Kayaking the Winchuck River, OR. on the Way Home

Saturday November 2, 2013 Winchuck River, OR.

I decided to go on home this morning

I was camped back at the rock quarry just below Humbug State Park. This camp site overlooks the Pacific Ocean so has a nice view of that.

It rained fairly hard last night, but I was nice and cozy. I was concerned that the road crew might show up to run the equipment that was parked here, but lucky me, they didn’t, after all, it was Saturday.

As I was getting it together this morning, I was thinking I can order my starter, but it would be Monday before it would come in so I’d be trying to explore with a starter that could fail any time or place.

Some more rain was supposed to come in too, so I decided to go on home where I could work on the starter problem in a better spot than out on the road.

Steve showed up around ten and I told him what I was going to do, so he’d be on his own up there from now on. We said our goodbyes and I was on my way around 9:30AM.

I gassed up in Brookings, OR. as that was the last place before crossing back into California where gas is more expensive. I could go all the way home on one tank as I have a big tank.

Just below Brookings is the Winchuck river which I decided to stop at to take a break and get something to eat.

It was high tide and the river’s mouth looked wide open and there where quite a few fishermen on the shores fishing, but I didn’t witness any fish caught.

After talking with some of the guys down there and looking at the mouth open and the water in the river, I just couldn’t resist and put my kayak in the water for a little yak.

I figured a couple hours of kayaking would be good and only set me back on my trip a little. It did mean I’d have to travel in the dark more to get home, so be it.

I put my boat in the water and checked out the river’s mouth and headed up stream.

This picture is of the Winchuck’s mouth at high tide. The tide is high enough for the waves to come over the sand bar, so big fish can come into the river to spawn. Looking out into the Pacific Ocean.winchuckmoutharea


Here’s a little closer picture of the waves breaking over the sand bar at the Winchuck river’s mouth, high tide.winchuckmouthopen


After looking around the mouth area for a bit, I headed up the river, under the highway 101 bridge.upriver


I went by this place a week ago and talked a bit with the guy that owns the place. He was real coy about the fishing here, as a good fisherman should be. I did note the other day, he only had the little fish net out, but today, the big fish net is also out there, for the really big fish. Even though this guy was real coy about the fish, I did also note that he had quite a trail setup there to fish from the bank, so I knew this guy did a lot of fishing here and likely knew a lot about what the fish do here and when.

Here is his place as I went by, with the two fish nets out. No one there as I passed on by.fisherplace


I continued up the river watching for signs of big fish. It was a nice day out and the water was about a foot higher than the last time I was here, because the tide was high.upview


In this area, the water turns shallow, so I watched for any wakes from the big fish and I saw one just as I entered this area, but was unable to get a pic of the fish as it moved by me back to the deeper water, just below this spot. But now I knew the big fish were in here and I also noted how the big fish was hanging in the deeper water just below the shallow water and that’s the place to fish. I witnessed a guy catch a huge fish in that deeper water a couple years ago when I was here and this action I just saw confirmed what I thought the fish were doing here.shallow


I continued on up the river a bit more before turning back because the water got too shallow to paddle.

I headed back down the river.

These yellow flowers caught my eye on the bank as I went by.flowers


Ha, there were guys fishing from the area of the nets now. I sat across the river and watched the action over there for awhile, but they didn’t catch anything while I was there.

These fisherman seem to be locals fishing away by the place with the fishing nets. I don’t think they’d be out fishing if the fish weren’t running the river?fishing


I continued on down the river to the mouth area again and noted the high tide had gone out and the sand bar that the waves were crashing over during high tide were now exposed. The mouth is still open a little, to the left, but you can’t see it.rivermoutharea


I pulled my boat out of the water and had something to eat and was back on the road towards home.

Oh no,  now what?

Just below Crescent city, CA., I was going up a hill and all of a sudden there was a bunch of weird noise from the engine area. Oh, Oh.

I went a couple more miles and couldn’t pin it down. At first it was a sorta popping and clanking noise and then changed.

I pulled over the first chance I got and looked the engine over, it all seemed to be ok. I started the engine and listened a bit and after a bit I determined that I had an exhaust leak at the doughnut gasket where the exhaust pipe connects to the exhaust manifold for you mechanics out there. The weird noise I first heard seemed to be when it was just blowing out the gasket, but when it was blown, it was just an exhaust leak roar.

Well, that didn’t seem to be too bad. I decided not to try to fix it as the ground was all wet from some recent rain and it was only noise, so I’d go home and fix it.

That meant my ride home would be a bit on the noisy side. I thought of stopping and trying to tighten it up a couple times, but didn’t and went on home on the noisy side.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and I arrived home in the dark and that was the end of that trip.

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