Lewis River to Ridgefield Paddle April 2010

22 04 2010

The week before this paddle I noticed the forecast for Sunday was sunny! What better reason to schedule a paddle with Paddle NW, my Meetup group. The paddle from Paradise Point Park to Ridgefield is a nice transition from forested land and the East Fork of the Lewis River to the mighty Columbia River and then to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge.

I scheduled the paddle and quickly had a group of 11 paddlers. The day broke bright and promised to be pretty. We met up by I-5 exit 14 Ridgefield, set some cars at the take out and others headed one exit north to east fork of the Lewis River at Paradise Point State Park. Well, most. A couple of paddlers got momentarily lost, but they made it back. That was really important for my day because one of them was carrying my boat!

Paddling on the Lewis

We did some pre-paddle fun warm up exercises, then went through the trip and safety talk. The Lewis was at a nice level. It was nice to see my paddling buddies back out there on the water! We also had Katie and Christian along, great to see them!

The East Fork Lewis joined with the main Lewis. As you paddle over the confluence the depth drops significantly.

Further on, there is a decripit old railroad bridge – which is totally in use today! At one time, it could swing open to allow traffic to pass.

Olde Tyme

Today, the gears are totally stuck. It ain’t going nowhere.

Christian at the rusty bucket bridge

Near the confluence of the Lewis and Columbia, we found a beach and lunched. Bald eagles soared overhead, and fishermen passed by. From there, we could easily see the peak (well, blown off) of Mount St. Helens, and if you paddled out into the middle of the Lewis River, Mount Adams, too.

Kayaks on the beach

Then we paddled up past Gee Creek and up the slough toward Ridgefield, viewing the wildlife refuge as we passed.

In all, it was a terrific day on the water. Can’t think of a better way to spend 2010’s warmest day so far!

Lunch on the beach!