Finally we had a day where the marine layer of freezing fog took pity on me and decided to fade away in mid-morning. Perfect timing because Travis, Booker and I were going paddling. I picked up the boys and we made the 2-3 mile journey to the very muddy launch area below the Hyw. 2 trestle.
Our plan was to explore a secluded little backwater system of sloughs, known to me as Deadman’s Slough.
I had recently discovered these signs marking the area as a Native Growth Protection Area, there were dozens of them all along the road and posted in the marsh on the water side. I’d seen river otters, ducks, geese and lots of beaver sign in the area so I knew Booker would be interested in checking it out.
Did I mention that it was a serious mud slog for about 30-40 meters to get from the road to the water. We slopped the boats down to water edge and then carried Booker over and plopped him right into his seat.
So, just before we launched Travis and I tried once more, unsuccessfully, to convince Booker that he didn’t need a paddle. He could just sit in the navigators seat and have two hands free to use my binoculars. (Travis of course knew that another paddle, in the hands of a 5 year old thrashing around, was not going to be much help getting where we were going). Well, Booker pulled rank on us and insisted that he needed a paddle because he going kayaking.
So directly after we launched, I gave Booker a quick little paddling refresher lesson/demonstration, and he paid close attention to every detail. Then just to further illustrate how incredibly stupid grownup people are… He paddled like a champion the whole rest of the day. Right, we were on the water for about 2-1/2 hours and he paddled the whole way! Take that Dad and Grandpa.
We found some ice in the shadowed areas of the marsh and bashed through that. We explored every little nook and cranny we came across, and followed the slough south through an ever decreasing series of bends.
You could follow our route by tracing the brown tannin stained water, from Hwy 2, south -almost to the end of the photo.
Along the way we stopped for lunch at the base of a well used beaver or river otter trail from the levy down into the water.
In fact we found lots of beaver sign along the way. Every place where an alder tree had come to the waters edge was worked over pretty well with chisel tooth marks.
Eventually we “beached” the boats for a little shore leave. There certainly wasn’t anything resembling a beach involved, but we scrambled up the side of the earthen dike and rambled around a bit.
We found this little merganser floating (dead) in the water and I pulled her aboard to let Booker examine her feet and feathers.
I dropped her off when we were finished with her and Booker was satisfied that a coyote, raccoon or otter was gonna chow down on her for dinner.
Well thats about all from Deadman’s Slough. A final thought for all 5 year olds – Grownups don’t know everything – Don’t let them fool you.