To take advantage of better tides or weather, the Day 3 and Day 4 itineraries may be switched.
A hearty breakfast will be served each morning, including eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage, juice, and fresh fruit. Breakfast is usually at 8:00 a.m. At 8:40, you will be transported to the kayak put-in or to a field-trip destination.
We will start along the historic waterfront of Cathlamet, including the 1868 Warren Cannery. We will then proceed along the cliffs, formed 16 million years ago as part of the world's second-largest basalt flows. Many interesting formations can be seen along these 90-foot cliffs, including the cast of a tree that was engulfed in lava and left an imprint of its bark before being consumed in flames. Multiple waterfalls cascade into the Columbia from the cliff top, and native wildflowers are abundant from April through June.
Our pack lunch will be eaten on a tiny cobble beach tucked among the cliffs. The pebbles on the beach include rounded examples of quartzite and petrified wood carried from what is now Montana during the Missoula Floods of the Pleistocene, the world's largest freshwater floods.
Depending on time and weather, we may return to Cathlamet via Cathlamet Channel or cross the channel to Birnie Slough to paddle a longer loop through the homes and farms of Puget Island before crossing back to Cathlamet. After driving back to Skamokawa Center, we will walk across the road to the 1894 schoolhouse that has been lovingly restored as the River Life Interpretive Center. It serves as historical museum, bookstore and community center.
Dinners at Skamokawa Resort, prepared by The Duck Inn catering, feature fresh local ingredients, including a meat or vegetarian entree, vegetables, salad and home-made dessert.
The four-member folk band Skamokawa Swamp Opera will perform music by and about the people of the Lower Columbia River, including their original songs. Skamokawa Swamp Opera are known for creative arrangements using various combinations of voice, guitar, cello, banjo, mandolin, mandocello, and percussion.