After a long night of partying in Hood River for the Africa Revolutions / Hotel Charley premier, Paul and Lana made their way back to Bonneville Dam.
As Lana and Paul pulled up to the boat ramp they called Christina Cooke who would be joining Paul for the day. Christina first heard of the Columbia Experience from her and Paul’s friend, Johnathan Blum, when the idea was just beginning to come together. Since then many, many, miles had past. Interested in learning more of the journey down the Columbia she joined Paul for a float down the lower portion of the Columbia River Gorge.
Once the boat was rigged and ready to go, the two pushed the cat off into the moving current below Bonneville Dam.
Not far below Rooster Rock State Park, Christina hopped out of the cat and got a ride back to Portland. Paul continued down and began entering the Greater Portland area.
For the most part the day was pretty easy. Good current and a mellow downriver wind made the lower half of the Columbia River Gorge an enjoyable section to paddle.
Paul was now nearing the cities of Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA. The speed and sail boats were creating significant “traffic” as boats zipped around on both sides. Around this time, Ben Hawthorne and JP called Paul as they crossed into Portland on their way back to Seattle. Just before the 205 bridge Paul stopped and waited for the two who were only about a half-hour away. Looking to burn some time, Paul pulled over to a nearby dock. Not long after arriving the owner came out mentioning the dock was for private use only. Paul explained he was just passing through. The two got to talking and it turned out the owner was a catarafter. Eventually, he invited Paul in for dinner and to crash on the floor. Wanting to head downriver and meet up with Ben and JP, Paul gratefully declined. Shortly after leaving the dock Ben called. JP and Ben were in their creek boats and heading upriver from the 205 to meet up with Paul.
After hanging out for about an hour JP and Ben headed back to their car and Paul continued on down the Columbia. Having had a great day Paul crashed on a beach near Wintler Park, between the 205 and Hwy 5 bridges.