Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Lewis and Clark Expedition’

Saturday, 19 August 2017

in which Allan goes boating on Young’s Bay and the Lewis and Clark River

“100 Paddles! is an opportunity for people to join in a human-powered water journey. Lewis and Clark National Historical Park invites the public to travel by water into the park, similar to how the Lewis and Clark Expedition members traveled during their winter here in 1805-06.

On the day of Saturday, August 19, experienced kayakers will meet at the Astoria Recreation Center (former Astoria Yacht Club site by the Old Youngs Bay Bridge) for a 10:30 a.m., launch and group paddle across Youngs Bay into the Lewis and Clark River. Less experienced folks are encouraged to meet at Netul Landing at 10:30 a.m., and head downstream on the Lewis and Clark River. The two groups plan to meet on the Lewis and Clark River. After a flintlock gun firing and huzzah, together the groups will paddle to Netul Landing for refreshments. Participants need to bring their own kayak, canoe, paddleboard or any non-motorized watercraft and need to wear a US Coast Guard approved personal floatation device. 

100 Paddles is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark National Park Association which supports park education and interpretative activities at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.”

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.06.34 PM.jpg

The yellow line points to the ambitiously named Astoria Yacht Club and the orange indicates how far upstream I went today.

While I was figuring out what I forgot, a happy dog splashed around the boat. “He likes to go in all the boats,” his walker explained. Coincidently, I also got the same tail-wagging greeting when I returned later.

HEY! Get back here.

Waiver signing and a nice kerchief for all, as modeled by one of the Park employees.

Boat, paddle, life vest. A simple combination for a fun day ahead.

Also heading out today were some fisherman.

Getting ready while all those darn kayaks line the boat ramp.

Ten boats in this picture but I did not get a total attendance figure.

“Are you tied up?” I heard as my boat started to drift. I quickly got tied up and waited to leave.

Expedition leader, Mitch, awaiting a gather around.

We had guides in a lead, middle and trailing kayaks. He explained that it was not a race and we were all to stay together.

A water auditorium with Mitch behind the blue kayak.

Off we went

The fishing boat at the dock heading for the Columbia River.

As the flotilla spread out, Mitch sends a boat back to the rear to make sure everyone was having fun.

I unfurled a quarter of my sail at this point and it seemed to make the paddle easier.

Astoria’s Regional Airport is ahead where the Coast Guard helicopters are based.

Two of the park employees passing a water hazard. Behind is the 101 bridge from Astoria to Warrenton. These are often mudflats but the tide is a plus 6.4 feet now.

We went under the Business 101 bridge by the community of Jeffers Garden and then up the Lewis and Clark River.

On the west side, the river bank is mostly ‘wild’ and without buildings.

On the east side was Astoria Marine Construction with a large trawler pulled up for repair.

Several other boats docked.

A fellow paddler with a well done homemade kayak. We discussed kayak seaworthiness and inverted bows.

We grouped up at the entrance to a grass route parallel to the river that would take us under Fort Clatsop.

Note the tree formation to find this route again. We followed the channel upstream about a quarter mile.

Park rangers on the bank to welcome us.

Here we met with the group that had done the shorter trip downstream from Netul Landing.

“Turn down your hearing aids!” we were cautioned.

BAOOM! (but no smoke)

“Hip hip huzzah! Hip hip huzzah!”  Then we crowded up for a group picture. I had the outriggers folded in so I wouldn’t get stuck in the grass or be a road hog.

In August 2015 I visited Fort Clatsap and checked out Netul Landing. My notes are in the last part of this blog post.

We then headed north to the landing for visiting and cake.

The party strung out behind until we re-entered the main channel.

Soon I spotted the most beautiful boat. It’s a small Chinook ocean-going canoe.

The owner had made a wood mold to create the finished boat, gunnels, deck and all entirely of light fiberglass so it would never rot. He now has the molds to create more when the time comes.

It is flat bottomed and reflects a design that has evolved over thousands of years. A sweetwater, or lake canoe has evolved into a different design. A brief explanation by trailtribes.org can be found here.

Pulling out at Netul Landing.

