Author and teacher Scott Sadil of Hood River completed the initial 170-mile leg of his voyage from the mouth of the Columbia to Lewiston, Idaho.
Arriving in Hood River July 6, Sadil hopes his journey will increase awareness of the health of both the Columbia and Snake rivers and their dwindling runs of anadromous fish.
Sailing and rowing Tia, a stitch-and-glue Swampscott dory he built last spring, Sadil completed the first leg of the trip in just 13 days. On July 6, he enjoyed a morning of typical summer winds in the Gorge, making the 20-mile downwind run from Stevenson in just under five hours.
“Once you pass the first dam, the current no longer plays such a significant role in the character of the Columbia,” said Sadil. “That’s good for sailors but not for salmon.”
Dam regulations at Bonneville forbid boats without motors to pass through the locks, forcing Sadil to take out his boat at Beacon Rock State Park and put it back in the river at Stevenson.
“It’s kind of a hassle to have somebody show up with a trailer each time you reach a dam,” said Sadil. “But imagine what it’s like for a fish.”