Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eagle Spotting on the Skagit River

January 23rd was a beautiful day with crisp air and partially blue skies. The Mr. and I were happy because we finally had plans to be out on the water. Not the ocean this time though! Sallad and Grace invited us to boat up a portion of the Skagit River with them for some eagle watching! We couldn't turn them down of course, because it sounded like such a blast. We were so thankful that they included us in their outing, as we had a beautiful time and boating on the river is a cool experience!

High-tech lighting at the boat launch, hammered straight into the trunk of a tree!

I love the silhouette of evergreen trees against the deep blue-green of the mountains.

The water looked calm, but there was a very strong current. We were headed upstream against the current, and at times when we slowed the boat down to see scenery, we were going nowhere even though the motor was still pushing us upstream.

Grace and Bri looking cute as always.

I love it when Bri is snuggly. It is always good to be the one holding her when it is chilly out, because kids are little furnaces! (Thanks for the photo Grace, these are such good memories.)

Log Jam

A snowy mountain.

Look at the colors in this photo. Sometimes bare trees are so beautiful.

Our first sighting... just a huge seagull. :) This photo is a good example of why boating on the Skagit river is exciting. You have to watch for logs sticking out of the water, floating, or stuck to the bottom and hiding just below water level. It's a little nerve-racking at times!

Another example of the many log hazards.

Beautiful sky.

One of the many Bald Eagles we saw throughout the day. Excuse the blurry shot, it is hard to get good shots as the boat bumps along the river. It was SO cool to see all the eagles though! I think we counted around 15 or 20 but I really can't remember.


Swans in flight.

I'm not sure if this is a Golden Eagle or a young Bald Eagle.


In this photo, we are somewhat stuck on a sand bar. This was just one of several times we hit bottom, but that is why aluminum boats are great for rivers. The oars become good pushing sticks when this happens. We let the current take us and it soon carried us back into deeper waters and we were able to continue upstream. The sandbars are hard to read at first, but eventually you learn when to stick to the center, and when to stick to a side, and which side in particular you want. It's sort of like a puzzle, or arcade game!

Mr. Heater kept us warm! I love how relaxed Bri is on the boat. Look at her all cozy in her camp chair, sucking her thumb, basking in the glow of Mr. Heater! (The heater is not nearly as close to her blankets as it looks in this photo, do not worry!)

Stopping on a huge sand bar for lunch. We ate our packed lunches and then went for a short walk around the sandbar, which was quite large.

While on our walk, we found the most beautiful and interesting rocks and I couldn't resist bringing some home with me. (I took these photos on our front porch railing.) Mixed in with the regular granite, marble, agate and quartz, there were bubbly black ones (lava?), yellow ones that looked like sponge candy, grey and white ones with bright orange sandwiched in the middle..... they were so interesting! I even found one that looked just like a piece of drift-wood, see it there in the center? The rocks there were unlike any rocks I have ever seen before.

Sallad did something to his back that day and could barely walk. Poor guy!

The Mr. carried Bri in the back carrier, and she didn't seem to mind going with her Uncle instead of her Daddy, as he made it a fun ride with lots of horsey rides. Every time The Mr. stopped, she would request another ride by saying "giy-up" (giddy-up) and you can see this in the video below. It was so cute.

We saw so many beautiful colors that day, none of these photos are edited (other than to crop a couple and straighten them of course, boat pictures can be a bit wobbly!)

Grace sent me this photo of the cows and I think it's so cool. Her camera catches a lot of color and light. We also saw horses that day. Both looked like seeing a boat drive by at their watering hole was just another part of their day.

While on the river, we saw several men fishing and I'm guessing this truck belonged to one of the fishermen.

This guy was having a lot of fun flying low.

There were rapids. They don't really look that big in the photo, but they were actually kind of fun to boat through!

Look, a boat launch! Not. (My apologies to most of you, this is an inside joke.)

Going downstream was a lot of fun because Sallad knew the river better. We could travel faster because of it, and also because the water was now pushing us along instead of going against us. Much better for gas mileage too! :) It was so much fun. Thanks so much Sallad and Grace for taking us out on the River!

After we were back on solid ground, we went to Krispy Kreme in Burlington and eventually to Olive Garden for dinner. A perfect ending to a great day.


  1. This seriously is the perfect PNW blog post. Your pictures are awesome--and I love all those rocks!! That is a great day for Bald Eagle sightings... we've never gotten that high in a day, other than Frank, who holds the family record spotting 27 bald eagles in the Methow Valley while working one day. I can't believe how great your pics are of them. Great post!

  2. Naomi- once Mom J and I saw over 50 on the way to meeting in Richmond and it isn't uncommon for me to see around 10 every week this time of year. They have a ton in BC!

  3. Another post to make me long for the PNW! Thanks for the photos!

  4. Just visiting from NaomiG's blog! ;) I love love going eagle sighting! I live down south from ya all... in the Capital City! We drive up to BC regularly as my hubby is from there... and we often see those swans! ;) are the eagles there on the skagit river all year? Love wildlife!! Earlier today I was telling my son about an eagle outing we had when he was a baby!! too funny!
    love your blog name!! he he!
    Just Jenn~

  5. Jenn- thanks for stopping by, and thanks especially for leaving a comment! I am glad you enjoyed the post. I'm not sure if the eagles are there all year around or not, I know there are certain seasons that you will see more of them etc. and it also depends on what the Salmon are doing at the moment.

  6. Sounds a bit nerve racking to boat on a river. Having an aluminum boat would help. Awesome scenery, and eagles!

  7. I love bald eagle photos. Also, some of your close-up rock shots would look great enlarged, matted, framed.

  8. Welcome back to blog land Chatty! We missed you!
    I forget what they call the final voyage of a boat, but you got to be on it.
    The idea of mounting your rock picture is good.
    Trouble is, you get so many interesting pictures your walls would be plastered with photos.

  9. Glad to see a post from you - they've been missed!! :) Wow, I had forgotten what a gorgeous day that was - I love the colors in all your photos!!! That was such a fun day! It's sort of sad reading about it now that the boats gone. :)

  10. In response to Just Jenn's question, most of the eagles are there just for the winter season, to feed on the salmon that have spawned (sockeye, I think). This year the salmon run was a bit light, so the eagles left earlier than normal. They start coming in late December, and typically stick around through February. As a coincidence, the city of Concrete had canceled their Eagle Festival this year due to budget problems - and good thing, because the eagles weren't that thick. See

    There are also some Bald Eagles that are on the Skagit river year round.

  11. That looks so pretty, even tho it wasn't all sunshine. It's a beautiful area! I heard Bri has a little brother now, how exciting for D&L!


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