liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Willamette River

My back is sore from the boat ride yesterday. There were a lot of wakes and the boat would often jump up and slam down. I stood for most of the ride because I could absorb the shocks better with my legs, but I got tired toward the end and sat down more. Sometimes the jolt of landing on my ass after a big wave was so hard that it made me grunt like a body hit.

Somewhere in Mary S Young state park I will find somewhere in the woods to hide my Embudo (kayak). I know to hide it high up, because the river level is changing constantly and is now quite low. There is a tidal fluctuation here, 23 miles upstream from the confluence with the Columbia river. It is less than a mile paddle upstream from here to the falls, where the indians used to fish and now there is a fish ladder and locks to go through. I will go through the locks in my kayak sometime. I just want to see them. I wanted to go closer to the falls yesterday but Don was afraid to go up anymore, because he doesn't know how to read water and the last time he went into the last easy eddy near the falls there he broke his prop on a rock. In a kayak I could attain right up to the foot of the falls, by doing ferries and eddy hopping. Heck, I could make those attainments in Don's motor boat too, but he wasn't about to let me drive.

I am starting to understand why I landed here. I mean, here in West Linn. The river was calling to me, and the title of my ad was "woman seeks room near the river". If I had landed right in town, there would be no way to get to the river, because it is all developed. Here I can get to the river in lots of places. The confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette is between here and the falls. We are upstream from Portland, and from the main sources of sewage and street runoff. The Clackamas is cooler and cleaner and much smaller than the Willamette. There are a few creeks that are not running now, but in the springtime there will be multiple options to paddle creeks and finish at the boatramp just downstream from Mary's park.

Also, living here I get to ride my bike along the river a great deal. It is 7 miles to school on the west side of the river, and about 9 miles to downtown going on the east side. The riding on the east side is more bike lane riding along pleasant roads, whereas getting north/south on the west side is combat riding, ranging from paved bike trails that dip and doodle through the forest, to full on high traffic highway riding.

I've heard from several people now about a great flood that happened here in 1996. There was a big snow, and then a long warm rain. They called it the Pineapple Express, so it must have been tropical. The Willamette got higher than anyone could remember, and flooded downtown Portland and also Oregon City.
Tags: biking, floods, flow, kayak, river

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