Southern Oregon, July 17th to 27th 2008.

I set aside a few weeks to paddle the second half of the Oregon coastline. Dick Ryon, who paddled the northern half with me last year was interested but then he received a “better offer” to go on a kayak expedition in Alaska instead. A few other people were interested but had other things happening during this time period. Brian Schulz, of Cape Falcon Kayak, was very interested but didn’t want to do the first 4 days of boring dumping sandy beaches. He tried to convince me to skip that section and start from Bandon. But what would I tell people later? That I had paddled the entire coastline of the contiguous West Coast of the United States, except for this one small stretch? Brian agreed to meet me in Bandon and do the rest of southern Oregon with me. Dave Harry also wanted to join me but was very busy at work. He arranged to meet us in Gold Beach and just paddle the last three or 4 days. Rumor had it that the last 40 miles of the Oregon coastline was the most beautiful and Dave would get to see that.

I packed my gear by Tuesday evening and went to work Wednesday with gear and food to be self sufficient for two weeks. At the end of a workday I started driving north and went to ground in a motel in Weed California soon after midnight. This put me close to the border and the next morning I was quickly accross the border into Oregon. I made good time and arrived in Florence Oregon early in the afternoon. I decided to jump my float plan by one day and paddle out the mouth of the Siuslaw River that evening. I had time to find an Internet café, send out messages, do some shopping, and pack my kayak at the marina. Butch Shaw of South Jetty RV Storage, where I left my car, drove me back to the marina and saw me off around 4:00 PM.

Launching late in the afternoon meant that I had to paddle into the afternoon wind. The Siuslaw River also turns and goes north, straight into the prevailing nothwest wind. The outgoing tide helped a little, which was one reason I chose to do this. Launching in the morning would have meant fighting a big flood tide. The wind started calming down as I came out the mouth of the river. I turned and surfed gentile spilling waves onto the beach. There was a small spot sheltered from wind against the jetty with barely enough room for a tent and barely above the high tide for the evening.

All text and images Copyright © 2008 by Mike Higgins / contact