Posts Tagged ‘Smith Creek’

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Allan goes boating on Smith Creek

The plan today was to paddle up North River as far as possible.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.08.07 PM

Ilwaco to the North River & Smith Creek (shortest route).

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.15.50 PM

Last time I headed up North River, I turned left when I saw a second string of houseboats and continued on until it ended. Turns out, the main channel continued on the right for maybe eight more miles, and more houseboats to see too but, three things put a rethink to that.


The launch at the mouth of Smith Creek.

Rethink #1: It started raining. I saw four open boats of bundled up fishermen heading back. When I was growing up, my dad wouldn’t cancel a trip because of rain. He said we would have been canceling a lot of trips and just included rain in the plan.


A wet and cold day, with no wind to use a sail.

Rethink #2:  A flipper almost fell off. I had ‘improved’ the original attachment bolts to more quickly take apart the system. (I seem to hit sunken stuff a lot). The salt water had frozen my tools, so I could not install a spare replacement bolt I carried. Zip ties and wire held it together the rest of the day. The two flexing flippers swing back and forth to power the boat. I didn’t think it wise to keep going further away with my plastic repair.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.47.36 PM

I flipped the 2nd picture left to right but the flipper on the top picture almost slid off its rod because the retaining bolt fell off.

Rethink #3: No drinking water for me, my water bottles were back at the car. A PB sandwich and crackers plus a four hour trip ahead, oops.


Here’s a look at some of the river houses.

In 2010 a 1,250 sq. ft. 3 bedroom house tied along here sold for $20,000. Here’s the listing.


Here’s a small tree that must wish it could reach a root down into the river

I went back down the North River to the launch.


“Aha! We found ourselves a kayak, heh heh.” (It’s not easy to lock up a boat). They had caught a sixteen inch jack – a young adult salmon that had returned early before having fully grown.

Smith Creek

I didn’t want to go home, the fun hadn’t really started yet. Smith Creek wasn’t too long, it took me two hours up and back.


Here’s Smith Creek with rain…


and later, the Smith Creek entrance without rain.


fall colors under a maple


fall colors under a maple under the water. (I discovered later that an underwater camera doesn’t shed water spots off its lens).


The river was wide and gravelly here but shallow, so I walked.

I believe its an empty cabin, I think.


A place that could only be reached by boat, like the floating cabins.

I tied up at a dock and cautiously checked it out


A rumex obtusifolius


At great peril, I looked in a window and snapped a pic, for the blog.


The owner’s birdhouse. The mossy tree indicates just how damp it is.


End of the road for me, a bridge for someone else


fungi, blackberry and moss

The weather improved, the sun was getting low, the water was quiet, like the top half of a calendar.




To me, the eyes set this gull apart from the flock



With some extra time before dark, I headed out into the bay.


Hawks Point, about two miles away, with Tokeland beyond

The bay at a +5.8′ tide is only about a foot deep outside the main channel.


Paddle touching the bottom. North River bridge is on the left, Smith Creek bridge is on the right.


Little kayaks just launching and headed up Smith Creek.


It’s a couple fishing from a pair of pedal Hobie boats they bought last spring.


Looking like an ad. I gave them a card with my email, and left them to their fishing. We saw several jumping.

 While loading the car, I saw a dog walker go by, then pick up his dog and toss it into the river. Turns out Otis had rolled in something smelly and needed a bath.


Happy Otis, the four month old puppy scampering back to the river.


Otis tagging along as his cage gets a cleaning too.


Now it’s time to leave, except for those two kayakers still out fishing.


Nine miles on two rivers and a bay, and lots of stuff to fix and dry out.



Smith Creek is the part that’s right of the dot, about a two-mile round trip.


Read Full Post »