Closing the Gap on the Columbia Slough
Sunday, October 20, 2002

Scott and Ellen set out to canoe the last stretch of the Columbia Slough that they had not canoed before.

We put in at NE 21st Avenue, just above the big portage. From this vantage point, after the portage, we are looking back at the hill we carried the canoe over. (That canoe is heavy!)

This part of the slough is quite open, without trees. Scott is ready for any weather.

Here's a find: the wreck of an old boat!

Looking back up the slough from the old boat.

Under the MLK bridge is a residence. One inhabitant happened to be visible at the moment I snapped.

But most of the inhabitants we see along the slough are wildlife, like this Great Blue Heron. We also see kingfishers, hawks, osprey, carp and beavers. They are hard to get on film!

Knotweed growing out of a floating log.

Scott got out to explore the Vancouver Ave. bridge to see whether there might be a good
put-in point for a future trip.

There's a lot of junk in the slough. The tide was turning and coming back in but plenty of mud and debris was exposed here.

More inhabitants!

In the distance is the Denver Avenue bridge and above it the new Interstate Max under construction.

Close up we can see the construction better -- the lower bridge in the foreground is temporary scaffolding for the light rail construction.

Looking up at massive concrete columns for the new light rail.
I took a short movie of light reflected from the water on the columns.
(It's nearly 4 MB to download, so if you have a slow connection, don't do it!)

Below the Denver bridge the slough becomes wooded and much more attractive.
A three-second movie of a heron taking off.

We ate lunch overlooking the Portland International Raceway, just to the left of this shot. At the lower right you can just see the red of the canoe where we secured it. On the left, a long segment of the Slough Path curves into the distance.

Back in the water, we are nearing the point where Scott has stashed his bicycle. The bridge ahead is a pedestrian and bicycle route to the slough path he will follow towards the car at the put-in.

Here's Ellen getting ready to go solo the rest of the way to the take out at the old landfill.

And here's Scott getting ready to ride back to get the car! Note that the sun is going down...

The last shot where there's enough light for a photo. Ellen had to really crank to propel the canoe by herself against the tide. She reached the meeting point about twenty minutes after Scott did.

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