Sunday morning started early: I woke up around 5:50am after a reasonably sound night of sleep (having your own tent is a glorious thing), packed up the tent, and shared a sad goodbye with groggy Alice. The Mendocino coast road was foggy at 6:20am...
For 4th of July Alice and I first decided to visit her favorite spot in Marin: Tennessee Valley. The hike takes you 1.8 miles from a parking lot through the lush valley to an open coast beach. Tennessee Cove lies between Muir Beach and Rodeo Beach - both of which we visited last year on a coastal paddle. Dark sand covers the narrow, steep beach at the end of the trail. Alice dodged crashing waves to run around a point and explore another narrow beach on the other side. Ten minutes later I began to wonder whether it was time to send out a rescue team, but she soon sprinted back around the point...
A couple weeks ago a patchwork group of us spent a night camping out on Tomales Bay. Last year's trip was super fun and we wanted to recreate it. This year we started on the west side of the Bay, near Inverness, and paddled north until we found a beach that was sufficiently wide for camping. For the rest, I'm going to be lame and refer you to Rob's blog post (click the Journal tab), which awesomely and succinctly describes this year's fun. He also has all my photos, so go look there! :) Click Read More for a map and trip stats...
The perfect kayaking trip should start something like this: a cool foggy morning, bundled in your favorite sweatshirt, with 30 minutes of meditative/caffeinated (do those cancel each other out?) beach sitting: bare toes hidden inside the boat for warmth.
I reviewed my first blog post, in which I set some tangible paddling goals. I met the first two by the end of 2010 (paddle 100 miles and paddle on each of the Finger Lakes). The 3rd goal was postponed indefinitely (paddling the 40-mile length of Cayuga Lake in a day). The 4th goal (kayak in lots of places) is ongoing and a bit undefined, so let's call that a success: check!
In commemoration, here are some updated goals for the rest of 2014:
1. A couple months ago Alice and I set a goal to paddle together 15 times before I left for Europe. It's pretty ambitious since Alice is leaving for a month on Friday. So far we've done 7 in 2014 (Berkeley, Red Rock, Estero Americano, Out-the-Gate, Whiskeytown Lake, Lewiston Lake, Sea Glass Beach). We have some upcoming paddles but we'll definitely be cutting it close!
2. Paddle 100 miles before leaving on my roadtrip (described below). This will be easy since I'm already at 85...
3. Paddle in 10 new places in 2014, including at least once in the Netherlands.
4. Get involved in sea kayaking in the Netherlands.
Starting July 19th, I'm embarking on a 23-day road trip up the west coast to the San Juan Islands and then east through the Great Lakes to Boston. I won't put too many details here, but stay tuned for much more blogging later this summer! Here's a list of the places I'm hoping to paddle:
Last weekend Alice and I made an expedited road trip up towards Redding to dip our paddles in freshwater for a change. She'll be writing a post about our first day of paddling on Lewiston Lake, so stay tuned (Alice is a teacher and tomorrow is her last day of school!). Around 6:45am on Memorial Day we departed our lovely hill-side campsite at Lewiston Lake and headed back towards Whiskeytown Lake, stopping only for coffee/CheezIts/Ritz crackers at a gas station (surprisingly open at 7am on a holiday). Alice humored me as I cranked up the Whiskeytown (a country band that I discovered during my Friday Night Lights phase, and the real reason I wanted to go on this paddle). We launched from a little scarp adjacent to Oak Bottom Marina around 8:30am and began a relaxing morning paddle...
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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