Friday, July 29, 2016

OVER THE BOW: LAKE VALLEY RESERVOIR

The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water, - so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be. -- Henry David Thoreau 

A smokey haze floated over the water and mountains at Lake Valley Reservoir. A forest fire was raging down in the hills and the smoke was blowing our way. So much so, I even questioned my decision to paddle here. The smoke fogged our view of the Sierra, burned out eyes and throat a common occurrence during California's fire season. Setting off across the lake, I just hoped the wind would change and the smoke would clear.

Lake Valley Reservoir is at about 5,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains located just off Interstate 80, south of the Yuba Gap. About 2 miles long the Pacific Gas & Electric lake offers a variety of shoreline from rocky to tree lined banks, perfect for a day of exploring. The Sierra lakes and reservoirs have water in them this season, and Lake Valley Reservoir is not exception. The water lapped  against the glacier-polished granite along the southern shoreline offering and inviting spot for a summer swim.

My wife Debbie and I had other ideas as we paddled to peninsula at the far end of the lake. There a small island jets out into the lake and raised wall looks over the lake. It provided us with a perfect spot to picnic, swim and watch to courting eagles hang in the sky. The smoke had cleared and the day was neared perfect. We paddled back lazily along the sunken tree-line in what seemed like ancient world.

"Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons." wrote  paddling guru Sigrud Olson,  "It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost."

Over the Bow is a feature from Outside Adventure to the Max, telling the story behind the image. If you have a great picture with a great story, submit it to us at nickayak@gmail.com

Friday, July 22, 2016

WHY DO YOU PADDLE?


There are so many things that we could do on any given day. Yet, we choose to spend our days kayaking. Sometimes we are kayaking with friends down chaotic whitewater. Other times we are by ourselves on alpine glacial lakes. Why do we choose kayaking? For me, there are a few main reasons that come to mind.
First, I’ll talk about the sensation. It’s not all that different from the feeling someone might get riding an amusement park ride. I’m not particularly excited about roller coasters but I do love the feeling of making dynamic moves on the water. It could be snapping a tight turn into an eddy, launching off a good boof, or just rolling through the waves. There is something exhilarating about smoothly transitioning from one edge to the other while moving through various currents and feeling the cool splash of the water on your face and the warmth of the sun all at the same time.


Another thing that keeps me coming back to the river is conquering my own fear. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them, but I’m terrified of the water. It makes perfect sense though when you thin about it. What could be more satisfying than taking on your biggest fear? Every time I get in the water I get a little better handle on a fear that has had great power over me my entire life. I grow a little bit and become a stronger person one paddle stroke at a time, every time I go out. I don’t know any other way to get that kind of personal satisfaction. It has taken me longer than most to get to where I am in paddling because of it, but perhaps I’ve learned more along the way as a result.
Finally, and most importantly, kayaking for me is a means to access a place. Some of those places are otherwise inaccessible and some of them you can drive right up to, but it isn’t just about getting there. It’s about being in remarkable places and feeling a part of the place when you get there. I love the sort of dance we do with the amazing power of this world. I love how it makes me realize how small I am in the grand scheme of things. It’s one thing to go and look at the amazing incomprehensible power of nature. It’s even better to get in there and really experience it, to be a part of it, to be just one drop of the water in a vast river.
This is why I kayak, but that’s just me. Why do you kayak?


Pete Delosa is a California professional kayaker with Team Pyranha and offers great insight into the world of whitewater kayaking for Outside Adventure to the Max. You can catch up with Pete on his blog River-Bum.com and his videos on You-Tube
Outside Adventure to the Max is always looking for guest bloggers. Contact us at Nickayak@gmail.com

Friday, July 15, 2016

2016 VIDEO BLOG & PHOTOS OF EPPIES GREAT RACE TRAINING


So keep you chin up it helps you breath. It helps you get more torso rotation and it helps you keep looking ahead. Looking ahead is what makes you faster and keeps you on better lines. So if you find your chin tuck in staring at the cockpit. Get it up! Keep reminding yourself that the whole race...Dan Crandall

It's the final leg of Sacramento's Great Race. Iron men, women and teams will transfer from bicycles to kayaks and canoes at the Jim Jones Bridge and paddle the rest of the 6.35-mile stretch along the scenic American River Parkway to concluded Eppie’s Great Race this weekend. Known as “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” the race is one of the largest paddling event in the United States. Founded in 1974, the race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and paddle on the lower American River from the Sunrise Access to River Bend Park. Filled with all its ripples, eddies and one rapid requiring whitewater skills the paddling portion of the annual race is for most the exciting and challenging part of the race. While most participants come with running and biking skills many of them have never paddled the river.

