After a great visit with Chris Algero in Longview, I paddled up through Rainier, Oregon to Prescott Park where I met and visited with the wonderful camp hosts George and Debbie. The current on the Columbia has become very powerful at times. With rough weather and headwinds I need to know when I can paddle and when to wait it out. I had a humbling experience one day on this stretch when I paddled only 200 yards in 45 minutes of maximum effort before needing to return to my campsite. After Prescott Park, I paddled onward and stayed with a great host named Jaclyn in the beautiful little town of Kalama, Washington for a couple days before reaching St. Helens.
The people in St. Helens, Oregon are incredibly supportive and friendly, which resulted in me playing a couple great shows of music at the Big River Taphouse right along the waterfront. Now I have been waylaid for the last couple weeks due to late spring/early summer flooding that has brought with it heavy currents and debris. Fortunately I befriended the wonderful owners of the Big River Taphouse, Randy and Marcy who have been incredibly supportive of my journey and music and are currently hosting me while I wait for the river conditions to improve.
The following is a conversation with Jesse Lagers and his partner Chin Chin . Along with being a big colorful personality and passionate about the Columbia River, Jesse and his partner are professional (entertainment) pirates who up until recently lived for years on a wooden boat built in the 1930’s. They are also keen advocates and supporters for the revitalization of communities and businesses in St.Helens. After a few beers, we all had a great late night conversation sharing stories about our roots, what it’s like being a pirate, the Columbia River, boats, stories from where I’m from in the Yukon, the revitalization of towns, and staying true to yourself in this wild journey called life. Hope you enjoy and see you all down, or should I say up, the river road.