Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hiding from the Wind

It's windy today with storm warnings for the evening. Mike I head for the Sammamish River, at the north end of the big lake. But with an almost 20mph wind coming from the south up 15 miles of lake, we decide against my usual put-in on the lake shore. If we started there, we have about a 1/2 mile of open water to cross and while it isn't too bad right now, it could be a wet trip later on... or a portage. We put in at Bothell landing, a few miles up the river where I normally turn around when I start on the big lake. The water is high and the current light and no one else is on the river. We head upstream in winds that swirl around the ends of the hills, one moment a headwind and the next a tailwind. I steer the canoe from shore to shore to take advantage of slow currents or places where the wind is blocked. Other than one short excursion up a tributary, a narrow creek with one portage over a downfall, we stay on the river. There are several sets of geese with goslings. Here the Canada geese seems to have hatched eggs 7 to 10 days earlier than in Union Bay. Past that same tributary creek, the shoreline is well maintained and the invasive blackberry vines give way to more diverse plant life. This part of the river is quieter as it is some distance from the nearest roads. Mike spots two muskrats before we turn around. On the way back Mike spots a beaver as it slips off the right bank into the water and disappears. I had noticed a few small scent mounds nearby and an animal slide track on the mud bank. I decide that I like this stretch of the river better than the mouth. There has been less housing, no golf courses, and none of the reinforced rockwall banks that go with all of that.

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