Gorge Down-winder

6 09 2008

Ken, Heather, Fred, Bob, Karen & I met at Lewis & Clark Park then carpooled out the gorge, past The Dalles, to the mouth of the Deschutes.  Miller Island lies in the middle of the Columbia.  It’s about 400 acres and renowned for it’s native pictographs.  I had never been.  

The forecast for the day was 17 – 25 mph west winds gusting to 35.  Independently we had talked about leaving a car at Maryhill, unfortunately, we didn’t talk about it as a group

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The winds were very manageable as we crossed to Miller.  We had decided to try a counter-clockwise circumnavigation.  Fred and I stayed more toward the middle and had some really nice surf waves.  We rounded the east end of the island and found a couple camped where we had planned to take out for lunch.  They were  VERY concerned about us!  If only they had known how much more sea-worthy we were than them 😉  

After Lunch we explored the Island a little bit and found some pictographs.  I plan on coming back to the island this fall for a night or two as I’m convinced that I didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s here .  It’s a very spiritual place!

After lunch we quickly realized we weren’t going to circumnavigate the island and a paddle back to the Deschutes was truly going to suck.  We made the decision to paddle east to Maryhill a few miles away.  Once again, great surfing waves were enjoyed and sooner than we hoped we were amongst the windsurfers near the beach at the take out.  Fred was easily able to scam a ride back to the put-in.  We also had a back up offer!  

We stopped for Pizza & Beer in Hood River on the way back.  We found out the next day that Bob’s truck had it’s window smashed at Lewis & Clark.  Luckily he didn’t lose anything.  Karen also ended up losing her license somewhere along the way!

Winds ended up probably 20 – 25 gusting 35.  A few gusts may have been bigger.  The air temp was in the mid 70’s.  I wore a drytop and shorts and was very comfortable!

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