-- Last Updated: Apr-20-05 8:58 PM EST --

Cool as in temps, not as in style...

Sally and I will be flying out to Portland OR this Saturday for a week -I'll be attending the Transportation Research Baord's Planning Applications Conference (can you say logit equation? mode bias constatnt? standard deviations and goodness of fit?) and Sally will sightsee in The Great Pacific Northwest.

We may go on a 2-1/2 hour guided tour out of Portland River Tour's Willamette River riverfront shop. The weather is going to be terrible -60s, maybe inching into the 70s, maybe some rain. And the water? It will be below 78o...!!!

What do we wear, guys? I'm partial to sandals, swim trunks, and tank tops, wiyj a good schmear of subnblock. But I DO want to come back with my usual bass voice intact, if you get my drift.

So, what should I look for to go on this trip -described as:

Ross Island Tour - 2.5 to 3 hours (no experience required) Offered daily, reservations required. First-time kayakers and experienced paddlers alike will enjoy a unique perspective of Portland on this guided tour circumnavigating Ross Island on the Willamette River. We'll paddle past an impressive blue heron rookery and possibly see bald eagles and osprey as we glide by Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. There is an unparalleled view of Portland's skyline on our way back to the dock.

The only REAL worry is that 3-hour tour bit, especially if someone named Ginger shows up and the guide is called Skipper... That, and the clothes...

So -answers requested for downloading by Friday afternoon, balmy, breezy, sunny South Florida East Coast time, por favor -what should we wear, fellow experienced p-netters, to go on a pretty 'tame' trip to


-Frank in Miami

Sit Inside, Or On Top?
When in doubt I throw on a Farmer Jon, and Mysterioso top. But since you probably don’t have those handy…

You could call and ask if they have paddling jackets for rent. Most rental places around here have them. Maybe a polypro undershirt, if you have one.

But I would call and ask the locals at the rental shop what you need.

I would definately go with at least fleece and spray jackets/pants… but neoprene and possibly drygear may be the order of the day. If you head down to the San Francisco Bay Area or Reno/Tahoe I could get you guys out on the water properly dressed in a double or 2 singles. Write me off the board.

of us and not just me.

Now I’ve got a shorty -used it last weekend, for the forst time, matter of fact. Statred cool -below 70 -but the temps warmed up so I ran around doing the Baynanza Biscayne Bay cleanup with it flapping sround my knees as we worked an offshore island rid of boaters’ trash.

But we don’t want to pack a lot, and we don’t want to buy for what will probably be a one-time use… I know, I know…

I’ll go with the skin tops as suggested, Cuda, and we have nylon shells or similar for the tops. We have nylon mesh-lined nylon fatigue-type pants. That’s ok, but inside will be cool, no? And for tghe tops -can I go with a wool sweater under tghe shell?

Damn, Chuck, I’d LOVE to make it to SF -Sally’s raved about the place for over a decade since she was there for a high pressure liquid chromatography protein analysis machine buy and training maybe 15 or more years ago. BP -before paddling. I’d like to paddle with both a yas guys.

But we’re stuck with Portland, no side trips, WYSIWYG…

Thanks again.

Hopefully, in raiding the closets, we’ll come up with the Right Stuff to


-Frank in Miami

Apprppriate Clothing, Rental Maybe
The water in the Gulf of Maine was unusually warm last July - it was 60 degrees rather than its usual 56-58 that tinme of year. So you’ll be in at least wetsuit territory for the time you are talking about, plus some other layer if you were to risk doing major swimming. If it’s a guided tour though there should be at least a couple people leading it who can help get you back into the boat with an assisted rescue maybe quicker than you could manage otherwise in a non-personalized rental boat.

Suggestion - call up Maine Island Kayak on Peak’s Island, explain the situation and ask if you could rent or borrow wetsuits from them. They keep a rack of at least shorties around for people who take lessons with the in varying sizes. It wouldn’t be hard to connect with someone from there since the ferry runs from Peak’s Island to Portland extremely frequently.

If you have time you should go over and visit them too - great people and great boats!

