We awoke at 6 am on Wednesday the 8th. We were underway by 6:30. Why so early?  We had to open the bridges to leave Portland, and it would seem selfish to wait until rush hour. Our pace started slowly, but as we entered the Columbia River that all changed. The spring high water essentially flushed us from the state like driftwood. Our normally pokey 6 mph was augmented so that we barreled down the river at 11 mph.  We weren’t even pushing the engine to make those speeds.

We stopped in Rainer for a breather. We parked on the inside at the public dock. This proved a good choice, as a paddle-wheeler full of seniors pulled up on the outside after we arrived. They were disembarking for buses that would take them to Mt. St. Helens.

In town we found the enzymes used by our composting toilet (Rid-X) and compressed bricks of coconut husk fiber. The husks are used by our toilet as well, and are also used in hydroponic gardening. Why would a town like Rainer have a hydroponics store?  The reason rhymes with hedical harajuana. I knew what all of the gear was because of my interest in orchids, but I suspect the teens with Metallica t-shirts on might have come to the hobby another way. I don’t care either way, I love a person that is interesting in a thing.

We arrived early in the town of Cathlamet, Washington. A lovely town, and the turn-around point for our longest previous journey. The marina in Cathlamet provides amenities primarily aimed at the seasonal sports fisherman. The adjacent RV park and cabin rentals create a sort of fish-a-pooloza atmosphere at the right time of the year. It seems the sailboats in Cathlamet are either passing through, or have grown a thick layer of moss. There should be an insult, akin to saying that someone is stuck in a rut:  Your dock lines are growing plant life.

Oh yeah, and of greatest interest to the crusty travelling bum, the marina has a coin-op shower.