As I think through plans for getting back home in the event that the 'big one' hits us here in the PNW, I've wondered about various routes, considering that roads may be impassible due to various reasons and that bridges and overpasses may be down as well. Then there is the potential issue of crowds of desperate people looking to rob anyone they come across. I have been thinking of an alternate option - one that could be available under certain circumstances and I wanted to see what you folks here thought about it. I work near downtown Portland. Assuming I survive the quake, relatively uninjured and able to move, I started thinking about how the Willamette river could be a potential route south, closer to home, about 10 or so miles away. Benefits would be that it could be done relatively quickly (depending on the boat), it would likely be safer (at least in terms of roving bands of looters, etc.) and would likely be fairly open most of the distance. Drawback #1 is I would need to find someone with a boat that I could potentially barter with to make the trip upriver since I have no practical way to have a boat on hand. The best option would be if someone with a powered boat could be flagged down and travel could be purchased/bartered for at least part of the trip. As we won't be getting past Willamette falls, that would be the end of the trip. But what are the chances that I could find someone with a boat, and that they would be willing to make the trip?? Is there a good option to have a person-powered boat of some kind stowed and available? Since I'm not a boat guy, are there options like a collapsible or inflatable kayak or canoe? Something that could handle the journey? Considering the route, I thought about things like collapsed bridges blocking the waterway. In my case, that includes the Sellwood bridge (brand new and built to withstand a 9.0 quake) and the 205 bridge at Oregon City (likely to collapse). But in all reality, because of the location of Willamette Falls, I could stop short of that bridge and get on foot from there because getting past the 205 bridge would only gain me another 1/2 mile or so before I'd have to stop anyway. Anyway I'm just curious if any of you have thought about something like this, and if so, what types of considerations/planning would you/have you made? Considering this type of trip could cut days off a trip by foot, it certainly is a highly desirable option. I just need to get some more input from folks that perhaps know more about this kind of travel than I do. What are your thoughts?