Columbia Expedition
Embarking Down the Columbia

Embarking Down the Columbia

Making Ready

As we make the final preparations it’s time to get in the zone. With massive amounts of debris in the river and record flooding the first leg of the journey will be the most dangerous. As we set off past Kettle Falls and down towards the mouth of the Spokane river we need to be wary of confluences and currents that will upset our kayaks.

Luckily both Ken and my padre, Michael, are avid outdoorsmen and I have several years of sailing experience. We’ve also made sure to bring all of the safety gear and equipment that we could without sinking the kayaks.

On top of all of this is the knowledge that kayaks are far more buoyant that canoes. Still, any river (especially the Columbia) deserves respect. We will be approaching with caution and health heaps of that very respect that saves lives.

Over the next ten days Tawny will be relaying our updates as we work our way down the river. As soon as we get to Grand Coulee dam we should start encountering warmer weather (higher than 45* please…) and less unbridled waters.

My breath feels electric as we get closer to putting the kayaks in the water. This will be the realization of a longheld dream. It feels like an eternity ago that the little seed of inspiration took root in my mind, “sail the Columbia,” it whispered.

Today that mantra roars in my mind, having gained speed and velocity over years. Little tributaries have poured into a concentrated flow of zeal. Not unlike the Columbia itself, my desire to follow this river has been fed by a thousand tiny streams of experience.

Today we head out, piloting for the unknown. Navigating waters that we know only in our imaginations.

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