While sailing on the Columbia River with our exchange student recently, we passed east of I-205 with thoughts of Government Island’s east dock as our destination. I noted a large piece of equipment up river as we (for lack of wind) motored under the bridge but didn’t really think about it. A short time later we all were alerted by 5 loud blasts of a horn only to find that large piece of equipment was on the move and we were in its way. We hurried out of the path of that on coming work barge/crane.
We continued up the river, chatting as we motored. I looked up just minutes east of the I-205 bridge and felt as if I’d been caught up in a time warp! Straight over our starboard beam was a dock facility! A big one and I did a kind of loony tunes shake of my head as I tried to turn it into east dock. Then I realized it was a brand new facility! Being the nosy people my hubby and I are, we immediately headed in.
Not one boat was docked there but the amount of space available for upcoming weekends was amazing. We coasted in slowly with mouths agape. Nice pristine docks complete with rub rails caused our hearts to beat faster in anticipation of future cruises this summer.
We thought maybe the dog could use a potty break so we tied up and took him to shore. The ramp up to the land was much nicer for the dog’s little feet, no sharp spikes, no holes to catch his toes and no having to carry him up. Somehow this makes it much nicer for us to not have to carry our huge 7 pound dog up to go potty. Go figure…
Once we hit the ground I was concerned about walking on the path up to the toilet facilities as it appeared ‘wet’ and I didn’t want to damage it. A quick touch of fingertips proved it dry and walkable. So this will be much nicer for those need a more stable surface to travel over plus for those who don’t like sand in their shoes…it’s a breeze.
We met a worker who was finishing the final touches to the composting toilet and he told us the facility had just been opened with the departure of the barge…maybe that makes us the first visitors? The path was designed for handicap accessibility and there is a ramp up to the toilet facility. He also told us there are cows roaming around although we didn’t see any. Having grown up with cattle I think it could be interesting come summer if they venture to the river while people are camping.
We are very excited about this new destination. Our club is calling it ‘Sandy Beach’ although I don’t know it’s official name as yet. Like other facilities there is no, swimming, no fishing, and no diving . However, you can stay 72 hours for free and in today’s economy…free is a very good price!
The docks are long to my thinking and while we didn’t tie up at the very beginning of this one, if you squint (or click to enlarge) you can make out Whisper(our Newport 30) more than 60 feet from the beginning with me taking a picture at the end of the dock. There’s a nice break water to help slow down the current and deflect upstream debris. All in all I think this is a fabulous addition to the Oregon side of the Columbia River. If you come for a quick potty break or a weekend stay I think you’ll find you agree. The new ‘Sand Island’ or new ‘west dock’ is a great addition for those of us who enjoy time on the Columbia River.
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