The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure. (Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
It is the start of the new year for us all. For some of us, it is time setup, plan and dream about tripsin this oncoming year.
Armed with two new books, Paddling Northern California, from Falcon Guide and The American River Insider's Guide to Recreation Ecology and Cultural History of the North, Middle and SouthForks, from Protect American River Canyons. I look through the pages researching and planning new kayak trips. Paddling Northern California by Charlie Pike is now in its second edition complete with color pictures and maps. Pike details 70 river and lake trips through out the northern tier of California. He highlights take out and put in information as well as giving overview of the paddling experience. Meanwhile, The American River is guide to the North, Middle and South Forks of California's American River. It is in it's third edition giving great tips for both hiking and paddling. It was put together by a host of contributors giving a local flavor and history of the three river canyons. After thumbing through the pages I brim with excitement and anticipation of the new year. So many water trails, so little time.
My goal is to get out and paddle more, visit these places and make them more to me than just a couple of pages in a travel book. An over night paddling trip down the Sacramento River, an outing at Elkhorn Slough and kayaking across on Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. I paddled 133 days last year and look forward to getting close to that mark again, yet still haven't not hit some favorite places on the map.
Still, I have a paddling buddy who said, "You know I really like paddling and kayaking a lot." He then paused looking over the lake and added, "But, there are so many other fun things I like to do to."
I have to agree with him. I need to get my mountain bike out of the garage and take it down the trail. My cross country skis and snowshoes have been sitting in the corner way to long. I need to try downhill skiing and hike uphill backpacking. So this new year, I look forward to experiences both old and new. Seeing the more the world around me in many different ways, of course over the bow as my favorite.