I’ve been back from the PNW for a week now, and I’m still trying to figure out when to go back!
While the 24 hour drive up was a ride from hell..literally. 104 degrees and no air conditioning in the truck? While towing a trailer? guess were we took this Dodge 2500 hundred when we got back? That’s right – it’s blowing cold now. Other than sizzling like fajitas on a cast iron skillet, the ride up was great! We didn’t stop, just trucked all the way through until we got to Val’s uncles house, at 4am Friday morning.
That’s when the real adventure started. Rows and rows of green trees, a small town full of super friendly people and the Colombia Gorge ready to be paddled on.
The river was completely difference than anything I’ve every paddled on. The river obviously runs towards the ocean, so the current is going opposite way of us. However, the mountains and cliffs on both the Oregon and Washington side create a tunnel, and the wind blowing on shore and push up to 20 kts! The race was epic. and hard. Epically hard. We don’t have surf like that in California and the whole time us girls are hootin’ and hollerin’ and having a great time. Our crew worked hard together and most importantly supported and trusted each other. Keeping each other honest in the canoe and then supporting each other through all 12 miles of the down wind race. There were parts of the race that got a little hairy, specifically when we had to cross over from the south side to the north side and go across the white caps. But knowing each other as well as we did, and blending together as well as we did we were able to keep calm and move forward. The short paddles we did before the race seemed like nothing compared to race day! The rest of weekend was spent relaxing at our campsites underneath 100 ft trees and hiking to 100 ft water falls. We camped at the Wyeth Campground which had incredibly spacious lots and an amazing camp host named Polly. There were close to 18 of us that took up 4 campsites. We were literally eating blackberries off the road, and watching the sun go down at 9pm.
Our hikes were based right off the Colombia River Highway, where there close to a dozen different waterfalls to hike to. Den Mother Deidre knew all the trails secrets!! They ranged from a 2 mile round trip, to a 10 mile round trip. Elowah falls was my favorite. A two mile round trip with cut backs and climbing (with the pug of course) that ended at a
free flowing (cold) water fall. It was gorgeous, eye opening and definitely must see if you are ever in Oregon. Another challenging hike, was Oneonta falls which was complete with climbing over a complete log jam and then walking a half a mile in 5 feet of water! And ofcourse we finished our hikes by stopping by our new favorite little Brewery, Thunder Island Brewery. Which had an amazing view, and pretty sweet area to hang out in while we waited for the guys to finish their afternoon activities on the water.
It may have only been a 4 day weekend up north but I love the area, and I love the people I traveled with. I love living life outside!
Check out this video made by braddah Bronson about the trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQi8aXqp138