Thursday, September 25, 2014

Up the lazy river

We kayaked the Tualatin River last year during a Portland area visit. We paddled north and heard urban noises like lawnmowers we at first mistook for boat engines.  

This time we paddled south and and you'd have thought we were ... well, somewhere other than just south of major metro Portland. After we passed the construction going on near (let's face it, immediately adjacent to) our RV park, we could have been in the wilderness.

The Tualatin River runs right behind our RV park but begins in the Tillamook State Forest.  That's west of here in the Oregon Coast Range and where Jim was based for the entire 20 years he worked for the Oregon State Department of Forestry. The Tualatin ends when it meets the Willamette, the river that spits Portland into its east and west sides.
You'd think the 27 creeks that feed into the Tualatin would give it a little oomph -- but the river is slow.  In fact, we read that "Tualatin" is probably a Native American word for "sluggish."  For us, "sluggish" translates to "good for kayaking."
We put our boats in the water at a small launch site within walking distance to our RV Park and below where US 99 West crosses the Tualatin River.  A couple days ago there was an accident on the bridge to the right, which is north bound only.  A guy in an SUV headed the wrong way on the one-way bridge.  He must have scared himself and the opposing traffic, but it didn't look like anyone was injured.
The reflections in the water were so intense that you could almost lose your sense of what was up and what was down. 
A heron camouflaged in a tree's moss and branches.
Another reflection photo.  At times the trees in the water almost looked like deliberately planted pots of flowers and grasses.

Jim suggested we take our boats out at a small hillside behind our RV.  I looked at the steepness and the small depressions in the dirt that served as feet/hand holds and said no way.  Jim saw a challenge.  

Ta da!

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