Welcome to my descriptions, stories, and sometimes out and out lies about my weekend adventures around the North West. Though most of these are about Hiking, I may take you on some other outside adventures. Please leave me comments or suggestions and have fun.
It is nice to have a couple of easy
local hikes and paddles in your hip pocket for those days where you
just HAVE to get out, but you don't really have the time or will to
make a major affair of the entire thing.
I guess you could argue that anytime
you have to put a rack and kayak on the top of your car, you have
something bordering on a major affair, but today, at least, I had the
added incentive that my new spray skirt was in at Portland Kayak and
I needed to pick that up (oh, and a waterproof box for my valuables).
Portland Kayak is where I
bought Journey and much of my other gear. Annie, Mike, and John are a
nice crew and they usually remember my name, so I like to visit. They
also have the nicest selection of high end kayaks for sale and demo
that I have seen in the area. They have a shop right next to
Willamette park across the river from Ross Island. So I stopped by
for my spray skirt (oh, and a waterproof box) and then I drove the 2
blocks to the landing. This park has a 1$ an hour
parking fee, but if you want over 3 hours it is 6 hours for the day.
Go figure. At least the machine takes plastic.
The day was trying to decide whether to
be dark or sunny. I could see dark clouds and blue sky couming in
from both directions. But I was here, so I carted my boat down to the
shore and set out. I like to paddle quickly across the bulk of the
river to the side channel and then enjoy the beautiful little
floating houses that sit right in that corner of the river.
I guess recent changes in the rules
have made the East side of Ross Island a no wake zone. This means
that pretty much all of the power boats stay away from that side.
This must be a new thing because I remember the willamette jet boats
taking my son and I up inside the bay of Ross Island one time, and
they sure didn't do no wake that entire distance.
I am going counter clockwise around the
island, and I am pretty much alone on the water. I see a lot of
bikers out, though, cycling their way along the bike route that is up
high on the bank on the East side. I wave, but no one waves back.
Darn stuck-up bikers.
Lot's of old construction detritus
along the banks of the Willamette. Remains of old docks and piers,
abandoned boat ramps. Even abandoned boats. Some very large water
pipes, but nothing coming out. Sewer overflow? Charming.
I didn't go into the bay of Ross Island
this time around. Ross Island is an old rock quary and much of the
island has been hauled away over the years. The owner has been trying
to give the place to the city for a while, but I guess there are a
lot of problems, like he wants to the city to assume unknown cleanup
costs. Anyway, the bay in the middle is where they island has been
dug up and carted away, such that the sides of the island are all
pretty much thin strands. Still a lot of excavation equipment setting
out there and I presume they are still in operation.
As I turn the corner on the North end
of the island, the skyline of Portland opens up. It is a pretty city,
lots of bridges and more and more glass buildings going up. Many new
tall condos. And there is the new Light Rail and Pedestrian bridge.
Should be a nice looking suspension bridge when it is done. It will
complete the loop around the inner city and also prove light rail out
And What is this? Someone has been doing some very extreme tagging. Lemur Creep Indeed !!
The wind starts to blow up as I round
the turn and head back up river. Some ripples on the water. And here
comes Portland Spirit, the biggest boat on the river. You can take a
lunch or Dinner cruise up the river. I think it comes close to the
falls at Oregon City during high water. Right now it just makes some
additional ripples for me.
After she passes I decide to head over
the city side, so if the wind blows up I can always bail and walk
back to my car. There are a few yacht clubs over on that side. I see
some people putting sailboats into the water. They probably read the
weather reports. I should really do that. As is, I power my way back
to the landing getting back to park at just about 1 hour and 15
minutes paddle time. I think I spent longer getting the boat on and
off my Subaru !!