We were becoming so tan and blonde from all of our paddling along the Map-of-Lake-Roosevelt-National-Recreation-Area . This time we put in at the roadside about 6 miles from Rice, Wa. It was another sunny day on the Columbia river.
We were becoming accustomed to paddling all day, and stopped for a swim break and lunch at a nice beach. The girls were most delighted when a pack of stray dogs showed up to play with us. They were mangy mutts, one was very very old and slow, another spry and fetching sticks like crazy. The oldest one looked like it could keel over at any point. We had our little dog’s and some dog-food, so we shared some food. The strays were so hungry, it was sad.After a rest break we needed to get going, I was planning on 15 miles a day. Our car was parked many miles down stream and we had to get there before running out of food. However leaving the stray dogs was horrible. We couldn’t fit them in the kayaks with us. We didn’t really know exactly where we were, and couldn’t call for someone to pick them up.
The dogs followed us for miles. It was HORRIBLE. The older one layed down and quit first. All us girls balled our eyes out. The younger one kept swimming after us, and running along the beach, leaving the other. Us girls crying our eyes out and trying to paddle away. Our hearts forever wondering about those stray dogs. It was so sad.This stretch of the river was so beautiful though. Cedonia stole my heart, with the sheer clay cliffs. It wasn’t much for camping though. We ended up balancing tents between rocks and rocky shores. We had to tie in our boats as there wasn’t a lot of beach. The clay mixed in to the water and the hughes of color were delightful.
As always we took mid meal and read books or napped, to break up the paddling monotony. I remember we were on a small seasonal island resting when we came across the other dog. The little island wasn’t very large and was about 30 feet of the shore. We loved these little rest stops!.At first I thought it was a german shepherd staring at me from the land. After a moment we realized it was a brown bear. Adrenaline rush! Were 40 to 50 feet from a bear and he’s staring us down! Man I wish I’d had my car or our house there, but all we had were kayaks and the ole canoe. “Girls slowly and swiftly gather your things and get in the boats. If that bear gets in the water run to your boat and paddle fast as you can.” Alexis and the little dog she brought were deedle-dawlding and I was having some heart palpitations. The bear hadn’t moved and was still just watching us.We paddled out a safe distance and watched the bear for a while. This guy was hilarious, he must have been an aspiring actor. The bear put on a good show, playing around and climbing on tree’s. Scratching his back and sharpening his claws, all while keeping an eye on us. It was like our own personal show, until he lost interest and carried on through the forest.
We made it to our resupply at hunters campground in time. It was supposed to be our halfway point. So the adventure continued as Floyd would be meeting at twin rivers in a couple of days.