River Travelers

Rachel Mallon with Leah Shamlian.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Rachel Mallon with Leah Shamlian.

Hood River native Rachel Mallon, left, prepares to leave Hood River marina Monday with Leah Shamlian, as part of an adventure sponsored by OAR Northwest, a non-profit outdoor education program based in Washington state. Mallon and Shamlian are on a 45-day row from the Columbia River headwaters in British Columbia to the mouth of the river. They plan to complete the journey on Nov. 4. The duo took a two-day rest in Hood River, staying at Mallon’s parents, Terry and Ellen Mallon of Parkdale, and visiting Parkdale Elementary and Hood River Middle School to tell students about their travels: their daily routine (“breakfast in the boat”), the locks and dams, and tug boats and other traffic, along with the idea of “citizen science” — ways people can get involved in helping monitor and record what is happening in the environment. The duo have taken water samples and observed salmon, crayfish and other marine species. Mallon, a 2008 HRVHS graduate, studied biology at University of Puget Sound, where she and Shamlian also competed on the rowing team. Mallon now works as an outdoor educator and Shamlian works as a compliance monitor for Trident Fisheries in Seattle.

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