For the past month Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips have been conducting  intensive kayak workouts for racers building up to weekend's race. The instructors helped the paddlers with  fundamentals of paddling and river reading that will come in handy come race day.
Here is a look back of at some of the highlights on the water including at the flat water lessons on Lake Natoma, both half and full sessions on river and of course views of that pesky San Juan  Rapids.

Current Adventure Kayak School ant Trips
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
FAX: 530-333-1291
USPS:Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
info@currentadventures.com
owner Dan Crandall dan@kayaking.com
<

Friday, July 8, 2016

2016 EPPIES GREAT RACE TRAINING


The water glistens in the late afternoon sun. Across the way kids frolic in it ankle-deep, while father down fishermen dot the rocky shore of the stream and huddling below the bike bridge kayakers in PFDs and bike helmets lay out a rainbow of kayaks at the edge of the beach. Anticipation, elation and anxiety churn in each one like the river before them. Looking out over the quiet scene their thoughts of doubts and hesitation are instantaneously interrupted by the booming voice of Dan Crandall. 
"Are you ready to paddle tonight? We gotta about a week left. I want hear something out of you otherwise were just going to give up...Go home. Watch TV.  Eat popcorn. Peppermint Patties.  Drink milkshakes. All that good stuff you want to do, that you can do the day after the race."

Crandall and his staff from Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips have been conducting  intensive kayak workouts with racers for the past several weeks building up to Eppie’s Great Race next week. Known as “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” the race is one of the largest paddling event in the United States. Founded in 1974, the race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.35-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. That 6.35 miles down the American River with all its ripples and one rapid requiring whitewater skills presents the most challenging and exciting part of the annual race. Participants are expected to transfer from bicycle to boat at the Jim Jones Bridge for the final leg of the race. While most of them come with running and biking skills many of them have never paddled the river.

"Kayaks steer from the back," Crandall tells the group in some beach instruction,  "You have to learn to speak this boat's language. It's a combination of edging correctly so the kayak knows what your after and following your stroke through behind you, that matters."

Current Adventure's sessions have giving instruction on paddling technique, river reading and turning troublesome San Juan Rapids into a speed bump. However, this year the rapid has offer many challenges for the new paddlers.


"Lean forward and smile, " said Crandall, " Show the river you are not afraid and keep a paddle in the water."

There are three ways to pass through San Juan Rapids.  Being off to the right provides the best waves, in the middle for a fun drop and extended bubble wave or stay to the far left and avoid the rapid only to feel it's powerful eddy effect. Underneath the rapid the river flows back together smashing into the cliff creating a circular boil, before slowing down to gentle speed.  The practicing racers are encouraged to run the rapid a couple of times to familiarize themselves with its nature.

Some paddlers have use these sessions to update their skills and get in a practice run for the event, while others are kayaking for the first time. The instructors helps each paddler with paddling fundamentals that will be handy come race day.

"You gotta stay in the current all the way till the outside of that corner." Crandall, calls out as the kayakers raft up together,  So just think about that tonight. Start being very aware on the lines on the river. Use landmarks look ahead. Every time you come around a corner, set a new course to the next corner, don't just be staring at the bow or the deck of your boat. Looking ahead is what makes you faster and keeps you on better lines."

At the end of course tired paddlers pull their kayaks across the finish lines with an understanding of the river and what is hand for this next weekend's great race.

Current Adventure Kayak School ant Trips
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
FAX: 530-333-1291
USPS:Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
info@currentadventures.com
owner Dan Crandall dan@kayaking.com