At Kennewick we say goodbye to Peter and Diane who drive the GMC and the now dead Smart Car to Seattle where the vechiles will spend the summer. One last dinner with Jeannie and Phil and we head down river to the Pacific Ocean.
The first three days take up thru the McNarly, John Day and Dalles locks, each about 100’ rise and void of any cruising boats like ours.
At the intersect of the Hood River, we enter the narrow part of the river with it’s towering hillsides. The town of Hood River becomes our base for a few days while we rent a car and drive to Mt Hood having lunch at the wonderful Timberline Lodge. This area is renown for its outdoor sports, windsurfing, cycling, climbing, skiing, etc….lots of chiropractors.
After a very rough ride out of Hood River (35kt winds against a 5kt current), we headed down to Cascade Lock and the Bridge of the Gods…not sure how it got the name. On to the Bonneville Dam and another 100’ lock.
After six days on the Columbia River, we arrived in Portland for a four-day stay visiting friends and enjoying the city and it’s wonderful parks. Dan get’s a chance to catch up with Carl Farrington, a Williston classmate for dinner and brunch cruise up the Willamette River.
Down river again with a stop in Kalama were we again rented a car and this time visited Mt. St. Helens. The devastation is still an awesome sight….trying to imagine a 300 mile/hr wind!.
We first discovered the Brew Express coffee maker when it came standard on our Legacy boat. We loved it so much we now have four of them. In Kalama we got a chance to visit the company and it’s owner Bill Spencer.
Last stop on the Columbia River is Astoria, primarily a lumber and fishing town.
The entrance to the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean is known as the ‘Portland Bar’ and is a major training center for Coast Guard personnel. On the out edge of the bar the ocean swells up from hundreds of feet deep onto a wide and shallow bank about 40 feet deep. The big ocean swells build on this bar and are met by the outflow of the river….potentially one very nasty scene.
We had waited a couple of days for a dead calm winds on an ebb tide, at 5am we left the dock following an experienced skipper on a 100’ Ocean Alexander. Even then, we had a five-foot swell as we moved off the bar about an hour later and headed north up the coast.
Slowed by fog, fishing boats and crab traps we arrived at Neah Bay in the Straight of Juan De Fuca about 2pm without incident.
All told, this leg of our journeys is not one we would repeat in a boat. They make cars and planes for visiting this area.
Click on the photo to see the album of this trip