My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Play Day on the Sacramento River

I had one of the best days of my life today.  I both met a couple that felt like old friends and had a wonderful paddle on the Sacramento.  The only thing wrong with it was that it ended. But we'll be paddling together again.

We paddled on a stretch of the Sacramento just north of Red Bluff, CA.  The drive up there was interesting as well because I was seeing the mountains on the east and west come together as I started climbing a little bit. If you click on the location link, you can see where we paddled.  I marked the put-in spot.  This was under a single-lane bridge.

I met Phil and Sam  just after 8:30 and we quickly ran the five mile shuttle.  A little after 10:00 A.M. we were on the river and I was in love. The river is scenic, big and fast. There are places where it is swirling, boiling, and making standing waves, sometimes all in the same place.  There were a few times when I hit air with my paddle and was very unstable.  And once I almost hit a rock because I was taking pictures and hit one of the places where the river wanted to push me around. 

Starting out


Paddling towards Mt. Lassen
 Phil's GPS said we were doing 7.5 mph and we were mostly steering. The river did get slower and quieter in places and I had time to enjoy the fantastic scenery on this warm, beautiful day. We did a little side trip a few hundred yards up little Ink's Creek.

Phil and me at Inks Creek

We stopped there a few minutes, then continued another couple of miles before stopping and exploring some BLM land that is available for camping.  It was not very good for camping but was a beautiful place to stop.  We messed around so long there that we stayed and ate lunch.

River view from rest stop

Best seat in the house

Sam dresses EXACTLY like I used to for winter paddles.  And she even has my socks.  I approve.

Snail love?

 But we finally had to get back on the river and enjoy another quick five or six miles before we saw Bend Bridge.

Big Rocks

A Texas mountain - Californian hill

Oh, no, the trip is over! When can we go back?

I had to stop and take these leaves - what reds!

Can it get any better than this?  Tomorrow, all the volunteers get to go to Sutter Butte,a tiny little volcanic mountain range that is mostly private. Hopefully the promised rain will wait until evening and give us another beautiful day to enjoy it.