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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Kayaking on the McKenzie

A free Saturday provided the opportunity for my next kayaking adventure. Having paddled the Willamette River from close below the I5 bridge (currently closed to river traffic) to Corvallis,  my next step was to explore the convergence of the McKenzie River with the Willamette. The McKenzie meanders North of Springfield, joining the Willamette outside of town.

For this adventure we parked up my Mazda at Brown's Landing, went home for breakfast, and then at a leisurely 9am~ish headed to Armitage Park. This Park, off the Coburg Road between Eugene and Coburg, has a great landing for boats to lauch, and is just west of the I5 bridge across the McKenzie.

Putting on the splashdeck is the worst part of preparation, requiring at least three hands or use of a knee as a clamp.

Phew, at last the splashdeck is on, paddle is ready, and everything loaded.

Using Beth's GPS for a rough guide. I'm not walking so it's more than 8.3 miles, but I'll be travelling faster than walking pace so I'll get there before 12:34, hopefully.

I try to keep my feet dry while getting in, but it's not very dignified. Fortunately nobody saw me except Beth, and the millions of dozens of three people following this blog.

Getting waterborne requires some joggling to shift the kayak forward, but at last I'm afloat. 

Just to test the current I start off upriver...

paddling furiously to gain the bridge

and confusing Beth who tries to follow me upstream. As soon as I turn back downstream I am carried away, and this was Beth's last view of me for a few hours.

Looking under a footbridge, I spot some interesting lumps

closer inspection proving them to be House Martin nests, or whatever the USA footbridge version of a House Martin is.

slightly weird and alien-looking without evidence of the birds, but I know they are there.

Somehow I never recognised the point where the two rivers join. In fact they join twice, as there's an island between them, and I missed both spots. Nice view of the mountains though.

Various birds as usual, I think this was an Osprey.


  1. Great entry! Love the pics. Thanks for the hard work blogging for us lucky 3 readers. :) Those nests are from Cliff Swallows...they make gourd-shaped nests out of mud.

  2. Very clever. I had just Googled a bit to see what type of birds would do that in Oregon, and came up with that answer. I haven't seen nests like that around here.