September 13, Day 174, Mile 3316, 7 Miles Left!

It was a good camp. When I got up the Big Dipper was just above the horizon. Navigation lights blinked along the bay and there was a heavy dew from the sea. 

The tide had made it within a few feet of my kayak last night but now the edge of the water was nearly 50 feet away. 

I looked at my map. I’d stay near the south shore to hedge my bets on winds and tide. 

I launched and paddled steadily with only brief pauses for over three hours. The winds were light and at first tidal currents were minimal. There were many loons and cormorants, mallards, pelicans, seals and a bald eagle. 

Near Astoria a Sheriff/Coast Guard boat stopped to check that I had a life jacket and gave me a whistle, which apparently is a regulation in Oregon. Very friendly fellows. 

When I turned the point I hit some significant up-stream tidal currents. At East End boat ramp there were dozens of sea lions, roaring incessantly. There was also a boat ramp.  My plan was to paddle to Fort Clatsop. I didn’t know how strong the outgoing tides might get. They would work against me paddling up the Lewis and Clark River.  I decided to hedge my bets and land here. 

I contacted Staci Stainbrook who’d kindly offered to lend me a hand. A reporter and photographer from the Astoria paper came by to do a story on my trip. 

Staci arrived, friendly and well prepared to haul my kayak. She was a long time firefighter. We took my boating gear to her place and then returned to the launch with my backpack. Thanks Staci!

I stopped for a very late lunch and booked a ticket for Fairbanks. I was getting calls and texts and emails from all directions. There was a lot to think about!

There was an extremely steep street to hike up in Astoria. It must not get icy here! Yesterday I saw some palm trees and today bamboo. 

After I crossed the river things got much quieter. A herd of Roosevelt elk were feeding in a field. Then, as I walked along forest, I began to hear bull elk bugling!  

I was supposed to meet the reporter at Fort Clatsop but it was closed. A nice ranger let me in though, and I had a good talk with the staff about my trip and Lewis and Clark. They even let me camp at the fort. Super nice people. Thanks!

I will finish my adventure tomorrow with a seven mile walk through the forest to the Pacific, a route the Corps members took many times. 

As I drifted off to sleep elk bugled, mallards quacked out on the river, and owls hooted from the forest. Colter

[I spent an hour writing a post last night and it evaporated, then I lost coverage.]

My Sleeping bag, Fort Clatsop

Clark: December 1st Sunday 1805… began to rain at Sun Set and Continued half the night. my hunters returned without any thing Saw 2 gang of Elk a disagreeable Situation, men all employed in mending their leather Clothes, Socks &c. and Dressing Some Leather. The Sea which is imedeately in front roars like a repeeted roling thunder and have rored in that way ever Since our arrival in its borders which is now 24 Days Since we arrived in Sight of the Great Western Ocian, I cant Say Pasific as Since I have Seen it, it has been the reverse.

Trip overview and route map with position updates: 

Trip overview and route map with position updates: