Columbia River Source to Sea: Long-Distance Paddle

Claire Dibble continues to inspire and amaze while she paddles the length of the Columbia River in a single push. Beginning July 1, she started paddling at Canal Flats on Columbia Lake. From there, she set off down the mighty river through broad reservoirs and stiff headwinds. Part personal challenge and part photographic and art project, Dibble’s intention for the trip, as noted on her website, is “to build a portrait of the river and the people who live along it, creating a sense of connection upstream and downstream in the process.”

Claire’s paddling route // Photo from

John Roskelley, who literally wrote the book about paddling the length of the Columbia River, jumped at the chance to paddle with her for a few miles at Hanford Reach. In a recent Facebook post, he wrote, “She is undoubtedly the first woman to solo the river from source to sea and she’s doing it in great style. Having paddled the entire length in stages, I am inspired by her tenacity and courage to do this alone and unaided.”

Dibble averages roughly 13 miles per day. She paddles a beautiful, handmade, skin-on-frame kayak that she made with her father. On her website she wrote, “The design of the boat and the style of building both appealed to me, but a real closer was the weight. This boat is light as a feather (under 30 lbs.), which is good when there are 14 dams to work around.” At this point, she hopes to reach Astoria, Oregon, in October or early November. Learn more about her adventure or follow her online. 

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