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I decided on an early evening paddle tonight upstream from Sellwood towards Milwaukee. There was a south breeze blowing when I was figuring out my route and I always like to go upwind first when I’m doing a loop of any kind. As soon as I passed under the Sellwood Bridge, a direct headwind greeted me. It wasn’t a hard wind by any stretch, just a reminder from nature I was there for a little exercise. Just past the two mile mark was Elk Rock Island with a little, lonely stretch of beach welcoming me for a short break. I understood why it was a lonely stretch as soon as I stepped off my board and into shin deep mud. Ugh. Not a big deal though, I just slogged through until the ground firmed and found a felled tree to sit on. I broke out my single beverage (I always have a single can of something for emergency purposes!), checked my phone to see if my wife had texted (she had), and checked Map My Fitness to check my speed. I managed to take two images with my phone (the one here) and then my phone crashed. It wouldn’t restart, it was just through, dead. I cursed for a few seconds, attempted to make it restart, which was pretty much just holding the power button and begging quietly to start, and then packed it back in my camelback when I realized it was going to win this round. Then I realized for the first time today, maybe the first time in a few weeks, it was quiet. I was alone, there were no boats blaring bad music powering by, I wasn’t even close enough to 99E to hear cars. It was just quiet.

I could swear my blood pressure dropped a few points just then when I couldn’t possibly intake any more information in my brain but the serene landscape in front of me. No ambient noises like cars and boats, no jets overhead, not even wildlife like crows cackling and whining. It was just peaceful, period. I took a few slow breaths to equalize my brain to the serenity of the landscape and quietly appreciated the instant for the beauty and the minimal input being demanded of my brain for a few minutes.

It’s moments like this I realize how we can overwhelm ourselves with constant input with media demands, social demands, email checks, texting, input, input, input! I felt so peaceful without my media device demanding my attention for a change, it felt wonderful. I won’t say I’m happy my phone crashed (it’s still hosed) but it sure felt right at that moment. Reminder to me and to you for future stress relief: Remember to shut down the media device now and then, sit down, and just relax.

 

4th of July Paddle

Where: Departing Willamette Park for a relaxing paddle around the No Wake side of Ross Island

Time: Departure time no later than 7:20pm

Level of Effort: Low – Low/Medium. It’s an easy paddle and we take it slow! Expect some possible knee paddling when we depart the fireworks area due to boat chop. We stay plenty far away from the boats though near the north side of the river (the boats all head south when it’s over).

What to expect: It’s going to be a cooler than expected evening so be prepared for a chill in the air after the sun sets. Bring a couple extra layers in a waterproof bag (wind breakers are ideal). We will leave as a group from Willamette Park, paddle en masse across the main channel, then take our sweet time paddling the northeast side of Ross Island. We’ll stop for happy hour on the north tip of the island, look out for stragglers, then depart again together and paddle nearer the north (the right side) riverbank where there are typically less boats.

Things to bring:

  • State law requires you have a PFD on your or your craft
  • State law also requires you have a light on your board. Can you improvise a light? You bet! LED flashlights in ziplock bags are not uncommon!
  • Leash. This is good because you don’t want your board floating away in the middle of 200 boats and we also use them to tether up together once we’re at the destination.
  • Extra rope, bungees, etc. for tethering purposes
  • Beverages and snacks. Bring what you want, we’re not judging you =) A flask of something warming? Mmmm…
  • Bug spray wouldn’t hurt. I don’t recall getting eaten last year but we’ll probably spray ourselves ahead of time just in case.
  • A sense of adventure.

The route:

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***UPDATE***

If you mention you saw the sale listing here on SUP PDX, the seller will take an extra $100 off the purchase! $1500 for a nearly new BIC C-TEC Tracer! Make sure you mention SUP PDX though!

A friend of mine just posted this on Craigslist so I thought I’d help him out. It’s a BIC C-Tec Tracer SUP, near new condition (I’ve seen it in person, it’s immaculate). Asking $1600, retails for $1900. He’s also selling that AquaGlide adjustable paddle for $150 ($279 msrp).00S0S_ikZokfAt1ub_1200x900

Here’s the link to Craigslist

 

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