On the morning of September 22, my friend Steve and I kayaked the Sammamish River. I drove to his home, picked up two kayak’s and put them in at Idlewood Park on Lake Sammamish. From there we kayaked up to York Bridge at Sixty-Acres Park. I had been wanting to do this trip for years to get a on-the-river vantage for my Bridges of Redmond project. It was a beautiful day. What made it amazing beyond the beauty of the river was all the salmon we saw. There were parts of the river that we new to me. I took a ton of video and made screen shots of the photos that you will see below. I have over 200 photos so you will only see handful of those. I’ll be able to paint watercolors from them all winter. Enjoy.

Here’s a view of Lake Sammamish from where we put in at Idlewood Park.

Steve in his kayak.

One of the highlights for me was crews we saw heading out on the lake for training. I got lots of great photos!

The morning light on the rowers was perfect!

We came to the headwaters of the Sammamish. It was very idyllic.

Of course, I told Steve all the “names” of the places we passed, like “the craggy woods.” We went past the dock where the boat crews head out from as we headed to Marymoor Park.

We eventually came to the place I call “the passage” which is something like a dam that lets the lake water through a small opening. It was fun navigating through that little rapids.

That’s where we saw our first salmon…they were coming upstream, towards the lake. Hundreds of them! It was super exciting to spot them in the water, but hard to photograph because the lighting had to be right. You can see some of the big salmon here. I named this part of the river “salmon creek.”

We eventually made it to the bridge that crosses into Marymoor Park. I got lots of great photos of the bridge for my Bridges of Redmond painting project.

The birds along the river were wonderful too, but hard to get in flight.

Next we came to the 520 Bridge, and the new bridge for the light rail line. We continued to see lots of salmon.

It was great to get the river view vantage point of the 520.

From there we headed toward the Leary Way bridge and walking/biking bridge.

Then the quiet stretch as we headed toward Riverpark, the apartments that we first lived at when we moved to Redmond. The fall colors made the reflections pretty with the yellows, and reds and browns.

Next we came to the Redmond Way Bridge. A boy and his grandmother were watching the salmon. The boys shouted instructions to us about how to see the salmon. So sweet.

I got lots of great shots of the bridge from the viewpoint of the river.

The next bridge we came to was the railroad trestle bridge.

We saw more salmon there and beyond.

Next we came to the “quiet cove” with the overlook from the rivertrail and then the 85th Street Bridge.

Next we came to the 90th Street Bridge. You can see through the window of the bridge the stretch of the rivertrail that is next to Avignon townhouses where we now live.

This is a favorite spot for children, and their parents and grandparents to feed the ducks and more good painting subject matter for me.

Where we live is a straight stretch with not a lot of interesting curves. But the beaver have downed another tree that we navigated under.

For many people, the “red bridge” is a favorite bridge because of its design and color and good views of the salmon. Our family calls it the “Pooh Bear Bridge” because when friends are over we walk there and pick up sticks to drop from the bridge and race just like Pooh and his friends do in the Winnie the Pooh story.

After this is a stretch where the trees come all the way down to the water. Kayaking gave me a view of this stretch that I had not had before.

Jenny and walked our dog Brody to the river to see us as we passed. And Brody, to my surprise, didn’t know quite what to do with us as we floated by.

The last leg was to Sixty Acre Park. It was a pretty stretch. But the day was heating up and we were getting a little tired, at least I was. But it was sure pretty.

We finished at the York Street Bridge. It was a very fun day, and so amazing to get all those shots from the vantage point of the river. These photographs will make their way into my Bridges of Redmond painting series and the story of our Kayak journey will make it into the coffee table book that I’m slowly working on.

To learn more about my Bridges of Redmond Project check out these links.

You can learn more about the project here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2021/04/24/pastor-artist-jason-dorsey-announces-bridges-of-redmond-project/

You can see how I did at painting one painting a day of the Rivertrail in 2022 here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/01/08/365-paintings-in-2022/

And some newer paintings here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2023/07/28/new-sammamish-rivertrail-paintings/

You can learn more about my Redmond Roots here https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2021/10/21/bridges-of-redmond-my-redmond-roots/

You can read about Christine Himes, a past Mayor of Redmond, who was involved with building the 85th Street Bridge here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2021/11/11/bridges-of-redmond-christine-himes-public-servant-for-the-common-good/

You can read about Rosemarie Ives a past Mayor of Redmond who built the 90th Street Bridge here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2021/12/08/bridges-of-redmond-rosemarie-ives-elbow-grease-makes-a-beautiful-community/

You can read about Ken Osborne one of the poets that writes about the rivertrail here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/03/14/bridges-of-redmond-meet-ken-osborne-river-poet/

You can read about my uncle Robert and his remote control planes he flew at Sixty Acres Park here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/08/27/bridges-of-redmond-bob-dodgson-radio-controlled-sailplanes-and-60-acres-park/

You can read about my friend Roger and his work to care for the salmon here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/05/23/bridges-of-redmond-roger-urbaniak-salmon-caretaker/

You can read about Laura Lee Bennet and her love for the rivertrail and culture building in Redmond here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/04/02/the-bridges-of-redmond-meet-laura-lee-bennet-culture-weaver-and-community-builder/

You can learn about Ed Weiss and his photographing the rivertrail and Redmond here: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/09/08/bridges-of-redmond-ed-weiss-photographer/

You can read the story of my friend Anupam and his love of the rivertrail here. https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2022/09/29/bridges-of-redmond-anupam-sharmas-love-for-the-rivertrail/

And finally you can learn about Cheryl Strong Magnuson keeping of the history of Redmond and the rive here. https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2023/08/07/bridges-of-redmond-cheryl-strong-magnuson-keeper-of-history/

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