Willamette Falls portage?

Dan Arbogast

Something I've always wanted to do since arriving in Oregon 30 years ago is to kayak from my home in Corvallis all the way to Portland on the Willamette, and next week I'll actually give it a go.  

One snag to the overall plan is getting around the Willamette Falls and since the locks have been permanently shutdown I have to find another way around them.  My understanding is I will have to take out at Bernert Landing (also known as Willamette Park in West Linn) and the nearest put-in below the falls is Sportcraft Marina, with a walking portage from one to the other apparently not an option.  Do any of you fine folks have any suggestions on how to portage a kayak around the falls?  Do you know of anyone who might provide a portage service?

It's hard to predict if I'll even make it that far in the time I have, but it would be nice to have an idea of what to do if I do find myself faced with getting past the falls.  It's 132 river miles from Corvallis to the Columbia and I figure I "should" be able to paddle at least 25 miles per day, maybe that's a little optimistic but probably not.

For the hams among the group, I plan on running APRS while on the water, n0da-7.  Who knows how the APRS coverage will be with my HT, I suspect I'll get into a gateway at least a few times each day.  I will also be running QRP with my new KX3 during the evenings.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have about the portage!

Dan Arbogast
Belle, WWP15
Corvallis, OR

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