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TOPIC: Columbia River

Columbia River 18 May 2009 05:09 #1

  • rafaelfigueira
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Launched on the Oregon side at M James Park on Saturday at 9am. The parking lot was 10% full only, one guy on the ramp. Launch was straightforward, no problems. Yes I'm a beginner, so this is a big deal.

Fired up the engine, took off up river. At Government Island, beached in to meet friends already there for camping. Set up camp, laying on the beach, enjoying the sun, great day. Some boat rides here and there just for fun, evening around camp fire.

On Saturday afternoon returned to M James Park to pick up more people. Ramp was crowded, total mayhem. While waiting on the docks, enjoyed some interesting moments as we watched people launching and retrieving.

Funny how people are so anxious and just cant wait. Ramp has four unmarked lanes, meaning you can fit four trailers, but it doesnt mean you should put four boats side-by-side at the same time. One big 22 or 26 footer called "Dont Panic, Bend OR" (written upside down) tried a few times to hit his trailer while dangerously getting too close to the two neighboring launching boats. If only he waited 5 minutes, he would have three lanes just for him.

Sunday, packed up, time to go. Boat doesnt start. Runs and runs but doesnt pick up. Tried about 8 or 10 times, then battery dies. Friend has a batter powered jump-starter, doesnt work either. Wait about 15 minutes, tried again, and it fires up. I think I flooded it the first time. Havent had non-EI engines in many years, I still need to get a feeling of this again. Mental note: get a jump-starter.

Once the engine was running, packed tent and bags and went up river for some cruising. Went up the Columbia until Washougal, turned around, returned to the ramp. Retrieving is still the most stressful moment for me. Ramp still very crowded in a 80F sunny day, people getting in and out like crazy. While arranging the trailer, I see a 26 footer trying to get to the trailer and hitting it sideways, making a few jetskis run for their lives.

Lucky for me, I had the first lane and was far from them. Aimed at the trailer, powered up, went smoothly, jumped to the trailer, started to hook up everything. Meanwhile, at the next lane, two jetskis were launching, screaming at each other and at the driver, who was cussing and yelling back. I think half of the ramp stress could be eliminated if people were a bit more patient.

All and all, a great weekend!

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Rafael Figueira
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Columbia River 18 May 2009 05:50 #2

  • JimB CA
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Enjoyed the read, nice write up.

Used to boat camp on Govt. Island in the 60's when I lived there, loved it. Sounds like a all around great weekend, with some good stories to tell. Made it home safe which is all important.

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Jim --it is better to be on shore wishing you were out there than to be out there wishing you were on shore.
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Columbia River 18 May 2009 06:08 #3

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JimB CA;296873 wrote: Sounds like a all around great weekend, with some good stories to tell. Made it home safe which is all important.


Very true.

Saw your pictures of Detroit Lake. Some of the guys at the camp site talked about this place, they said it's beautiful and very nice for boating and camping, but it gets crowded so we should reserve early. Maybe I should check if there is still any slot available.

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Rafael Figueira
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Columbia River 19 May 2009 03:33 #4

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Reservations are good, but I have not camped in the state campground on the north side of the lake. They do have hot showers there, and campfire activities in the evening. On the side we stay at (Hoover), it is usually first come first serve. They may have changed it, but do love the place. The little town of Detroit has a good cafe to get a bite to eat also.

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Jim --it is better to be on shore wishing you were out there than to be out there wishing you were on shore.
San Jose, CA
2003 1950 Classic 3.0 Alpha 1
Catalina 28
USPS - VSE
My boat
http://baylinerownersclub.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=11686
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