Friday, August 16, 2013

A River Runs Through It

Portland, kayak, Next Adventures, Sellwood Riverfront Park
The respite between Seattle and San Francisco -  Portland is the quintessential city of the Pacific Northwest, left coast culture. It is the city of neighborhoods, coffee shops, brew pubs, restaurants, food carts, artesian bakeries, pinot noir, small batch roasted coffee, home smoked salmon and a river runs through it.

The rivers have a huge influence on the Portland vibe with the Willamette dividing the city, and the Columbia just north of town. Fact is they both add enormously to the city's ambience, creating and enhancing both commerce and recreation. The town is a bustling port especially in the summer - and yesterday was no exception. 

There were tons of people on and in the water and at Sellwood Riverfront Park there were tons of dogs on and in the water too! What a great place to people watch - and the dogs took first prize, joyously frolicing along the banks of the Willamette.

So how excited was I when I got to enjoy my first kayak trip on the Willamette with my hosts Next Adventures. Amazingly it was a Groupon that got me out there and I'm glad it did. Although a bit hazy (the weather that is) it was a perfect day to glide along and enjoy the hazy, crazy, lazy days of summer on the river.   Thank you Groupon and Next Adventures for providing good equipment and a great guide/teacher named appropriately, Wren.

We all got a beginner's lesson from our very welcoming, fun-loving and competent guide (Wren).  First she told us about all the parts of the kayak, then how to properly and efficiently use the paddle. After that we learned the technical terms and procedures, secured our life vests, and hit the water (or should I say carefully slid into our kayaks on the dock) along side the Sellwood Bridge where we took a paddle down the Willamette and around Ross Island. 

As I said, the day was perfect (again a bit hazy) and the water was perfect too. I have no great adventure or mishap to report on this trip (thankfully),  just enjoyed a very mellow paddle on a perfect day with fellow Groupon clippers.

This little gal was following us all the way.

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