Pat Welle started Columbia Kayak Adventures in 2004 to introduce
and promote sea kayaking to the Columbia Basin. Located in the Tri-Cities
in southeastern Washington, we are a bit east of the sea; but that
means we enjoy warmer and somewhat more predictable weather
while we paddle the currents of the Columbia River, discover wildlife
among nearby islands, or marvel at the beauty and contrast
the White Bluffs of the Hanford Reach display across the river
from the nuclear reservation.
Pat moved to Portland in the fall of 2009 to pursue a doctorate program. She also moved closer to paddling on the coast which has been drawing her interest for the past several years.
When she moved on, Chris and Dorothy Vowels purchased the business from Pat. Both have kayaked for several years but had gone astray from the sport for a while. In 2004 they took a class from Pat and got hooked again. Chris retired from the Richland Police Department in 2007 after 25+ years and began a new career as a trainer/inspector in the challenge/ropes course industry. When Pat decided to leave, the Vowels decided to continue what she had started. The business came with a dedicated kayaker (Rosie Mac Donald) who operates the store. It also came with a great group of guides and instructors who have the same goal, which is to continue to introduce and promote sea kayaking in this area.
Sea kayaking is a way almost anyone can enjoy being on the
water, moving themselves, knowing that personal effort lets
you see the hidden corners and wonders, or feel the power
of the river. CKA’s mission is to give you the knowledge
and skills to safely paddle, whether you just want to spend
a quiet morning in the protected waters of the Yakima Delta,
or spend a week camping from your boat, exploring the many
miles of inland lakes.
Most of all, CKA is about having fun, while you’re learning
a new skill or seeing new places. And the sea… well
when we can get there, it’s great too!
Courses and Tours
CKA’s courses range from pool rescue sessions, to four-hour or full-day introductory classes, to
edging and advanced classes. All let you work at your own pace and introduce you to some great local
paddle spots. Our tours are short trips through the Delta,
an evening under a full moon, a day down the Hanford Reach,
or several days kayak camping.
We usually do a spring introductory clinic and slide show at REI - watch for date.
We are very involved with the Columbia River Paddle Fest, happening May 8th and 9th this year. The Fest is your opportunity
to try boats, take a short class, view skill demonstrations, meet other paddlers
and get a feel for the sport.
Columbia Basin may be a desert – but its ribbons of
blue provide some great paddling! See you on the water.