Two landings techniques were notable. One was to accelerate into the ramp, grind off a little hull, and then step out dry. Another was to park parallel and then roll out and accept the wet. The Chinook canoe was treated more carefully.

I was privileged to help carry the canoe to the trailer.

A closer look at the home built boat I paddled with back at the river’s mouth. It has a built in wheel. When on land he just drags it around like airport luggage.

A little bit of cake was still left by the time I got there.

This is a lightweight under 40lb. canoe by ‘Advantage’

The Rangers went around asking if anyone needed a ride back to the Astoria landing to fetch their cars so they could come back and load up their boats. I didn’t know that this was an option but it worked out well for most as the wind was picking up. I can’t guarantee they’ll do a shuttle next year but it could tempting after a 5.1 mile paddle.

The literature downplayed the short trip down from Netul Landing as suitable for less experienced kayakers but it is a good place to launch to paddle the entire river. The Lewis and Clark river runs about six miles.  I headed upstream alone as it was was still only one o-clock.

The first adventure was a black creature rustling ahead behind the shrubs. After just leaving the Lewis and Clark expedition I first thought BEAR and cautiously steered for the other bank.

The river banks were otherwise quiet, grassy, non-threatening and played their part of a pleasant day out on the water.

I reached the first upstream bridge in about twenty minutes.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 12.32.56 PM

Here is the bridge from google’s street view. It has a pull out if you wish to drag a boat down to the water.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 12.50.03 PM.png

Here’s a ‘googlemap’ view of the upper Lewis and Clark river as it crosses under a couple of bridges.

Heading back downstream I dodged the pilings. I only hit one because it was hiding underwater. The flipper’s shaft bent about thirty degrees but still worked almost fine.

Back near the Netul Landing the pilings are more frequent and often made of steel.

By now the wind was gusting up to 24.2 mph mostly from varying angles ahead.  That meant much fun tacking through the pilings.

I passed and greeted an inflatable that with the aid of the wind, was easily paddling back upstream.

One of many small mini gardens growing atop the pilings.

I beached under the riverside trail at the fort and got out warmer stuff to wear. Dave and Melissa had given me a waterproof bag as a gift and it proved handy to keep my sweatshirt dry before getting it soaked later in the bay.

The Astoria column with the boatyard in the foreground.

One of the boatyard buildings as seen through a wet sail.

It was a windy and splashy trip back along the edge of Young’s Bay. With the sail mostly rolled up (reefed) the boat still felt flat and secure as it reached almost 14 mph.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 2.35.39 AM.png

This boat has what is referred to s a ‘wet ride’.

I had invited two guests. One observed that 100 paddles sounded like about 96 too many. Group rides are how I got started but it can be a solo sport. This trip follows a historical route that led to the building of the winter encampment of Lewis and Clark in 1805-1806. I appreciated the Park staff giving us a sense of the importance of the place that I would not have noticed alone.

The other invited guest had a tight timeline. I couldn’t see not being out in the water all day if I had cleared off enough of my obligations and there was fun was to be had.

Fort Clatsop also offers three hour guided paddle tours throughout the summer where they will provide the two-person boats and equipment. The registration is done online.

Lewis and Clark River Paddle Tours

Hop in a two person watercraft and paddle along the lush riverbanks of the Lewis and Clark River. See bald eagles soar while you calmly float through history and hear a unique perspective of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.The themes of these three hour ranger-led paddles will vary and include natural and cultural topics geared for all interests.
Tours will run Thursday through Sunday during the summer. Tours will start on June 24, 2017 and run through September 3, 2017.

  • The park will provide water craft, paddles, and life jackets however, if you are a special size you may want to bring your own life jacket.

…There is more to read, you register online, and the Tour is free with park admission.

I saw one bald eagle today as I ‘calmly floated through history.’

Go to: https://www.nps.gov/lewi/planyourvisit/paddle-tours.htm for more information.

Due to a battery failure, I like the results of my phone’s MapMyTracks ap better as it shows 3.6 miles more distance.  I think the phone covered the faster return trip when the Garmin had ‘died’. Even better, the phone picked up a top speed of 13.8 mph (!!) versus the 7.9 on the Garmin. Paddling usually averages around 3 mph.

DSC04376

Read Full Post »