PADDLING THE LOWER STILLAGUAMISH RIVER by Paddle Heaven

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1 PADDLING THE LOWER STILLAGUAMISH RIVER by Paddle Heaven PUBLISHED BY: Paddle Heaven on Smashwords Paddling the Lower Stillaguamish River Copyright 2010 by Paddle Heaven All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. This is a work of nonfiction. Due to the nature of paddling of kayaks, canoes and other human powered water craft, the reader assumes all responsibility. Smashwords Edition License Notes

2 This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work. * * * * * PADDLING THE LOWER STILLAGUAMISH RIVER * * * * * Contents Introduction Planning Needs Location Seasons Conditions Put-In 2 Routes Up or down the river. Alternatives Resources Conclusion * * * * * Introduction Paddling the Lower Stillaguamish River is about paddling kayaks and possibly canoes on 2 routes on the river using the WDFW, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife public water access at Hat Slough. Both routes are equally as nice in their own ways but actually totally different. The upper can be rougher and possibly more strenuous and the lower can be lazier. This guide is for paddlers with some class 1 flatwater river or 2+ experience looking for a place in a more natural setting with less human activity while paddling. Hopefully this guide will introduce you to the when, where and how-to information to help make this possible paddling location more enjoyable and safer. * * * *

3 Planning for Needs Advance Planning Before any paddling trips, getting some education about paddling in the form of training. There are skills that need to be acquired in advance of paddling off somewhere. How-to paddle, what you need to paddle in terms of skills and gear are all good knowledge to acquire in advance of paddling in this or other locations. With advance planning and training a paddler will be less likely to end up as a 911 statistic. With advanced planned training a paddlers adventures will be far more enjoyable and safer. Day Trip Planning Going on a paddle trip here or anyplace for that matter, takes a little bit of effort in planning. Planning includes figuring out when and where to go. Paddlers need to research maps as well as other information like books for information about the paddle spot and region. Where is a paddling route? Where is a put-in? Where do I park? How much does it cost to launch and park? What services are in the area? There is a long list of questions that need to be answered in planning a day or longer trip. This guide and others like it offer some information to help lower the learning curve in the planning process. PaddleHeaven.com and its link in the resource section here provides much needed updated information about this particular put-in and many others and with some routes. Preparation It s best to take the time to both develop the skills and gather the proper gear and and establish a routine when planning and executing each and every paddle trip. When planning and an established routine that includes packing up to go from home and then moving everything from the vehicle to the water once you reach your destination. With good planning and execution and then getting out on the water there is less of a problem when it comes to possibly forgetting things you need to bring and or then losing them after you bring them. Plan and secure your belongings on the craft. Routine If you enjoy paddling make a check list of the stuff you need to take. Check

4 it off each time. Why? If you get out on the water you might remember something too late. Going back for a camera or whatever can put a wrench in a day trip. If you learn to check it off a list a couple of times you will train yourself to create a routine. Then when you go paddling in the future if all your gear is stored together it will be automatic to pack the correct stuff in the correct order in the vehicle to head to the put-in. Once at the put-in there will more often then not be people and dogs and confusion with boats coming and going. If you have a built in routine, you might look like a dork heading out with a ton of stuff for a short paddle, but you will hopefully learn NOT to forget stuff. If you don t create a routine and understand packing up the vehicle and the craft at the launch all takes a great deal of time and patience, your adventures will be less enjoyable. So create a solid routine for each and every trip and take your time putting it all together. Then, you will have much safer and more enjoyable paddle on the water with hopefully a better MBS, Mind, Body and Spirit from the discipline of the routine and the wonders of the paddling you can find on many waters. Needs Check List Having a check list of all the gear that might be needed on each and every paddle adventure and checking it off. Kayak PDF, Personal flotation device. Paddle Extra paddle Bailer Sponge Sounding device Paddle float Rope Food Water Cell phone First aid kit Map Compass Hat Cold water gear Dry suit or wet suit. Synthetic or wool clothing Hearing protection

