Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kelly Point Park - Kayak

Kelly Point Park

One of the things I love about Portland, besides the incredibly beautiful, intelligent, and complex women that kayak here, is the many and assorted parks where one can easily put into a big river for a little weekend adventure.

This weekend, my partner and I (she being one of before mentioned beautiful, intelligent and complex kayakers) went out to give Kelly Point Park a try.

View Kelly Point Park Kayak in a larger map

Kelly Point is the peninsula that is defined by the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. The point itself is only reachable by foot, but there is a little kayak accessible boat ramp on the Columbia Slough about a half mile away from the actual point. Limited parking here, but there were still a few spots left when we got there. My Partner and I put in here and paddled out with the out going tide into the main channel of the Willamette. This is down near the working end of the river. Lots of big ocean going vessels coming up and down the Columbia. BIG ships.

Right at the entrance to the slough, there is a large grain elevator complex and a conveyor belt system that was running filling up a ship with what I assume was wheat. Oregon ships a lot of wheat to the far east to make various pastries. Like 90% of Oregon wheat is shipped to Japan. It is a big deal here. Which is why it was such a big deal when they found some Monsanto GMO wheat in a field in Oregon. How did it get there? Japan doesn't want it. They won't buy it. They put a hold on their shipments. That is going to be costing Oregon farmers money. Monsanto, on the other hand, claims that they own all of the GMO stuff. Hell, if their pollen gets into your field and your crops then have GMO seeds, Monsanto will sue you for planting them. They OWN IT. Well, in my opinion, if they own all of the upside of their patent GMO, then they own the downside also. They should be paying Oregon farmers for all of the lost value in this whole deal. You know I am right.

The name of the company shipping out the (OK, what I assume was wheat) was OGI. Let's look it up.
OGI: Ok, that didn't work. Have to look at the picture and figure out what it is. Hmm. Hey, it is CGI. Columbia Grain International !!
And look at the map, right next to the machines loading the wheat is this Huge oval of train cars (I marked it for you). Like 3 rows deep going round and round. Hundreds of grain cars lined up bringing in grain to go into the elevator and out in the ships.

And once we paddled around the corner into the Columbia (a little bumpy and eddyline-y out there at the confluence) we could see a bunch more large vessels up the Columbia and the side channel. And behind us came this really big blue ship which I am pretty sure was a roll-on roll-off car carrier. More pictures for you.

We had brought a picnic lunch, and the beach right there on the point was very sandy and enticing, so we just pulled up on shore and layed down and enjoyed the day. The sun was threatening to come out, but that didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves.

See the Sandy Beach?

Oh our way back to the car the outgoing tide was really moving and it made a pretty good (perhaps 1 knot) current in the Slough. The slough doesn't really go anywhere except into Portland. From the maps it looks like you can get pretty far into the city. Probably have to paddle under the highway or something. Probably a fence that keeps you from doing that, it would be too cool otherwise.

Short blog this week. But it was a short trip.

Paddling back up the Slough

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