Category Archives: Pacific Northwest

Lake Merwin – Cresap to Canyon Creek Paddle

I went to join a group at Lake Merwin that had planned to do this paddle. They didn’t show up (I think they bailed because of the heat), so I did it solo. The heat just meant that I got more practice flipping the boat to cool off…

We have done part of this route in our ski boat many times, but this was a great way to experience more of Canyon Creek, and see the whole route in a new way.

3.07 miles from Cresap to the rapids on Canyon Creek, 6.14 miles round trip.

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Made it to Astoria!

John and I recently completed a journey that we have talked about for some time now. We made the trip from Portland to Astoria in our boats. I took the Arima, and John rode his Waverunner. 95.19 miles in all, down the Columbia River, starting at the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, and ending at the John Day Park ramp in Astoria. It took us 8 hours in all, including two fuel/rest stops in Kalama and Cathlamet. Ryan took these pictures, and did a great job. Our plan called for about 4-5 hours on the water, but we didn’t anticipate the rough water that we encountered for nearly the full length of the trip. Near Cathlamet we ran into some 4+ foot waves, the third picture shows John meeting one of those. Our wives towed the trailers to Astoria, and helped make the trip easy for us. I was surprised by the amount of beautiful scenery along the way.

We particularly liked the Elochoman Slough Marina in Cathlamet, a very picturesque and peaceful place, I’d like to spend some more time there someday.

I used my Lowrance chartplotter extensively on this trip, and had good fun doing so, although I realized just how much I have to learn about it. I also realized for the first time why it would be advantageous to have a displacement hull vessel rather than a planing hull, so that you are in the water, rather than on top of it (where the waves can beat you to death).

It felt great to complete the challenge, we will surely have to do it again someday.

Photos Copyright © 2008, Jon McDermott
Location: Columbia River, OR

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Tour de Lopez

Last weekend we rode in the ‘Tour de Lopez’ with our friends John & Barby on Lopez Island in the San Juans. The weather on Lopez was amazing! It was rainy and cool for a week before, but sunny and warm on the day of the ride. What a blessing it was. There were 3 routes: 10 miles, 17 miles, and 31 miles. We chose to ride the 10 mile, but ended up with 14.51 miles by the end of the day (including the ride
back to the truck). The ride ended in the village, with a catered lunch and live music.I had just received my bike back from a tune-up, and unfortunately it gave me problems most of the day. If the guys down at Bike Gallery are reading this, I’ll be in to see you soon.

Some tips for those interested in riding in the Tour de Lopez next year: 1.) Register early, the ride was sold out this year about 3 years prior tothe event. 2.) Reserve lodging early. There aren’t many hotels on Lopez, mostly rental vacation homes and B&B’s. We couldn’t get a place, so we stayed in Anacortes (worked out fine). 3.) Test ride your bike after getting it back from the bike shop, in plenty of time to return it for repairs on the repairs.
It was a great day. The ride was not competitive, so we had the opportunity to take our time and enjoy the views.

Photos © Copyright Jon McDermott – Taken in Anacortes, WA and Lopez Island WA

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