The Little Spokane is another really nice, chill, local boattrip. I remember going down it in manufactured flat-bottom canoes a few times and handling was a struggle. The difficulty and discomfort involved in going down this river in a Coleman or Pelican type canoe were gifts in disguise, as they inspired me to build canoes.
We set out in the late afternoon from the St. George/Hatchery put-in. I expected to take around 6 hrs, but flow was high and this boat is very graceful. The whole trip took about 3 and a half hours. That’s with a few short stops and almost no forward paddling. We photographed the same heron many times. He was surprised, each time, that we had also decided to move downriver. We saw a beaver very close, and got a mediocre pic before it dove under our boat. Then we got a view of a wild river otter. This is something I have always wanted to see, but otters on the Little Spokane usually leave right before you see them. When all you see is a retreating tail, it’s hard to say what you saw. This guy, however, was deeply involved in a mustelidic happydance when we saw him on the beach. It took him a full 10 seconds to realize we were there, staring at him. As he left, he acted smug and aloof. I took the above pic. Someday I’ll get a really good pic of a wild river otter.