Those of us who stayed at the Harbor Lite Motel had the continental breakfast there before leaving to drive south to the Albion River. I noticed the full moon setting in the western sky amid many clouds that had delivered little of the rain they had been forecast.
We stopped by the Little River Cemetery to see a sinkhole that Joe and Sue knew about. It’s probably hard to tell by looking at this photo, but, I aimed my camera almost straight down to a circle of beach sand below. The white is foam from an ocean wave arriving via a short tunnel/cave extending out to the beach.
Sinkholes like this one are not exactly uncommon, but still they’re weird and a bit scary. The split rail fencing installed around the rim were in a state of moderate disrepair. It didn’t matter to me; there was enough poison oak to keep me away from getting too near the edge.
You can get a view from the bottom from a fellow who made this Youtube video from the beach below.
We didn’t stay too long; there was a 9:30 time to be OTW (On The Water) on the Albion River. We drove a little bit further and took a switchback-y driveway down to Schooner Landing, a campground/boat launching area where our journey up the Albion would begin.
When we arrived Ray and Lyrinda were already there. It was good to see Ray. He’d driven up from Petaluma to be with us for the day. So there would be nine of us: Joe and Sue, Mike and Diana, Ray, Joan, Holly, Lyrinda, and me.
Schooner Landing has recently changed hands. It’s now owned by Gabriella Levine, a former Kaiser surgeon who wanted a change of pace. She’s already made some improvements and upgrades to the place and hoping to attract clientele like the Petaluma Padders.
Soon we were ready to go. As we did the day before on the Big River, we decided to paddle out to the mouth against the strong flooding current before heading upstream. To make any progress against the current it was necessary to seek out counter currents inside the eddy line along the banks. But with some effort we all managed to paddle the 3/4 mile out to the bridge and a little beyond.
The current that had hindered our progress on the way out gave us a big push into the river. My GPS said I hit more than 13 miles per hour paddling with the current, but I think it tends to exaggerate at times. Whatever the speed, it was pretty quick for a kayak.
We paddled into the river passing a few houseboats along the way.
The river passed through some second-growth forest (probably third, forth, or fifth growth, actually). Both banks of the Albion River are privately owned by lumber companies. They seem to be practicing sustainable forestry; the river could not have been more pleasing to the eye.
We paddled on about five miles upriver until we could go no farther. Lyrinda and I paddle the shortest boats in the crowd. Our boats are most easily maneuvered through the obstacles that increasingly impeded progress upstream as the river narrowed.
We turned around when going forward would have required robust pruning tools.
Soon we got to the place where everyone had pulled out for a shared potluck lunch.
Ray wandered away from the lunch and came back with a straight stick perfect for a javelin competition. Everyone took part. Joe was the undisputed champion. Holly won the log paddling competition, but then she was the only person among us game to have a go in that event.
You can see photos of the whole paddle taken by the Petaluma Paddlers photojournalist, Lyrinda here. <<<<<Really click on that link.
Lyrinda’s photographic skills are head and shoulders above mine.
It was a great day to paddle in a great place with some great company.
There’s already some talk about a camping trip to Schooner Landing. It would be fun.
Here’s a map. Be sure to click on the map and then on the “View Flybys” on the next screen to see the version of the map enhanced by topographic effects.