Red Alder Ranch is produced and maintained by Mark Whitaker. I live on 15 acres of mixed forest land near the historic native village of Skamokawa, Washington, alongside the Columbia River. The Pacific Ocean is 34 miles away by river. I live a life centered around the water, kayaking, boating and fishing almost year round.

I have been, at turns, a conservation corps grunt, an Eagle scout, a dishwasher and prep cook, a bass player in a punk band, a mechanic and auto parts guy, a commercial dishwasher repairman, an antique/reproduction light fixture salesman and designer, a college student, a solar pool heater installer, sawmill headrig operator and lumber grader, tax preparer, all around handyman, firewood cutter, eBay seller and kayak instructor/guide and rental shop manager.

I like woodworking and blacksmithing, but haven’t done a whole lot of either one. I’m a cat person rather than a dog person. I like maps and charts. I’ve been married for over 23 years to Shannon Meeker, and we have two daughters, ages 21 and 18.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Welcome to the world of dynamic content, man. Nice site. Don’t neglect your patches:


  2. I would like to have you add your Red Alder Ranch and kayak tours to the Lewis and Clark forums on my website, at
    The forum is just for this purpose. You can simply add a link, or photos and text, videos, etc. Whatever.
    I have featured your area in my book and on the website. If you go to Region 9 for Washington and Oregon you will find links to many places. If you post on the forums, I will publicize you in my monthly newsletter.

  3. I’m getting serious withdrawl pains looking at your site. (Spring and fall are nice in Utah, but you have to live here the other 50 weeks of the year, too.)

    Great pictures and stories. Every place has it’s beauty if you know where to look. The difference about Puget Sound, is you don’t have to look too hard.

  4. Hey Mark! Good meeting you at SSTIKS. So, this is your website! Cool!!!

    Hope to get a role under my belt and do the race around deception pass some day. Looks like a lot of fun!

    Looking forward to next years SSTIKS!

    David Tiller

  5. Mark,
    Could we use your closeup photo of scotch broom as a detail on a calendar I’m designing for the county of Marin? Since I admired all your paddling photos I suspect you know where that is! It would be quite small and we would give you a credit.

    many thanks,

  6. Hi Mark, Love you photography. I’m the editor of the NSW Sea Kayak club magazine here in Sydney and I wondered if we could reproduce a couple of you beautiful pics for an article I’m planning about Greenland.

    You can see the mag here

    The images I like are

    We’re a not for profit volunteer club so we can’t make payment, but would be happy to mention your blogsite.
    Thanks very much. Cheers
    Mark Schroeder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *