Fire or Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Labor Day Weekend.  It’s traditionally a club cruise and this year Rose City went to Beacon Rock.  It was going to be hot in Portland (around 100 degrees F) and it was going to be equally hot up the gorge.  As a result, fewer boats made the trip up, but we still had an OK turnout for the potluck Sunday night.  We started the cruise on Friday after work and made it as far as Schwitter’s Landing on Government Island.

We started out the cruise with a full compliment of cushions.  They are jammed into place.  We still need to figure out how to keep them there in the long run.


Saturday we motored and sailed the rest of the way to Beacon Rock. We arrived around 3:00.

About 4:00 this is what we saw.
Definitely a fire, and not too far away. 4:30 pm.

Everyone scrambled for phones to find out more info.  As the afternoon and evening progressed, so did the fire.  It just kept getting bigger.  Eagle Creek, just down river from Cascade Locks, was burning away.  It really took off during the night.

Around dusk, this is what the fire was looking like.
The fire after dark.


This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning.  Do we leave or do we hike the rock?  The rock won, mainly because there is now a trail that leads from the marina to Beacon Rock.  No more walking along the highway hoping you don’t get hit.

One set of trail switchbacks up the rock.  There weren’t many people hiking it this year.  The heat and the fire probably contributed to that.

The view from Beacon Rock.  Other than a couple of large motor boats, the dock is all Rose City boats.  Smoke was everywhere, but it you could still see the layers.


Sunday afternoon we took a sail in the dinghy.  A nice west wind blew most of the smoke away.  This is looking back at Beacon Rock from the Columbia River.

During the dinghy sail, we noticed another fire.  The one on the left is the Eagle Creek fire, moving down the ravine.  The cloud of smoke on the right is from the Indian Creek fire, burning since July 4.  They are about to merge. And the wind is about to shift back to an east wind.
Beacon Rock on Monday morning.  Socked in by smoke.
Looking toward Eagle Creek from the top of the marina ramp.
Sailing home Monday morning.  Enough east wind for a spinnaker, but not much else.  We hit Cape Horn and the wind shifted to the west before dying completely.
Passing Multnomah Falls.  This was before the fire reached here.  Lots of smoke.  The water had orange reflections from the sun.  Everything is browny gray.
Tuesday morning back at Rose City, ash on the boat.  On the way back from Beacon Rock, there was some soot and the occasional charred pine needle on Gypsy.  The Tuesday forecast was for up to an inch of ash to fall on Portland.  We decided not to wash the boat.  Wet boat and ash.  Ugh!
More ash.  Much worse than our usual airport grime.

In spite of the smoke, we had a good cruise – time to catch up with folks and get some sailing in.  Now it’s back to project mode.

Figuring out floor board layout.  The flooring is cherry and this section will end up in the galley once it leaves our living room.  We labeled every board with blue tape and made a map of how they all fit together.

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