Totally Golden: Kayaking the Columbia

Family and friendship was a big theme this Thanksgiving weekend in Golden, and it was apparent along the banks of the Columbia River in Nicholson.

A friend and I took his kayak out on the river on Saturday morning, launching from beneath the bridge in Nicholson. As we paddled our way up the Columbia River, we immediately saw someone fishing shortly after we put the kayak in the water.

As we travelled up stream, we saw families walking along the river’s edge. Young and old, dogs, and families walked along the river. People were fishing, sitting in chairs, and playing alongside the river.

Kayakers and canoers paddled their way up and down the river. We stopped for a break at a creek, and peered into the water. The salmon run is slowing down, but we got to see large groups of the little red salmon making their way up stream.

The river is pretty low at this time of year, so the paddle up was fairly leisurely. There were a few spots, like when we launched the kayak back into the river from our stop at the stream, that we had to paddle hard to make it past that point.

We continued up the river for a couple hours before coming to a stop near another creek, where my friend decided to try and catch some fish. He didn’t get anything, but I enjoyed sitting on the bank of the river, catching some warmth from the sun that came out.

When we started, it was grey and cloudy, and a bit chilly. I began wearing my winter coat, a toque, and a neck warmer, but it wasn’t necessary once we began paddling and my blood got moving.

The fall colours were beautiful, and the scenery along the way is breathtaking. The snow-capped mountains put the final touch on the picture perfect views.

It took us a couple hours to paddle up the river, but on our way back, we arrived at the bridge in no time.

My arms were pleasantly sore that evening and into the next day, a nice reminder of the fun adventure we had.

Getting out on the water is one of the most Golden things to do at any time in the year. In the summer, there are ample boating opportunities, but there is a 20 horsepower restriction on the main channel of the upper Columbia River.

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