Getting in/out of vans; in/out of kayaks; paddling 6-8 miles throughout the day.
8:00 a.m. at The Duck Inn. Each day, we will have pack lunches provided and take them with us on our field trips.
We will meet at the kayak shop, enter vans, and ride to the kayak put-in for our first field trip. After an introduction to kayaking, 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. We will see many interesting formations 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 (though much diminished in August-September), and the cliffs are home to many rare species of plants.
On a cobble beach tucked amid the cliffs, we will have the packed lunches provided this morning. The pebbles on the beach include rounded examples of quartzite and petrified wood carried from what is now Idaho during the Missoula Floods of the Pleistocene, the world’s largest freshwater floods.
Depending on time and weather, we will return to Cathlamet via Cathlamet Channel, or, if conditions allow, we will 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 returning to Skamokawa, the Group Leaders will give us a demonstration of all the commonly used kayak rolls and rescues. Everyone will then have an opportunity for those who want to try learning these skills to don a wetsuit and practice.
At The Duck Inn.
We will be joined by historian Irene Martin, who won the 2000 Governor’s Heritage Award for her work documenting the cultures of the Lower Columbia. The author of six books on the history of the region, she is also a gillnetter and an Episcopal priest. Her wide-ranging interests and intellect will make for a fascinating presentation.