Monday, September 17, 2007

Columbia River Water Trail - Basics

This is a multi-part posting related to the paddle we just did down the Columbia River Water Trail. The parts are:

Part 1 - Basics of the trip
Part 2 - the Trip
Part 3 - Animals seen
Part 4 - Resources for others interested in this trip
Part 5 - Some pics of me that Brian took


Our friends Janet and Brian like to do a 2 week long trip every year, and last year's was the Channel Islands off of Santa Barbara. They considered going to the west coast of Vancouver Island this year, but had some concerns about bears and weather/wave conditions there.

Then they read an article in the AAA Magazine Via about this area, and it clicked that they should do this instead.

The basics of the trip would be to paddle from just below Bonneville Dam down to the Ocean. In a direct route, it would be about 150 miles. Almost all of it is protected (no ocean waves), but does have its challenges (tides, wind waves, big ships, strong currents, etc.). Turns out that most any island, and many areas of the shoreline, are open for camping, so this definitely made things easier. And there is civilization nearby to get water and food if needed. Sounded perfect, so they started planning.

Sylvia and I were invited last year to the Channel Islands, but we had some concerns (open ocean and all), plus we didn't own boats then and had trouble arranging for rentals, so we didn't go with them. But this year we have boats and this sounded like a less risky trip, so we agreed to join them.

One thing that made this area famous was that Lewis and Clark traveled here as part of their search for an overland route to the Pacific. There are many historical markers and museums along the way, which helped educate us to their trip.

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At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! You did really great tour.
So 150 miles supposed to be more than 300 kilometers. And you guys went all the way by kayak!
Such a great tour with nice view!

Well, I have looked all of your photos but I haven't read through all of the part yet. I will come back later and will read more about your trip.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger California Kayaker Magazine said...

I wrote an article on this trip, which was published in Wavelength Magazine's January 2009 issue. It is available for download at


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