pub.. Some garden designer’s articles say you must, to be tasteful, stick with the same material throughout a garden, but I find this much more fascinating.

Almost across the street from the pub sits one of my favourite tiny cottages or shacks. Further up river, we stopped at a nursery in Skamokawa.  Twas quiet and off-season but I enjoyed the view of plants for sale on a dock….Allan pointed out it’s a rare nursery where you can shop by boat.

adorable shack………………and the dock at Skamokawa Gardens Nursery

Eventually, after a detour down a scenic narrow road, we arrived at the small town upriver and bought tickets for the “home and garden” tour and read the descriptions of the four homes and gardens on offer.  A sense of doom settled over me, as the descriptions were all of the houses with no detailed mention of the gardens at all.  Any avid gardener would describe the gardens well.  The houses may have been historic, but that was not clear from the information sheet and I realized that while I very much enjoy a tour of, say, Cannon Beach cottages, I don’t like seeing houses whose owners just sound like they are proud of their possessions.  The closest thing to a garden description was someone waxing enthusiastic about their river view deck.  So, feeling rather mean but being as nice as could be, we got our money back from the ticket vendor and cancelled our tour mission!  And now…what to do!?

I remembered my recent email enquiry to owner Lisa Mahnke of Evergreen Terrace Garden this side of Longview, and that the nursery was open in August by appointment only, and called her…and she agreed to let us in!  So the afternoon was gloriously saved and after a drive up the amazingly steep gravel road to the almost-secret nursery we were rewarded with a personal tour of the woodland paths around the enviable lake…and there, among many very cool plants, I saw a Dichroa febrifuga…and indeed, she had one for sale in a pot!!  So from years of forgetting my desire for that shrub, to being reminded of it by Dan Hinkley that very morning, I suddenly had one of my very own!  (Not to mention, of course, several other choice plants…After all, I had to make it worth Lisa’s while to open the nursery for us.)

Dichroa febrifuga in the ground, and MINE in a pot

(Above) the gardens at Evergreen Terrace, including a so-desirable little lake. I think she said the tree in above right foliage close-up is a cutleaf Alder…very striking but it would never have fit into our car.

Evergreen Terrace is creating an amazing “henge” garden which we did not see because it’s at a lower level of the nursery, but I remember it from a visit years ago.  The nursery’s website has some good photos of it. [2012 note: The website seems to be gone, and I can’t find any information about or not this wonderful nursery even exists any more.  The henge garden was a Stonehenge like display of huge rocks enhanced with plants.]

Plants acquired from Evergeen Terrace: Morus ‘Nuclear Blast’, Azara microphylla (two, for clients), Gunnera prorepens (a tiny stoloniferous gunnera from New Zealand), Cryptomeria knaptonesis (white tipped, will grow in shade), 2 Athyrium filix-femina ‘Dre’s Dagger’ (a striking fern), and Dichroa febrifuga.

On the way back we stopped at a cafe/hotel/elderhostel kayak place in Skamokawa, where I’d eaten good sandwiches before and did again. For some reason I completely failed to photograph the picturesque network of boardwalks along the river behind the buildings.

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