Hey, it’s a beginner tour
I admit I tend to overdress if I have the gear but you could go with fleece and a rain/wind jacket. Your are going to need those just for walking around town, right? Wind pants would be nice, polypro longs would be good. I don’t think you have to buy anything special for a river tour. If they have a paddle jacket, use it.


– Last Updated: Apr-21-05 12:42 AM EST –

OR... not ME...

I'd love to drop by the Maine place, but there's the small matter of a continent intervening, y'know... But thanks, anyway. We'll keep it in mind when we're in the OTHER Portland and we have a mind to


-Frank in Miami (the FLORIDA one, Celia, *L*)

Everyone needs a trip like that so…
they will know how lucky they are to live in So. Florida!

Have a great trip,



Right person, wrong Portland. Oh well - but there still may be places that focus heavily on training that can rent you the clothing. A friend of mine went out a year or so ago to visit her mother, hooked up with some major training site and they put her into a drysuit as part of renting a boat. (In fact after years of wetsuits, that experience left her resolved to get a drysuit as soon as possible.)

No way I am going to pull up the name though…

take a comment like THAT…?

You tryin’ to tell us it’ll be so bad up there that anything (remember the 04 Bacall edition of attrition, now, TOO…!) down here is good?

Why, they tell me they’re actually going to see the sun next week… (Probably offer sacrifices or something like that, I guess --Nanci, any hints on good fotos of Mt. Hood?) And they say it’ll reach that mythical 70 degree mark, maybe…

Hey -I’m a man, I can take it…

Can’t I?

I fully intend for us to enjoy ourselves, AND to ALSO fully appreciate the good we’ve got here, as well, as we at least attempt to give Portland a go and


-Frank in Miami

Done that…got the tshirt…
Just got back from Portland OR a week or so ago. You do NOT want to go paddling without cold water immersion gear. Alder Creek (IMHO - the best…) will give you EVERYTHING for an additional $25 to include drysuit, gear, paddle, etc when you take a lesson or tour with them.

The water temp in the Columbia was about 50 - so don’t think you can get away with light gear. I wouldn’t even go with a wetsuit as the water is COLD!! If you play it smart and rent you gear, the all you need to take with you is underlayers to save on packing for the trip. You can rent everything else.

Be safe and enjoy the Northwest!!


Willamette River in Portland
If you are simply taking the guided trip around Ross Island, the only thing you’ll really need is a padddle jacket and lightwieght fleece if its cool, windy, or rainy. It is a flat water paddle. Anyone guiding this trip should have the skills to get you back in your kayak within a couple of minutes. The biggest danger of the Willamatte is the water quality after a rainfall! Do not swallow any of it and wash your hands after the paddle. I have paddled around Ross Island dozens of times, it my backyard so to speak. Aldercreek also has a new shop right on the water across the place you are thinking about going with. IMHO, they are much better staffed. Every guide is a certified ACA instructor. Relax and enjoy the trip. Here is the latest weather forcase for Portland for the weekend. Looks like Saturday is going to be beautiful.


Saturday: Partly sunny. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs around 70. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday night: Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening…then a slight chance of showers. Lows 45 to 50.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers. Highs around 60.

Why not Google for a yak dealer/shop

– Last Updated: Apr-21-05 5:48 PM EST –

in the Portland locale and e-mail or call them???
Sounds like Aldercreek is a good start.

Not Wool, But Cheap Fleece Is Fine
I always go with advice from the locals when I can get it. Sounds like Roller knows those waters.

But I think he is a land use planner…

paddlers advice on ‘What To Wear’… even if, as is much the case here on P.NET, it IS somewhat conflicting, L!

I’ve spoken with Portland River, and will be contacting Alder Creek -both have shops on, or very close to the Willamette -and both offer Ross Island short trips, which is exactly what we’re looking for.

A BIG thanks and tip of the hat to Tsunamichuck; he knows why -I can only say thank you…

Roller, your advice feels right, and as you’ve had local experience, it rings true, too. Thanks.

If anyone else has sage advice, I’ll sagely listen. If not, it’s off to Portland, a 5-hr flight to Seattle, then a commuter hop to Portland. Too much time in the air, but in THESE circumstances, I’m glad to NOT expect time on -or IN -the water, until AFTER touchdown -as THAT’S a much MORE appropriate time to


-Fank in Miami