2011.03.201 - Portage Inlet

The temperature was a relatively mild 2C when Richard and I launched for a paddle up the Gorge this morning, but the cold north breeze made for a chilly day on the water. Moderate wind forecasts and the chance of snow in the forecast prompted us to pick a relatively protected spot to paddle today, however we sure felt that cold north air whenever it crossed our path.

It was pleasant enough when Richard and I started out.
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As we headed down The Gorge a pair of swans took off in front of us. I managed to get a shot of them taking off, as well as a shot of me getting the shot of them taking off.
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They are big birds, and they need a lot of runway to get off the ground.

Once we got into the Inlet, we turned into that wind and started feeling the cold in a hurry. Fortunately for Richard he had a very fashionable lime green hood to pull up.
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We ducked into a little estuary and stumbled upon another family of swans, two adults and three adolescents. It's always nice to see that the local swan population is doing well.
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We carried on up Craigflower Creek...
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...hoping that the water level was high enough that we could get around the fallen tree and into the tunnel under Highway 1. We've done this a few times over the years, and it's always a highlight of any paddle down the creek.
But today we discovered that the fall rains have brought down another tree off the bank, totally plugging up the channel behind the roots of the big tree that we would use to get around.
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The way through is now totally impassable for kayaks, unless you want get out and haul your boat over the large tree trunk. Hopefully there's still enough room for salmon to get around come spawning season, but for kayakers this way is now permanently closed until someone brings in a chainsaw.
Needless to say we were disappointed, but what else could we do except take it in stride?
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And by then it seemed like a good time to turn back and get warm.
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Trip Length: 9.88 km
YTD: 22.20 km
More pictures are here.
2011-01-09 Portage Inlet

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