West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium Highlights

Return to Salmon Beach

Salmonbeach5Ah, the end of summer... and the beginning of paddling season!  Now that the weather has started to cool it'll be comfortable wearing a drysuit and long underwear again.  The summer boaters will be putting away their runabouts and jet skis, and kayakers will have the water all to themselves! 

Salmonbeach7Salmonbeach1Salmonbeach2Salmonbeach4 Today I met Ricardo for a paddle down to historic Salmon Beach.  The Salmon Beach neighborhood first started out as a line of fishing shacks, summer cottages, and tent platforms along the water after Andrew and Thea Foss purchased the tidelands in 1906.  The neighborhood sits at the bottom of a cliff and the only access is through stairs down the steep cliff or by water.  The slope has always been prone to slides.  In the past, cottages would be totally wiped out from slides, but people would just rebuild on the site again the following summer.

It's interesting to see old pictures of the area in the Images of America series, Tacoma's Salmon Beach, published by Arcadia.  In those images you'll see cottages equipped with outhouses -- that emptied right onto the beach!  In fact there were no sewers until 1991!  Of course, this is juxtaposed with pictures of kids playing in the water and people fishing.  Do you sense a bit of a disconnect here?  Well, I'm sure a hundred years from now people will look back on us and see us  swimming in our own filth, metaphorically speaking -- contaminating our own food with PCBs, mercury and bisphenol A!

By the way, happy Labor Day!  In a country where the average CEO of a large corporation makes 364 times what the average worker makes, it is a well-deserved holiday for the unwashed masses!



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