Posts Tagged ‘Grays River’

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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