The weather did not entirely conspire against us, winds were not awful despite reputations (and indeed sometimes were favorable), we didn’t get stuck at any of the dams for longer than a couple hours – all this so we could get to Hood River and the Mallon household three days ahead of schedule. This gave us Thursday afternoon through Monday afternoon in a real house, with real beds and things. A pretty exciting prospect for us.
For those of you thinking about planning similar expeditions in the future, I highly recommend choosing a route that encompasses a party member’s family. Rachael got her parents; I got the family cat.
Another side benefit, for our purposes, is that we can use hometown connections to get school visits. We saw 75 fifth graders and 180 sixth graders before we got back on the water. And, let me tell you (well, really Rachael would be the voice of authority here, but I’m the one writing, so whatever) – apparently the pressure is on when presenting in the hometown. In a large and historic auditorium. With a reporter drifting around nearby somewhere.
When we did get back on the river, it was with a large bag full of Mt. Hood Organic Farm apples, a reporter taking pictures from the dock, a racing challenge from a windsurfer, and still that stupid motor strapped to our stern.