Upper Nicomen Slough – June 12, 2022

There was a slight ripple on the water as we shoved off below the Deroche bridge heading north to what is known and “Bell Dam” at the end of Malcolm Road. Kym W. and Yiolanne A. paddled one canoe while Peter G and his wife Deb, and Carole and I paddled the remaining two boats. The water level was exceptionally high which made this trip a little easier because the top end of the waterway can be choked with tall grass and the high water will allow easy passage there. In addition there are two separate driftwood dams up there that can be challenging to get through at lower water levels.

We paddled up the waterway in pleasant conditions knowing the forecast was predicting decent weather for at least the next four hours.  The water was calm and flat but we still practiced “S” turns where they are normally needed in a channel that is evident at lower water levels. The “S” is still defined by the corridor through the grass tops that, despite the high water, still rise above the water. As we approached our lunch stop we passed over the driftwood dams. There were tall reeds to find our way through but knowing we could stay in the canoes to get through made it a fun part to work through.   

We had lunch at the Western Painted Turtle sanctuary – saw 3 turtles sunning themselves on logs.

Heading back down after lunch we had a medium breeze to push against but nothing that taxed our group. We stayed near shore in the sheltered corridors as we worked our way back down the waterway. As we approached, what are normally dry land small islands, we had a chance to paddle through the forests, something I’ve never done before!

We arrived back comfortably after about 3 ½ hours paddling and just before the afternoon rain was to arrive. By all accounts the trip was enjoyed by everyone and well worth the trip “way out” to Mission. It was a pleasure to lead this trip and to meet this group of people fairly new to the Beaver Canoe Club.


Bob Podesta

Trip Leader

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