Paddling near the Columbia river 

On our last day of camping we wanted to paddle the Columbia River but knew that wouldn’t be safe with a toddler (or even without… depending on the day) so we did a little googling and parked at Vista Park and launched there, just paying for the launch fee and parking at the campground a little ways away because we didn’t bring the cash for the parking fee (which probably is on the honor system anyway but uh… we have honor! so we got our steps in after dropping our kayak off.

It was a beautiful day! We were all excited to get out on the water.

Brooks slough was mostly calm water but the winds were a little higher so we paddled up a ways through the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge.

Learning proper paddling techniques (like holding on)

On our way back we poked our nose into the Columbia River, near the beach, just to say we did. We paddled a little up and down the beach

then headed back in, past our launch and onto Skamokawa Creek. It had calm but moving water (as expected).

At one point we saw a goat munching grass by the water. Kaya went nuts, excitedly proclaiming “baa!” over and over again. She was thrilled to just sit in the kayak and watch the goat munch on grass for a while. We finally got her distracted by something else to pull away and continue our paddle but we spent a solid 15 minutes just watching the grass not grow.

Didn’t want to say goodbye

Between the excitement of the goat and just kayaking in general (and the rocking off the boat) she took a really good nap. This was right after I changed her diaper (which is not easy with her standing in the kayak and dealing with the wetsuit and life jacket but landing wasn’t an option so we just held onto a stump in the water to keep the kayak still and went for it). 

Seeing that paper cup reminds me, I bought a coffee at the Vista Park campground near where we parked (an actual coffee stand!) because I was going through caffeine withdrawal (something I hadn’t experienced camping… must have to do with being almost 30! Ha). This cup, once empty, was perfect for Kaya to hold onto for hour while we paddled. I think she liked the texture and crunch to it.

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