Posts Tagged ‘Zombie Response Team’

Monday, 23 February 2015

Today I thought I would paddle the upper Naselle River. I had looked at it and its current several times. I wondered if I could successfully paddle back to the launch or whether I would be walking back from downstream. Because we’ve haven’t had a day off for a while, I had a bunch of chores but finally arrived at the launch about 3:30 with two hours before sunset. The tide was still rising from 6  to 7 feet and would drop to 5 before I left.


map to Naselle

From here, Naselle is over there…

Last time I boated the Naselle River, I started at the Willapa Wildlife Refuge, went around Stanley Peninsula and had to turn around a little past the 101 bridge.


Flowers that return yearly for all of us to enjoy planted years ago at the north end of the  Astoria Megler Bridge

google map

Naselle is lower right. O’Conner Creek at the upper right was my upstream limit today. Downstream limit was the bend at the upper left.


The boat’s little wheels (and my boots) were a mucky mess

I fortunately didn’t need to back up a boat trailer but this stuff was sticky. Trying to keep mud out of the boat, I discovered that the water near that bank was indeed deeper than my 15 inch boots. After tying the muddy wheels on the boat in case they were needed, I headed upstream.  If I couldn’t make headway I planned to go ashore at the bridge and walk back. The GPS later said the current was 1.4 mph which is slower than the 3-5 mph I can paddle.



The first heron I actually got a picture of. They are usually very still while they watch me, then sound like what the movies think is a pterodactyl sound as they fly off.

a flying bird, though not up to Mr. Tootlepedal's photographic standards

The heron flying upstream, though not quite up to Mr. Tootlepedal’s photographic standards

Heard lots of little birds but very little other noise. Only the occasional car as there was a small road paralleling the river for part of the way.

still water

still water

The water was very calm and made for great reflections.


The light current shows on these logs


Multitasking as I clean my boots and walk the boat

 After a little over a mile there was shallow gravel all the way across. After a tow there was deeper water upstream.


Last view upstream.

 Our gardening and blogger friend, Ann, had shared pictures of her father’s place on the river up here somewhere. I remember it had a monkey puzzle tree near the river and it was also near a fish counting station with a cable & basket over the water. At this point. the current seemed to get faster and I would need to get out and tow again. Cars were visible ahead on Highway 4 but I wasn’t getting to any of these goals today. I turned around.





Hmmm, you’re back

  This could be the same heron I interrupted earlier.


sorry I disturbed you again…


More trees


The launch at plus 7 feet

Back to the launch. I remembered the van getting stuck in soft grass on a job last week and knew I would not have been able to pull out a boat trailer through the mud today. Fortunately, my boat is light enough to not need a trailer.

The GPS told me I had gone 1.5 miles upstream and that the boat had reached a speed of 5.6 mph going downstream. With an hour of sunlight to go I was able to go one more mile downstream.


 Heading under the  Lewis and Clark highway that comes north from the Columbia river.


Can’t get the boat very close to the ducks before…


….off they go, even though I try to  drift up quietly.


Ferns and a dock; well, maybe it’s just part of a dock now.

On January 4, a major rain storm washed out part of Highway 4 nearby and parts of this riverbank still looked de-vegetated.




This was the closest point to highway 4 for a while so I got out for a look.


Muddy wheels and a wet mess of clothes in the back of the boat.

The water was over 15″ deep here too.


No road in sight.




Washed up fishing floats.


More reflections.


Different tree, really


Cows outstanding in their field

Reminds me that my dad once boated down the Cedar River through Kent, which is south of Seattle, into Lake Washington. He mentioned that the parking lots, stores and malls are hardly visible at all from the river and the car noises are much quieter. The deep trench of this river didn’t allow me to find Ann’s monkey puzzle tree that I mentioned earlier or to see much of this pasture.


Not wildlife.

I could be seen though.


Almost back to the launch


Just grab a tuft of grass, grab the rope and commit.

Now it was five miles and two hours later. There is a house on the right of the photo that overlooks the launch and further safety is provided by…


Naselle is prepared for what we know can happen to small towns in the woods .

I spotted the zombie response vehicle at the local grocery when I arrived and later photographed it on the way out. It’s clearly owned by a worker, on their shift, there to protect us all.


Columbia River sunset over the Astoria Megler Bridge on the drive home

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