Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Canoeing Guerneville, CA, Saturday, 26 July 2008 4:35pm

I managed to sleep in until 8 this morning. It turned out that Rachel and Darren were the ones who were supposed to bring the coffee, so we had to go into town to get the caffeine addicts their fixes. The first place we stopped was closed. What kind of coffee shop is closed at 8:30am on a Saturday? We passed a couple more closed cafes, and ended up at a place near the middle of the main drag in Guerneville.

Weirdly, we ran into Quincy there. His softball team was in town for a game and had ended up at the same coffee shop, probably largely because it was the only one that was open.

Back in camp, we had some pancakes with blackberries picked off of the bush three feet away. The blackberries are battling a grapevine, but the grapes aren't ripe yet. Washed it down with some rum and limeade. This is how breakfast should be.

We decided to go canoeing before lunch. The campground rented us a canoe and three life vests, but they would only let us have two paddles (they were afraid that a horde of canoers would descend on them and rent their other dozen canoes, it seems).

The campground is on a creek which feeds the Russian River, so we launched in shallow water and had to wade through murky, slimy water until it was deep enough for us to actually get in. Once we reached the river, it was much more pleasant. The water was warm in the shallows and bracing in the deeper, faster sections.

The canoe rental specified that we were only allowed to go upstream from the creek, so we headed in that direction. It turns out that neither Aaron nor I is a natural at canoeing, so we bounced from bank to bank a lot at first, and ran into the trees on the banks more than a few times. The river was also shallow enough in places that we had to get out and pull the canoe.

We were in one of those shallows when we saw the waterfall around the bend. The river was completely dammed, and there was about an eight foot drop from the lake above the dam to the river below. Aaron tried to convince me to help him portage the canoe up to the lake, so we could continue on, but I wasn't having it.

It rapidly became clear that we'd forgotten one of the most important supplies for canoeing: beer. We paddled back to the creek, provisioned ourselves, and drank a couple each on our way back to the dam. Somehow, the lake didn't seem like such a bad idea at this point, and Aaron convinced me to help him carry the canoe up.

As we got near the top of the dam, we noticed an unfamiliar smell that rapidly intensified. We speculated a bit about what it might be, before we agreed that it was probably the rotting deer carcass that was floating in the lake a couple feet from the point where we were about to put the canoe back in. Ew. And, of course, this was just upstream of where we'd just been swimming and canoeing. Ew.

The lake plan was quickly forgotten, and we paddled back down to the creek. We decided that, rather than go back via the murky creek, we'd just carry the canoe back to camp. Carrying a canoe turns out to be pretty easy.

Flor de Caña Black Label (5yr): surprisingly sippable. It's not as smooth as the Centenario Gold (18yr) that I had in Copán, but much better than the Gold (4yr) that I had in Roatan. Mixes really well with limeade.


Jean (Anonymously) Tuesday, 09 October 2012 5:54am

What a good travelogue!