After an extended visit in the beautiful town of St. Helens, Oregon, I ended up having to switch gears due to excessive flooding and debris and bicycled 75 miles through Portland to the town of Cascade Locks just above the Bonneville Dam. This ultimately ended up being a blessing in disguise as I was able to explore Portland, Oregon much more extensively on a bicycle as well as riding high up on the bluffs overlooking the beginnings of the Columbia River Gorge. This will be the next chapter of paddling after weeks on the tidal, lower river.
The people on this journey so far have been amazing. I was fortunate to have made some incredible friends in St. Helens who lent me a bicycle for my portage and helped with the Portage of my canoe to the Cascade Locks Marina.
From here I started paddling again towards Hood River through the Columbia River Gorge, which is one of the consistently windiest places in the world and is known for its world class Kite boarding and wind sport activities. Due to this, I have to be very careful in an open expedition canoe how and when I am out on the water, but fortunately westerly winds often significantly help me with paddling, along with my canoe kite which has been remarkable in how much speed I can attain in the right conditions.
The following is a conversation with Danielle Katz, a world traveler, source to sea paddling adventurer, and the founder of an NGO called Rivers for Change which enhances the medium of source to sea river adventures to advocate for wilderness conservation and ecosystem revitalization efforts. I met her and the crew of kayakers she has been supporting in Hood River. They have made their way paddling from the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho and plan to end their journey where I began mine: the mouth of the Columbia River.
It was amazing to meet these kindred souls and have an in depth talk with Danielle about her origins, source to sea adventures, conservation, and perspectives on life. Hope you enjoy and see you all back on the river road.