As planned we explored the flooded areas over to the Multnomah Channel dike and then wove our way through the trees until we hit the Scappoose Creek channel near the race track. My 3 companions likely questioned my route choices more than once, waiting patiently for me to return as I did once, and then following once they saw my beckoning smile encouraging them on. I'm sure it helped that they had no idea how to get back otherwise. Our Wisconsin guest, Michael Hammer, was most pleasantly surprised by the greeting we got near the race track from 4 grazing horses.
The area was so flooded that we were able to connect with the creek very near the racetrack - a first for me. The downside was that I realized that the last 2 downed tree thickets we negotiated were in fact in the main channel that we had to return through and we were on ebb. So we decided to retire from further explorations south and instead paddled out of the bay, and Multnomah Channel to Warrior Rock on the Columbia for lunch. This meant we had to paddle back against the ebb on a 5 ft. tidal exchange during max ebb, which turned out to not be an issue.
Bald eagle, and blue heron sightings plus a sea lion inspection were treats for our out-of-towner. The western grebes which I always like were good, but the goshawk was the most special and for me rarest sighting.
As we returned, we could see a significant weather cell building along the West Hills. We returned to the marina, got our gear packed, and were safety headed home when the weather really broke loose with what I would describe as a snowball hale. The good timing was appreciated by all.
Here's a warning for the next trips to Scappoose Bay. The 2 new tree falls will be a significant blockage to passage at the lower water levels expected for most of the spring. We got over the trunks due to high water. Later, I expect that getting around the upper portions of the trees will be easy but not without saws and pruners. The next expedition should expect to spent significant time with pruning operations to clear the creek.
I have an assistant TO in Bob Freshman, so the total number of folks who can register is now 14 including the 2 TO's and the guest.
This trip is limited to OOPS members with WEC (except for paddlers who are not using a spray skirt or are paddling a sit-on-top kayak or canoe - if approved by the TO). To successfully register, you'll need to log in to your member account on the OOPS website.
Narrative: It's time to take advantage of the high waters to do a little bushwhacking among the flooded landscapes of Scappoose Bay. High tide will be about 9:00 am so we will be on ebb for the whole paddle. We can start by exploring what access we can get through the trees and flooded backwaters heading east towards the levee separating the bay from Multnomah channel. Later we can head up Scappoose Creek to see what obstacles may have been removed or added this winter. Once we have decided we've had enough, we will have the ebb tide to assist us back to the launch site.
Kayak launch fee 3$ per car.
We will have a visiting paddler with us. Join and chat him up about paddling on Lake Michigan, and help us inform him a bit about our wet little neighborhood.
Meeting Time: 9:00:00 AM
Launch Time: 9:30:00 AM
Type of activity: Paddle Trip
Put in: Scapposse Bay Marina
Take out: Scapposse Bay Marina
Route Alternative for bad weather: We will adjust the length of the paddle based on conditions
Minimum Immersion protection: Drysuit
Primary Organizer: Rich Becker
Assistant Organizer(s): Please volunteer
Has organizer paddled here before? Yes
Has organizer led an OOPS paddle here before? Yes
Organizer's first aid and CPR current? Yes
First Aid /CPR Person:
Maximum number of paddlers: 5
I certify that I understand and will conduct this activity in accordance with the OOPS Activity Policy: Yes
Estimated Air Temperature: 50
Estimated Water Temperature: 45
Estimated Water Time: 4 hrs
Tide times & heights: High tide 9:00 am
Current information: 1-2 knts
Wind strength: Level 1: 0-7 knots (8 mph)
Swell/Surf size: Level 1: Under 1' waves, no breaking waves
Sea state: Level 1: Waves up to the deck seam; water glassy to rippled, no whitecaps
Landing types: Level 1: Frequent easy landing opportunities including gently sloping, sand, gravel or grass
Currents: Level 2: Mild currents (up to 2 knots): current increases / decreases group speed by half
Total distance: Level 1: Up to 6 miles
Open crossing: Level 1: No open crossing
Overall rating: Level 1
Rating Comments: Level I
Location (Optional): Scapposse Bay Marina
Oregon Ocean Paddling SocietyPortland, Oregon