September 3

I carried all my gear to the river in one trip. Waves were still lapping the rip-rap so it was a challenge loading the boat.

It was windier than I’d expected, a solid headwind with enough waves to splash over the bow occasionally.

After a few hours I got cell coverage. I walked through the willows dodging spider webs with unusually big spiders. I sat on a rock and updated my journal. I’d gotten a couple more emails asking about when I’d get to a certain place ahead. Those are really tough questions. Too many variables I don’t control with wind being the big one.

Big Spider

At noon I arrived at McNary Dam. I’d just got the cart on the kayak and pulled it out of the water when Chris Hansen drove up. He’d brought a sock I’d overlooked in his washing machine along with some burgers and drinking water. Thanks Chris!

It was an easy pull to the put-in point downstream. We shook hands and I was off again.

There were a number of fishing boats out this Labor Day weekend, and I saw an unusual sight: two jet skis going at less than wide open!

I’d hoped to do 40 miles but a steady headwind was making it unlikely. And contrary to what one might think, there’d been virtually no current to help me since Lewiston, due to the dams.

Finally at about 4 the wind let up. A barge was coming up from behind me. Unlike the Mississippi where the shipping channel is clearly marked, I had trouble identifying the channel. I paddled over near an island as the barges passed. The island was a favorite of mule deer, many fed along the shore amongst the geese.

The sunset was both orange and pinkish red. A mountain appeared ahead, Mt Hood I think. It was a thrill to see one of the Cascades.

Columbia River Sunset

It was nearly dark when I reached the treeline at 40 miles. I pulled the boat into the reeds and waded ashore, soon finding a decent campsite.  By headlamp I waded back out through the reeds to my boat, which I tied to a fallen tree, then set up my tent.

It was a luxury to crawl into my warm, dry bag.

Clark: October 19th Saturday 1805… I… entered a lodge which was the nearest to me found 32 persons men, women and a few children Setting permiscuesly in the Lodg, in the greatest agutation, Some crying and ringing there hands, others hanging their heads. I gave my hand to them all and made Signs of my friendly dispotion and offered the men my pipe to Smok and distributed a fiew Small articles which I had in my pockets,-this measure passified those distressed people verry much,They said we came from the clouds &c &c and were not men &c. &c. this time Capt. Lewis came down with the Canoes rear in which the Indian, as Soon as they Saw the Squar wife of the interperters they pointed to her… they imediately all came out and appeared to assume new life, the sight of This Indian woman, wife to one of our interprs. confirmed those people of our friendly intentions, as no woman ever accompanies a war party of Indians in this quarter…

Trip overview and route map with position updates: