One of the most beautiful places to stand up paddle in Washington State-The Nisqually River Delta. Incredible to see crabs, jellyfish, and other saltwater life this far in the delta. A rising tide carried me far into the delta and the outgoing tide made it easy to come back in.

I had the great fortune to live just minutes away from the Washington Park Arboretum for over ten years and floated this area often in small boats and kayaks while living in Madison Park.  Exploring this haven again for the first time in a Stand Up Paddle Board really gave me an appreciation for all the great things that are SUP–high vantage point, easy access, and freedom to stand, sit, and kneel while slicing through the waters around Duck Bay and Lake Washington.

If you are in Seattle and pressed for time, the Washington Park Arboretum should be at the top of your list for an extreme adventure in Seattle’s back yard.

Feeling like a modern day Bill Bixby in “The Courtship of Eddies Father” I spent the day in the town of Snohomish, Washington peeling in and out of river Eddies in preparation for my first attempt of “Deception Pass” in a few months.  The river proved as tricky as young Eddie, tipping my board a couple of times and giving me a refreshing taste of ice-cold glacial waters from mountain run-off and 4″ of snow that blanketed the area just a few hours earlier.  I’m used to the salty, nasal cleansing waters of the Puget Sound, but welcomed a little fresh water this time that left the faint odor of wet dog in my nostrils.

I absolutely love the little town of Snohomish Washington and the incredible, nice people that live and visit there.  It’s hard not to meet a local here who won’t engage you in a great conversation.  Can’t wait to get back there and work this fine river again.

Before meeting with clients in Vancouver, I was able to take an early morning ride through the heart of Vancouver, Canada though False Creek.  An early morning jaunt here gives you an opportunity to see folks everywhere taking little water taxis going to work, school, and other places.  As always here in the Pacific Northwest, I expected a dark, cold, and wet ride, but as often happens, the weather broke for an hour or so and made for a wonderful trip.  I’ve visited this place during the Winter Olympics, the World’s Exposition, and even had dinner next to Goldie Hawn a table away at “Sandbar” restaurant, but have never seen it from the water.

Take a quick ride on a stand up paddle board though the  2013 New Year’s Challenge Paddle Race.

The Duwamish River in Seattle is highly poluted and classified as a Superfund Site. It snakes though the South Park neighborhood of Seattle where the neighborhood suffers from chronic illnesses. I Stand Up Paddleboarded this incredible waterway taking as many precautions as possible, most notable wearing an “Ocean Rodeo” Soul Dry Suit which protected about 95% of my body from toxins and other bacteria in the water. Investigate West wrote a very good article about the Duwamish River and I quote: “Living along the Duwamish River can erode years from your life.

The more than 38,000 people tucked into South Park, Georgetown and Beacon Hill neighborhoods along the river’s Superfund site suffer more illness — including asthma, diabetes and colorectal cancer — than elsewhere in King County. Babies born to families along the river are more likely to die and those who survive can expect a shorter life span than people born and raised just a few miles away.

Their obstacles are many. They are often poor. They are frequently overweight. Access to a supermarket, or to health care, can be tough.

But people here also carry the added burden of the river, a toxic stretch that is the legacy of Seattle’s industrial past. And Seattle’s industrial future continues to foul the air that residents breathe.

An InvestigateWest examination of county health records show that residents along the Superfund site have the highest hospitalization rates for asthma for children and adults in the county. People in the neighborhood are more likely to say their health is poor than elsewhere in the county.

More of their babies are born at lower weights than most other children in the county.

Most stark of all is that the life expectancy of people who live along this five-mile stretch of river is significantly lower than for many other parts of the county.

This little-known public health data could help shape a massive, potentially billion dollar decision coming down the pike about how best to clean up the Superfund mega-site that squats in the middle of these residential communities.

Data collected by Public Health — Seattle & King County show that the expected life span of kids growing up in South Park/ Georgetown/Beacon Hill is 79.5 years. Not far away in Ballard or northeast Seattle, life expectancy is 85 years, comparable to the highest averages around the world.

The difference is “very significant,” says Ali Mokdad, professor of Global Health in the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. He notes that life expectancy in the U.S. has been increasing steadily, rising by more than seven years for men, and more than six for women between 1960 and 2000.” You can find the full article here:

The Snohomish River in Everett is a Slough, like a lung of the Puget Sound inhaling and exhaling on incoming and outgoing tides.  Icy cold from the snow melting in the mountains and inky black in places from industrial runoff from industry.

Like Germany, but in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State in the town of Leavenworth, Washington.

Incredible ride along “False Creek” in Vancouver B.C. Canada

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