Pilings from a long-abandoned logging trestle across the Black River near Rochester, Washington

Pilings from a long-abandoned logging trestle across the Black River near Rochester, Washington


Last weekend, my sister Tamara and her daughter Taryn were visiting Washington, up from their home in northern California. Our schedules allowed for one day together and we had a few days to think about what to do. My husband Dal and I came up with the idea of canoeing. We posed the idea and they liked it! Our two canoes hadn’t been out yet this year, so we pulled them out and cleaned them up. We thought about taking both of them, but decided on taking the 4-seater. Then, we had to decide where to go. Last year, a few of us paddled the Black River in early August from the put-in on Littlerock Road to Highway 12 between Rochester and Oakville. The water was so low, lower even than we’ve seen in September, when we had to hop out and drag the canoe over a couple of extremely shallow spots. Last year, we had to get out numerous times. We didn’t want to do that this time around, so we settled on the first leg, from Littlerock Road to School Land Road, which is always deeper.

After an hectic search for our WDFW parking passes, Dal and I headed out with canoe in tow and met up with Tamara and Taryn at School Land Rd. We left their car there, went to the IGA for a pit stop, then headed north to the Littlerock Rd landing. Before we knew it, we were in the water.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather – overcast and not too hot or cold. Dallen, who is an accomplished steersman, took up the rear, while I was in front and our guests were in the middle. We had a great time catching up, seeing the sights, and listening to the birds. All three of us women got dragonflies in our hair at one time or another. We shared memories, too, like when we passed the “Lagoon”, an area where our dad liked to fish when we were kids.

What a pleasant day – I can’t wait for the next time!

p.s. more photos from paddling the Black to come.

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