Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Lower Columbia

In May of 2005, when we were just leaving Oregon, I made a note to myself: remember to come back here and explore to Lower Columbia River. This past week, we have made good on that promise, moving slowly up river, anchoring in protected bays, and kayaking among the islands and sloughs. This is a country of low, sandy islands and big wide skies, like in the photo above. There is the fast moving, big water of the main river channel, and slow water elsewhere, with lush rushes and grasses. Yesterday we paddled from our moorage at Cathlamet downriver to the settlement of Skamokawa, and back. We had every kind of conditions: floating downstream, battling wind and wave for a bit of the return trip. Today, we have come a bit further upstream to anchor behind Walker Island near the industrial cities of Longview and Kelso. The anchorage is beautiful, the day is fine. There are a few things to remind us we are approaching home: we can see Mt. St. Helens from the anchorage, and we can hear KPLU, our favorite jazz and blues radio station out of Tacoma, on their Longview frequency. Home is where the heart is.