Blowing a gale at high tide on the West Point south shore.

Blowing a gale at West Point. Click for an enlargement.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness?

— Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid

The reports posted here total over a hundred kayaking paddle trips, plus thirty-some walks, to five dozen different places. All describe day trips in or near Seattle, none more than a two hour drive from town. Overnight road trips are listed on the Trips page.

These day trips are listed in chronological order, with the most recent at the bottom of the page. The earlier write-ups are quite wordy, the later less so. Repeated excursions, and their write-ups, can profit from earlier.

August and September 2014

In which our novice launched into his new endeavor with four paddle trips at West Point in Discovery Park in Seattle, two trips each to Green Lake and the Elks Club beach, and one each at Golden Gardens Park, the 14th Street NW boat launch, and Cormorant Cove Park near Alki Point in West Seattle. East of town, Issaquah Creek from Lake Sammamish State Park and Sammamish River from the WDFW boat launch were explored, plus some poking around.

October 2014

Progress continued with paddle trips in West Seattle at Duwamish Head and Alki Point, Snoqualmie River at Zurfleuh, West Point three more times, Big Eddy on Skykomish River twice, and Orcas watched from Sunset Hill !

November and December 2014

Momentum slowed with storm-watching once and three launches at West Point (with some successful surfing and some not), a trip to Shilshole Marina in Seattle, and a little exploring by car.

January and February 2015

In which I put the kayak in the water four more times at Shilshole Marina, twice at Bowman Bay on Fidalgo Island to explore the area around Deception Pass, a couple more times at West Point back in town, and once in the soup at Sandpoint on Lake Washington.

March 2015

It was busy month as I floated Green River twice; first paddled Jetty Island off Everett harbor; for the third time each visited both Deception Pass from Bowman Bay and Big Eddy on the Skykomish; for the sixth time put in at Shilshole Marina; made first visits to Possession Point on Whidbey Island, Camano Island State Park, and Ebey Slough in the Snohomish delta; and revisited both Sammamish River and Issaquah Creek.

April 2015

I again paddled Jetty Island, Green River, and north from Shilshole Marina; in the Skagit River delta hiked down Freshwater Slough and a week later kayaked it; and in a Diesel 60, played in Lake Union, the Shoreline pool twice, Green River again, and finally the Powerhouse run on Snoqualmie River.

May 2015

In May I visited Sammamish River for the third time, tried out three different crossover boats at Lake Sammamish State Park, first visited Deception Island from Bowman Bay, explored Ebey Slough and Quilceda Creek for a second time, and a took a great marsh walk out to Craft Island.

A playboater in the rapid at the top of Big Eddy. Click to enlarge.

June 2015

June busted out with a second adventure to Deception Island, followed by more play in the rapid at Big Eddy before a walk to Barcley Lake, dealing with a bit of breeze on Little Kachess Lake, a paddle to Craft Island on North Fork Skagit River, a lovely hike up Tonga Ridge to Mount Sawyer, a pretty paddle up Tucquala Lake and upper Cle Elum River, a walk to Evans Lake, and another paddle to Jetty Island, for good measure.

July 2015

The first weeks of July I mostly walked to easy Cascade lakes -- Camp Robber Creek and Lake Dorothy, Coal and Independence Lakes, Lake Evan and Boardman Lake, Independence Lake again on the way to the North Lake tarns, and off Beckler River a bit of Johnson Ridge. I paddled and dragged up Skykomish River from Sultan twice and once up Snoqualmie River from Zurflueh. Finally, for a second time I explored up the water-polished granite of Camp Robber Creek.

August 2015

The first week of August saw visits to parks in Seattle -- tide-pooling a minus tide at Golden Gardens, picking early blackberries at Magnuson Park, swimming at Howell Street Park, and lounging at Green Lake. For exercise, I paddled and dragged up the Skykomish twice from Monroe, finally covering three miles to the Ben Howard access; hiked to Trout Lake, Kelcema Lake, and the Evergreen knob; and finished the month with a fourth trip to Jetty Island.

September 2015

The adventures continued with a paddle from Boe Road up Hat Slough (actually South Fork Stillaguamish River), by extending the paddle and drag up Skykomish River from its Ben Howard access to the Thousand Trails campground (adding about three more miles), exploring Eagle Falls on a misty day, paddling Possession Point for the second time, hiking Bear and Pinnacle Lakes, up Evergreen Mountain, into the Stilly South Fork's Robe Canyon, and finally paddling from Boe Road again, but this time down Hat Slough and out and around the Stillaguamish River delta.

October 2015

In which I hiked to Heybrook Lookout for cloudy views of Mount Index, for the sixth time paddled the waters west of Deception Pass, hiked down in the dark from Heather Lake, revisited and mentally mapped the delta around Hat Slough, explored the beaches of southwest Whidbey Island, hiked down in the dark again, this time from Lake Twenty-two, and paddled from Cornet Bay east of the Pass to Hope Island.

June 2017

The summers of 2016 and 2017 were filled with short road trips around Washington state. But June 2017 began with another kayaking day-trip, this time from Snee-oosh Beach to Hope Island.

July 2017

Between more road-trips, I squeezed in the short walk to the ice caves below Big Four Moutain.

May 2018

Although still mostly road-tripping, in May 2018 I day-tripped up to Deception Pass to visit sea-caves north of Bowman Bay and a few days later enjoyed an easy day in the Iris marsh off Sammamish River.

August 2019

Back on the water, I headed for Deception Pass State Park and ended up paddling Pass Lake. Two days later I made it to Bowman Bay and a bit more adventure than I was counting on. A week after that I bucked the current to Goat Island but rode it back to La Conner.

May 2020

At long last (life intervened) I was out paddling again, this time social distancing on Lake Union.

Hoping for Humpbacks off Possession Point, Whidbey Island. Click to enlarge.

June 2020

June busted out with a fifth jaunt to Squak Slough, shortly followed by both a walk and a paddle to the rock garden north of Meadow Point. A week and a half later I paddled Salmon Bay, twice. Four days after that I played in the sand off Golden Gardens, and two days later hiked down to the Magnolia Flats.

July 2020

July saw a jaunt from the Eddie Vine boat ramps north to Blue Ridge (not a ridge atall). A week later I revisited Squak Slough, with a look north to the Kenmore Air Harbor, and two weeks after that paddled Salmon Bay again, this time poking around Fishermen's Terminal.

August 2020

After a break from the water, in late August I found both adventure at Jetty Island and a bit of magic at Deception Pass.

September 2020

A week later I revisited the Stillaguamish River delta, unfortunately mistiming the tide.


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