On November 13, after a few anxious days of watching the weather reports, we were rewarded with a partially sunny, rain free and almost wind free day on the Salmon River, not bad for November.
After a more than adequate breakfast at the Otis Café, 9 of us launched from Knight County Park on the Salmon River. Our plan was to paddle about one mile to the mouth of the river against an incoming tide and spend some time on the sand spit. We were surprised as we approached the mouth to see quite a bit of breaking wave activity in the estuary that I have not seen before. There was an exceptionally high tide that day plus large swells in the ocean so perhaps that was the cause. We changed plans since it would be difficult going any further and headed upriver a bit sooner than planned. We were treated to very nice smooth water for the remainder of the trip plus some eagle viewings and even a few seals fairly far upriver. There is a large tree across the river as you get near to Otis, our planned turn around point, normally you can get under it but due to the very high water level, we could not go any further. Took a snack break in our boats since there were not any good landing sites and then had a nice ride back to Knight Park with the ebb tide. No more than 5 minutes after we got out of the water it started to rain, the weather gods were good to us during the paddle.
No problems during the paddle, we returned with the same number of people we started with. Total water time was about 3.5 hours.
We missed you Marty and Mike and Lee. The wind was between 1 and 5 mph! Lovely day on the river. My photos are nothing spectacular, but you can find them here: photos
Due to projected weather on the coast on Sunday I have decided to remain in the Portland area. This from the National Weather Service: SUN...S WIND 10 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS TO 25
This trip is limited to members with a wet exit certification. To successfully register you will need to sign into your OOPS member account, and your account will need to be a member of the "Wet Exit Certified" group.
Narrative: We did this trip over the summer and have received requests to do it again. It might not be as warm or sunny in November but it’s still a favorite paddle. We will be able reach the ocean and explore the estuary and river all in one trip.
This paddle will start from Knight County Park where we'll meet at 9:30 a.m. We'll launch at 10:00 a.m. against an incoming (flood) tide and paddle about one mile toward the mouth of the river to a sand spit on the ocean accessible only by boat. We will NOT be heading out in the surf zone on this paddle. There may be some moderate currants and eddies near the mouth to play in, but usually not too strong. We can land before reaching anything beyond level one conditions. Frequently there are a collection of seals and sea lions in the area, both in the water and on the spit so bring your camera.
After a short stop on the beach we'll head back upriver, now taking advantage of the incoming tide, go past the launch site and continue for a few miles passing under Hwy 101 through scenic open country and some farms - this route is generally free of other boat traffic. Sometimes there are curious cows and horses that come down to the river to check us out. We'll head back to Knight Park on the slack and outgoing (ebb) tide. The overall length of the paddle will be in the 8-10 mile range, mostly with a current or tidal assist.
Bring a lunch or snacks and water.
Another great feature of this Salmon River trip is the close proximity to the Otis Café. For those who have never enjoyed their amazing breakfasts, this could be your lucky day. If you leave there hungry, it’s your fault - the portions are indeed very generous and everything in made from scratch including wonderful breads and pies. For those who have already been there, no more needs to be said.
There are vault toilets at Knight Park but no water; parking is free. Please include your mobile phone number when you RSVP. More details will be sent out prior to the trip.
Start Point: Knight County Park 2368 N 3 Rocks Rd, Otis, OR 97368
End Point: Knight County Park 2368 N 3 Rocks Rd, Otis, OR 97368
Route Alternative for bad weather: None. We will cancel or reschedule if weather conditions are too bad. Winds can sometimes be a factor in this area.
Minimum Immersion Protection: Full wet suit
Primary Organizer: Bob Freshman
Secondary Organizer: Chris Mayou
Has organizer been on this paddle before?: Yes
Has organizer led an OOPS activity here before?: Yes
Organizer's first aid & CPR certification current?: Yes
First Aid / CPR person: Bob Freshman
Max # of participants: 12 (may be increased if other trip leaders join in this event)
OOPS members only?: No
I certify that I have read, understand, and will conduct this Activity in accordance with the OOPS Activity Policy.: Yes
Estimated air temperature: 50-60
Estimated water temperature: 50's
Estimated water time: 4 Hours
Tide times & heights: 11/13 Sun 04:51 AM 1.37 L
11/13 Sun 10:43 AM 8.51 H
11/13 Sun 05:45 PM -0.94 L
Current information: 1-2 knots for first mile only
Wind strength: 1. 0-7 knot (8mph)
Swell/Surf size: 1. < 1', no breaking waves
Sea state: 1. small wavelets, no whitecaps
Landing types: 1. gently sloping sand gravel or grass
Currents: 2. up to 2 knot
Total distance: 2. 6 to 11 miles
Open crossing: 1. no open crossings
Overall rating: 1. level two
Rating comment: Will review wind conditions prior to the trip and advise people that signed up of any changes in level.
Google Maps Link:
Oregon Ocean Paddling SocietyPortland, Oregon