Thursday, June 19, 2008


Yesterdays post made me think of something odd. Here in Oregon we have so much water but it’s rare you ever see anyone enjoying it. Sure people go to the beach, but relatively few. We rode our horses on the beach the couple miles from the Peter Iredale to the DeLaura Beach access two Sundays ago. We passed only three cars parked on the sand and we had only four cars drive past us. (Yes, you can drive on the beaches here in case you were wondering.) It was a beautiful day yet very few people and probably the same amount of people you’d see on that same stretch of beach on a rainy day. Other than Haystack Rock and the Prom our beaches are for the most part under used.

If you look out at Youngs Bay you will rarely ever see a sail boarder or a Jet Skiier. I’ve seen one group of kayakers this year. When you look at the Columbia River, you rarely ever see a pleasure boat such as a yacht or a sail boat. You will see people going out fishing and commercial crafts, but rarely will you see pleasure boats. If this were the Hudson River you would be able to walk across the river from boat to boat.

Is it that we have too many potential water recreation spots? Is it that our water and climate are too cold? Is it that we are too busy to take the time to share our time with the water?


Blogger weese said...

I am going to go with B) cold.
I know that I won't go near water unless its damned hot out.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it that the Hudson River boaters do out on the water for recreation? Are the temperatures and current similar?

11:09 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Weese, I haven't gone swimming since I moved here.

Anon, Now the Hudson is relative clean, at least it was the last time I was there, there are a lot of pleasure boats up near Nyack and down by Ft. Lee. Lots of sailing, fishing, water skiing. I've only seen one water skier out here once at Cullaby lake.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too busy is the answer I think, though maybe too cold a lot of the year as well. Cold doesn't seem to get to kids like it does adults, but even cold water can be inviting on a hot day.

I can tell you that we usually have a couple extra kids in tow during our water outings in the summer, and I'm always surprised to hear a mom say, "We've never been there," or "I never take my kids swimming."

My kids and I spend many days in the summer swimming, rarely at the pool-- At the beach (mostly them-- brr!). Youngs River Falls is a swimming hole complete with rope swing that reminds me of my childhood in the Willamette Valley. Coffenbury Lake has a great swimming hole, though only warm enough for about 6-8 weeks of the summer, sectioned off for kids but a great distance for an adult to swim across the lake. We've not been to Cullaby primarily due to the boat traffic plus I've heard (unsubstantiated) rumors about weird bacterial infections to be had from swimming there. We live right up the hill from the Skipanon and creeks feeding into it, kind of too small for much of anything but exploring but interesting in its own right. I've always thought those little rivers out of Seaside up Hwy 26 looked inviting for cooling off, kid-friendly tubing for short distances and good wading, but never seem to have the time to stop. Once a year we spend 10 days on the lower Umpqua where the water is about 80 degrees (in August), you can see the bottom, and spend the day diving for shells, hunting for salamanders,throwing muddy moss at your sibling, swimming and jumping off the pilings of an old bridge.

Thanks for the post Guy-- you got me all jacked up for summer today!

12:50 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I think Cullaby Lake gets the most water activity around here because you can do more than 5 miles an hour; but it only gets busy in the middle of the summer when it's really hot and then it's usually water toys. Water skiing has become kind of obsolete around here I'm afraid; you just don't see it much.

and P.S. to Anon above, I've been swimming in Cullaby lake every year for the past 5 years and so have my children and we have never gotten any kind of infection what so ever. In case you are wondering.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This year ther is a quadfecta of reasons not to boat yet. Busy, cold, gas, and gas again. Even if you're kayaking you might have to drive your 'yak to the launch. We used to boat a bunch in the '60's. Fishing in the morning and water skiing in the afternoon. I did get an invitation to go water skiing New Years Day in Brownsmead, but alas I was headed out of town. I am getting my boat fix this year in a little El Toro sailboat on the biggest lake in North West Continental United States.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous g said...

I used to windsurf often on the bay (back in the early to mid 90's). I still have my gear. I should dust it off and have a go. I can't imagine my wetsuit would fit anymore!

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Denise...Cullaby always looked like a nice place to hang out, so we'll add to our list of places to try this summer. Always wondered if was an excuse by the same moms who never take their kids swimming.

8:27 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Now the secret is out about Cullaby. It's safe so you can expect crowds ; )

5:27 AM  
Blogger pril said...

i'm like four blocks from upper klamath lake and have not been out on it. Part of it is that a neighbor punched a hole in my canoe with a 2 x 4, and part of it is that the lake is kind of scary in a canoe. There's a lot of surface to generate waves that are scary in a canoe. I've been on the Williamson though. On the south coast, the ocean was too scary and cold compared to the sedate pacific of southern cal, where I spent entire summers in the water.

9:18 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Pril, I wouldn't ever want to go out by drowning.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Would ya believe it's the same thing that causes the Japanese to flock to the beaches in droves at nearly the same latitude? Same reason Brazil and Chile are opposite each other, but you never see Chileans at the beach.

In the Northern Hemisphere the currents rotate clockwise, meaning the warm water from running along the equator touches the east US coast and the cold stuff feeds in from the North Sea vis the English Channel. The Gulf Stream heads east at Cape Cod and runs north between Ireland & UK.

In the North Pacific Japan gets the warm and Guy & neighbors get the cold. Reverse it for the Southern Hemisphere & Brazil hot, Chile chilly. (couldn't resist)

And now yer gonna tell me it was a rhetorical type question:)

12:35 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Good explanation, Mike, but why so little boating? It's a puzzler.

5:44 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

I'm in a third catagory....the price of gas, you have to buy gas to get there, and you have to buy gas for most of the toys.
double whammy.
just saying.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Do you have those notorious tricky waters there like we have here? Sometimes they make the sea a bit too daunting for all but experienced boaters.

11:35 AM  

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