Laguna Paddle January 12, 2017

A little more than eight inches of rain has fallen in Sebastopol in 2017—enough to keep this paddler off the estuaries—until today. The rain has filled the Laguna de Santa Rosa. It’s brimming with water now.

A paddling friend (and fellow photgrapher), Lyrinda Snyderman, has wanted to go out on the Laguna since last year. The other day she asked if I’d be willing to take her out. Mais oui! Today—the first real break in the rain since the Laguna has filled—was our chance.

We started a little past 8:00 am. There was a chill in the air, and snow on the Mayacama mountains east of here. The water had flooded enough to swamp Sanford Road. It was our boat ramp.

Not a good place for cars or trucks, even macho ones. Sanford Road is now the final resting place of this big pickup truck.

Someone drove a jacked up Hummer into the drink a few days ago. He needed to be rescued by helicopter.

So much water filled the Laguna that we were able to paddle much farther north and east than usual. This cute little cabin wasn’t too far from the water’s edge.

We made our way past dairy on Hall Road. These cows normally have much more pasture land on which to roam. They took a curious interest in the funny boats floating by.

We hoped to see Bald Eagles which have been visiting the Laguna of late. When we saw this raptor both of us wanted it to be a juvenile eagle, but, it turned out to be a hawk.

We got far enough north (downstream) to come within easy earshot of Guerneville Road, though it was not visible through the brush growing between us and the cars and trucks making all the noise.

We had a nice chat with Guy Smith of Georgetown who was standing by the shore of the Laguna and very near the barn closest to the water. He told tales of the mountain lions who have come through his place over the years. Guy is a collector of interesting things. His place is chock full of interesting stuff. Click that link above to find out more.

Here’s Lyrinda as we paddled away from Guy’s place.

Paddling in California’s wintertime is really fun. The winds are usually much better for kayaking than in the warmer summer months. All you need is a sit-inside kayak and the proper clothing to have a great outing.

Lyrinda and I enjoyed an after-paddle lunch at Sebastopol’s new fish place, Handline. We both enjoyed the food we got. I suggested this place because it’s a beautifully repurposed Foster’s Freeze restaurant, designed by architect Steve Sheldon. Lyrinda, a retired architect, appreciated the renovation, the good food, and the complimentary sparkling water.

We paddled almost eight miles in the flood waters covering the pastures and vineyards below. Here is a map of our morning.

One thought on “Laguna Paddle January 12, 2017

  1. Perhaps all of this is a fore taste of the weather / sea levels due to global warming? Pretty sobering if it is.

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