Monday, April 6, 2009

I made it to Hood River!!

Though most of this trip has been about quality suffering, its moments like these that make it all worth it. This is a 270 degree view of my camp lagoon, Sunday morning. Click on it for the best viewing experience.

I was stopped 12 miles east of Arlington, WA by 45 + mph winds last week. I took the opportunity to hitchhike home and refuel my mind and body. Having access to the Internet allowed me to spot a 2 day break in the west winds, to head back up and sprint to Hood River.

I got dropped of Friday night, right where i left off, three mile canyon,Exit and mile marker 151 on I 84. I was up and paddling by 5AM, and took a brief stop in Arlington to pick up some gear I had left at home. Thank you Trever Jostad for driving out to get me out of my wet jeans.
The published "portage" road around John Day dam is blocked by a large gate, and I almost broke my arm trying to lower my boat into the water at the locks outlet, the only place I could find access to the water.
I made it about 10 miles past the dam before darkness began to creep up. I camped on a large island called Miller Island, and ran into a fellow photographer who had paddled over from the Washington side to photo old Indian paintings. Scott Dietz was pleasant company to cook dinner with, we exchanged photography ideas and tried out our moon lite technique. Sunday morning was sunny and beautiful, my first truly warm day of the trip. The Dalles Dam proved to be almost as bad as John Day, minus the vertical water entry. The walk down the railroad tracks was bumpy and unnerving since there was nowhere to go but into a little ditch next to a vertical rock wall. luckily a train never passed. I was Back on the water by 3pm Sunday with 20 miles of paddling ahead of me. The Easterly Winds I was hoping for finally breathed a slight breath on my back as I passed Lyle, my first familiar corner of the river. The Hood River bridge was a sight for sore eyes at 6:30 PM, 85 miles and 2 dam portages from my starting point sat morning. I am beat, but glad to have finished most of the "wind tunnel". Hood River puts me about 800 miles into the trip.

Scott Dietz was kind enough to send me these photos to publish.

"Keel Arriving".
I spotted Scott camped on a sandy beach on what i thought was an island. I wondered if my island was in fact an island or a peninsula, and was glad to find out it was indeed an island for it would have added miles to tomarrows paddle if it were not.

As i cooked dinner Scott experimented with slow exposures on his camera. This one came out great

"To The Ocean"
I feel like a tiny dot in the vastness around me. Reflecting on myself and the world around me.
Sunday morning I woke to birds chirping in the stillness. This photo embodies the feeling i get out on the river.

"Details, Hells Gate"
I head west through Hells Gate, witch seperates Miller island from Washington, wrinkling the reflection with my wake.

Photos copywrite Scott Dietz


Anonymous said...

brilliant keel, congratulations. glorious you..xoxoxo mom

jeffrey said...

Marvelous trip Keel. Great pics as always. Wish you continued good luck. Jeff

Anonymous said...

This last photo journal really says alot Keel. Thanks for bringin us in..thanks scott for the photos. big hugs xoxo d