Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out of the Bay

A clear morning, but clouds come in by 10. It's almost calm and in the 40's. Today, I need a different view, so I head to the north end of the lake and paddle up the Sammamish River. I was last here in October, when the river current is almost imperceptible. Today there is a 2 to 3 mph current, but by paddling the insides of bends I move upstream fairly well. Some grebes and common mergansers are near the river mouth. There are quite a few herons all along the days trip. I eat my lunch in a small backwater where I watch a northern flicker, a stellars jay and a kingfisher all sitting in the same tree. The river alternates between undeveloped shoreline, million dollar houses, trailerpark and golfcourses. Paddling is most difficult near the fancy houses as they have "improved" shoreline that funnels the current and prevents shallows from forming. After an hour of paddling upstream I return in half the time, sometimes topping 6 mph (I checked with my GPS).

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