5 Cold Water Kills Waters can be VERY COLD. Often times the water is well below 50 degrees. The life expectancy in cold water is not very long. A person can die from hypothermia in a few minutes. Consequently a dry suit or wet suit can make the difference between life of death if and when the river or salt water bay decides to toss you in the drink. Appropriate clothing to wear includes synthetics or wool that whisk away water from the surface of the skin. With wet cotton clothing a paddler could end up freezing even in the sun, especially if there is a breeze. There is a breeze when paddling and moving a craft on the water. A wet suit is good idea to have on your body when you go in the water. Once out of the water it needs to be covered with a shell of synthetic fabrics. Otherwise the evaporation, and in a breeze while just paddling, can suck the heat out of a body. Wet clothing can become a life threatening situation that needs to be planned for with proper gear and knowledge. Cold water gear If you are wearing cotton or other clothing that stays wet you can FREEZE. Once the cotton clothing is wet, the breeze from just paddling and any wind out of the water will pull the heat out of your body. Example: Canvas water bags are hung on the front of vehicles in the boiling desert. The moisture on the canvas evaporates in the wind and the water can almost freeze in temperatures over 100 degrees. This same principle can happen to a wet paddler. Consider a dry suit if you can afford one. They are expensive but life saving for the serious paddler it on a regular basis. Can be an excellent investment for many years of joy filled safer and more comfortable paddling. Safety on the water. This needs to be the number one priority for paddling anywhere. It is important not to wind up on the evening news as another paddler with problems on this river or anywhere. Things happen and preparation in advance planning in the form of education and trip planning are both very important. Safety off the water. Rule number one, keep NOTHING in the vehicle of any value. There are low life in many of the public water access sites that are into car prowling. Weather Weather needs to be taken into consideration. Check the conditions in and around the route. What are the winds like? Checking the weather forecasts for things like temperature, wind, lightning etc is important. Paddling in the rain here and other parts of the northwest can be very enjoyable for the prepared paddler. Rain usually means fewer people and intrusive noise from boaters, planes, garden equipment and much

6 more along the shorelines or in the sky. Water Bring plenty of what you will need to drink. Food Bring some extra food to keep the energy up when doing a lot of work at paddling. Kayak You don t need million dollar craft here on many of the locations listed in PaddleHeaven.com. What you need is a stable reliable kayak or canoe you are familiar with and can get beat up in the wide variety of conditions in this location or the many other rivers, sloughs, lakes and other bodies of waters and routes described here in other publications and PaddleHeaven.com. PDF Personal floatation device. How many times have I seen people not wear a PDF. How many times have I seen an over crowded boat load of adults and children heading for possible doom. Drowning is a real possibility. Bailer Some means to get water out of the craft. Also a sponge is good to soak up and wipe up smaller amounts of water and grime. Sounding device Something like a whistle or air horn to alert people. Cell phone A working cell phone in a protective waterproof case. Not all locations have services. Paddles Bring an extra paddle. They can break or float away. Paddle float This is attached to a paddle to assist a paddler to re-enter the craft in open water. Rope A throw rope setup can be great to toss to someone, for towing, for tying the craft up at shore. Rope is handy to tie the craft to your body and haul it through shallows. Food and water

7 Bring stuff to drink and food to keep the energy up. Map tide table and compass You need to know the area and find your way. Knowing the tides is crucial in some paddle locations. Clothing Extra dry clothing if and when you get wet. Bags and containers Waterproof bags and containers for food, clothes, electronics like phone andd cameras. Tie downs Tip, if it is not tied down consider it gone. Tie stuff to the craft or you will eventually lose it. Hearing protection Good hearing protection can make any paddle more tranquil when fossil fuel noise is a problem. Education Last but not least invest in some basic paddling oriented education. It can save you time money and expense. It is a short cut to becoming more proficient and confident and a safer paddler. * * * * * Location Hat Slough Put-in Stillaguamish River

8 Hat Slough on the Stillaguamish river Snohomish County 2.5 miles south of Stanwood Washington. GPS: , The WDFW public water access is on the west side of Marine Drive at Boe Road just north of the Marine View Drive bridge as it crosses over the river. Benchmark Map books are great. On page 56 of the atlas of Washington State you will see the location of Hat Slough on the lower Stillaguamish River. Check the resources section for links to maps and Paddle Heaven where there are My Google Maps, pictures, videos and more information about this particular location and many more. * * * * Seasons When to go? Paddling the lower Stillaguamish can be a four seasons possibility. Always check the weather conditions, river levels, and in some cases fishing and hunting seasons. Winter Winter is cold and gray. The river doesn t generally freeze over. There isn t much snow in the low lands around Puget Sound where this paddle is located. Winter is more quiet.

9 If a paddler is prepared with the proper gear and skills, this can become a favorite time to explore. Nature There are many over wintering birds in the area to see in the fields, on the water and along the shore paddling up and down stream. It may be colder but paddling in the cold can be great if you have the gear. Heat and paddling don t mix. Spring Spring is alive here with the flora exploding and some of the many birds still in the area in early spring. Summer Paddling and heat don t go together, especially if you are dressed for cold water. The summers here are not all that hot and feature moderate temperatures in the 70s and 80s and the exceptional 90s in August. The banks are lined with trees offering some shade to paddle in. Of course the river is cold and will cool a hot paddler off if you decide to beach the craft and get wet. Fall There is color along the banks from the many trees that line the shoreline. It is cooler and the days are shorter. Fog and gray rainy mixed with sun can make fall a wonderful time to paddle and check out nature retiring for the year. Fishing If you are into fishing you can study the WDFW fishing pamphlet. Figure out the best time to catch your meal here. Understanding the fishing season here or anywhere will help you possibly avoid hordes of fishermen during peak salmon or other runs.

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