Sunday, June 27, 2010

Crow Butte to John Day River and Philippi Park.

22 June 2010 Tuesday

0524 hrs: Everyone is up early and ready to go as the sun rises. I give Too Tall a big hug and bless his journey up river to Umatilla, where he hopes to get a rental car and get to Clarkston and pick up his truck and trailer.

I thank him and tell him how much we will miss his delightful humor, his inquisitive mind, his kindness and thoughtfullness in assisting us in shallow waters and docking in windy marinas. Next year, when I call and want to know what his cruising plans are, I hope he will tell me about a larger boat he owns and that he will join me in the north country of Puget Sound and Vancouver Island area.

We jointly depart the marina with the sun rising over the mountain top and in no time he is around the corner and out of sight. Ann and I continue down river hugging the Wa. Shoreline. We see wind generators off on the Oregon mountain tops. We are averaging over 7 k with some wind and 1 bell waves occationally, but we need to press on to get Arlington to our stern before the wind hits us again.

By 0735 Roosevelt is on our stern and I don’t bother checking out the Arlington marina on the Oregon side.
We have cleared last week’s winner of “wind hell holes on the columbia.” See below for 10 June 2010 for Roosevelt wind.

In another hour we slow down to pass Chapman Creek which has an interesting Basalt cliff entrance and a small lagoon. Normally I would investigate this but farther down is a larger lagoon that I want to check out.
At sm 230 and 0920 we enter the tree lined basalt walled entrance to Rock Creek..

 What a beautiful lagoon and we motor to the back edge. This would be a great anchorage. We take a little break, drink some water and drift a while. I put some shorts on and remove my long sleeved shirt.

Exiting Rock Creek

We move on at 1000 and have 1 foot waves and less than 3 k of wind from the NW. We cross over to the Oregon side and run along the shore looking at all the cliffs of basalt. Too Tall calls and updates his upriver travels: HE HAS ARRIVED AT UMATILLA, BUT RAN AGROUND ON A GRAVEL SHOAL.Having such long legs, he just stepped out of the boat and shoved her off the bar. He stated the hardest part was having the sun in his eyes going up river all morning. He isn't able to get a car in Umatilla and has to go to Pasco Wa on thur pick up the car and then turn it in in Lewiston Id.

At 1115 we enter the John Day River and get a wonderful view of Mt Hood .

Just inside is Lepage State Park, named after private Lepage of the Corps of  Discovery. We continue up the river to Philippi  Park arriving at 1200. We take a nice shower and a fisherman states he saw a large rattler in the grass so we are careful where we walk.

I watched a large buck run across the entire plateau not long after our arrival.

the park is an oasis in the desert hills

A water ski boat pulls in and the guy comes over wanting to know how we discovered his park. I tell its River talk from friends. He offers us a V-8 hot dog, but we had just eaten our durable turkey sandwich. A V-8 hot dog is cooked on his V-8 engine and he tells us he has raised all his kids on V-8 hot dogs. He also shares that in spite of the 6 ft water at the entrance to the park there is 10 ft of water to about 10 miles. Even if you run aground he says, it’s all mud, so just back off. Words of wisdom that will be helpful.

After all my cooking, Ann steps up to the galley tonight and fixes a wonderful Chicken dinner and Asparagus. YUM-YUM.

 What a beautiful day, a beautiful park and harbor, deer come down in the evening, we see a bald eagle and a huge flock of Canada Geese.

Today’s run: 43nm

Total: 245 nm


Since Too Tall departed this morning I wanted to post some special photos of him that were priceless, interesting and unique. We miss you tonight.

Always happy and fun to be around. Thanks Too Tall for joining us for the special time we had together.