Woman deals with job loss by paddling the Columbia River to the Pacific

A person sits in a river in yellow canoe facing mountains and grey clouds.
Hannah Griffin departing on the Columbia River from Revelstoke. Photo by Meagan Deuling.
Meagan Deuling - VF 2590 - RevelstokeBC | 24-08-2023
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Hannah Griffin is floating in her little yellow canoe right now on Lake Roosevelt in Washington State. This is a reservoir on the Columbia River created by the Grand Coulee Dam.

"I'm taking a rest day and snoozing lots," Griffin said via text.

She's on a long journey that started at Aug. 1 at Columbia Lake in B.C. Her goal is to paddle the entire 2000 km river all the way to Astoria, Oregon, where it enters the Pacific Ocean with such fury that that part of ocean is called the Graveyard of the Pacific.

"I wanted to challenge myself," Griffin said in response to the question, "Why are you doing this?"

She had been working for a tech start-up company for the past few years, and feeling out of her element. Her confidence was suffering. Then, on May 1 of this year, she was suddenly laid off. Griffin was shocked, but she knew right away that it was the perfect chance to paddle the entire Columbia River.

(Disclosure: Hannah Griffin is a friend of journalist Meagan Deuling).

Listen to a radio story about Griffin and her journey here: