A group departure may leave from Ayleen's house, 1158 NE Morton. Confirm the time. We don't leave on time, but we also don't stop along the way so come prepared with everything you need.
We're headed to the boat launch just west of the 205 bridge on the Oregon side. It's near where the path comes out onto Marine Drive.
It takes about 20 minutes to paddle to the island with a canoe or kayak, and about 40 minutes on the way back because of fighting the current and general sluggishness.
If we're going for multiple days and you can't make all the days, that's okay. We can help you coordinate your meet up.
|Our super awesome old steel boat trailer is no longer available for bike locking, and fucking Greg Raisman still hasn't installed bike racks there. Pig pile out of site from the path or road.
All the good car parking has been removed so we park on Marine Dr. and it has yet to be a problem over many years, but do so with caution and pick a smart spot, even if you have to walk a bit. Hug the burm as closely as you can.
There is a new public lot just east of 33rd next to Sextant at Broughton Beach (Dittlers for the old school) for $5 that makes for a 4 mile paddle upstream. Our spot makes for a .6 mile paddle.
See the map >>
|Just head across as straight as the current will allow you, and you'll probably see us. Our preferred spot varies based on availability, but is usually pretty visible from the launch.
You'll spot us from afar. We're the group playing bocce in the sand.
You are responsible for getting yourself across the river on your own. Boats and boat spaces may be available, just ask around in advance. If you're borrowing an inflatable, you are responsible for checking it beforehand. You may be on the water for as much as 45 min with gear, so ensure your boat is solid.
Inflatable boats TOTALLY work for this journey and we've made countless crossings in such vessels. They're slower, but still awesome: rather compact and you can bike them to the launch. Our Gov't Island adventures begain around 2002 with only inflatables carried by bike, so if you want to be a purist come in an inflatable (though most of us no longer do).
If you're rocking an inflatable, be prepared to take on some water.
The journey home for everyone is hard, upriver and long - but also very fun.
No matter which direction you're headed, crack a brewski and get ready for adventure.
Ayleen lives very close to the launch spot, so if you need help getting your vessel there, you'll want to get it to Ayleen's house first or ask someone who lives closer to you.
AT LEAST one gallon of water per person
- Nautical attire for the journey on the water
- Something to eat off of and with
- Plan meals and food that you can share with others - it's way more fun and friendly that way.
- More water
- Games, something for tying to the shore and floating in the water
- Paddle boards and other such water craft Ayleen will be bringing a board.
Bring food for all meals, but coordinating a few people per meal makes everything more efficient, so check to see if the group already has a plan.
Alex usually brings some target practice,with BB gun and arrows If all goes well, we'll do target practice from the paddle board - it's a hoot.
* There is no shelter from the sun.
* Grouches are not welcome.
* This is not glamorous or gorgeous camping. We go to Gov't Island because we enjoy boating over and earning our beers, it's close to home and it's what we love to do. Don't be expecting glacier lakes beauty or quiet stream serenity. Do expect to play bocce.
* Ayleen calls Vector Control to check mosquito counts before each launch. There are mosquitos out there like anywhere else in PDX, and they are only really bad if you go in the woods. Some years are worse than others, just ask Ayleen for more info. 2013 was mosquito FREE if you can believe it!
* The Columbia is the largest river in the US, by volume. This dude isn't fucking around, so come prepared for your crossing. We have never had any accidents or close calls, though Ayleen once almost tipped Alex's canoe full of gear and Sweet Mazzy. Alex was unfazed by the incident. Cool as a cucumber, that fella!
* Sometimes the planes and motorboats are loud for stretches of time.
* Your kids are absolutely welcome.
* Your dog is only welcome if he or she won't be barking and annoying. Dogs on a leash just don't work out well so only bring your dog if it can be free-roaming and relatively self sufficient.