A new theme in our lives: water.

Sometimes it's the coast, one of the places dearest to my husband's heart. He's a coastal boy. I'm a mountain girl. Compromise, compromise, compromise.

After 60+ hour weeks at work, it was time for a break.

The weather didn't exactly cooperate; then again, on the Oregon Coast, it rarely does. We did very little- ate fudge, crashed (and broke) one kite, watched waves, discovered new little coves.

Washing the work week away

Fogarty Creek State Park

saying hello to the camera

And we definitely, definitely have a beach dog. {GRIN}

stalking sea gulls & starfish

On another day, when May felt more like June, we tried our hand at the East Fork of the Lewis River. The lower reaches, near La Center, Washington where we put in, are still influenced by tides off the Columbia. Verdant, flat, easy paddling.

the lower reaches of the East Fork are placid & calm

Several miles upstream, it all changes. 

beaching the boats when the current became too swift

This trip was something of a recon mission. Like the early days of hiking and backpacking, we don't really know where to go. We're discovering all sorts of hidden fees- the confusing morass of private/public launch sites, and the fun of slogging through red tape and regulations. We're deciphering trip reports and conservative guidebooks to try to understand what is within our comfort zone. We're learning about current, water levels, tides, interpreting new charts, learning new trail etiquette. If there is one thing that is true about water, it's that conditions are variable.

The upper miles of the East Fork are shallow, swift and contain fun little rapids. Not whitewater material, just fun riffles with quick decision making and channel hopping required. Several miles upstream from our launch site, we literally turned a corner and the character of the river changed- swift, icy, shallow. We beached the kayaks and explored a little, only to decide we must work out some sort of shuttle system. This river is impossible to cover as an out and back, and the upper reaches look hella fun.

Must. Go. Back. 

Andy & kayaks: East Fork of the Lewis River

upstream from our beach

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