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Standing up to the big river

Doing the Columbia on a paddle board


Matt Honor prepares to step onto the Columbia River on his paddle board Sunday morning at Seatons Grove Boat Launch. — Scott Hunter photo

A young teacher from Wenatchee is spending his first summer off standing on the water, for 1,200 miles.

Matt Honor pulled his paddle board ashore at Crescent Bay Saturday afternoon, needing portage around Grand Coulee Dam.

Honor had called ahead, and chamber of commerce members met him to help. He decided he wanted to watch the outgoing laser light show on the dam, and so stayed the night at the Columbia River Inn, resuming his trip Sunday morning with a ride to Seaton’s Grove boat launch.

His big, foam paddle board and all his gear took little room in the back of a small pickup, with the paddle board sticking out.

Honor, 22, started the journey June 11 at the headwaters of the Columbia River in Canada. Paddling 10 hours a day, his feet are killing him by hour nine, he said. By July 5, he’d made it halfway, to river mile 620 on Lake Roosevelt.

Honor is a special education teacher for the Eastmont School District in East Wenatchee.

Sunday morning, Honor attached his waterproof bags to the top of his board at Seaton’s Grove. Asked how much planning he’d put in on such a long journey, Honor just smiled and said, “Not enough.”

He put up a Facebook page he posts to most days at “The Big River Run: Standing Up to the Columbia River.”

As of Tuesday, he’d made it around Wells Dam.

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