Friday, January 6, 2017

A SHINY NEW YEAR


          The best way to predict your future is to create it -- Abraham Lincoln

It has been raining in the lower elevations of Northern California and snowing higher up in the mountains this week. Good news for the state's water supply.  The Sierra Nevada snow pack is a frozen reservoir that provides roughly one-third of the state’s water has been given a much-needed boost after several major storms have dumped between up to four feet and ten feet of new snow over the mountains.

“Things are looking very positive,” Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the state, told the San Jose Mercury News, after officials Department of Water Resources earlier this week took their first manual snow survey of the year near South Lake Tahoe.
“We’re showing a wet, cold pattern for the rest of this week into next. That’s a real good sign. In years past we have come up to do the survey and the forecast is for dry. But now we have a nice wet pattern setting in right now.”
So as California enters what could be its sixth year of drought, the statewide total was at 70 percent of normal and according to Gehrke, certain to increase in the coming days.

So forget the ball drop in Times Square, watching the snow fall and listening to the sound of rain is the only way to ring in the new year.  It's time make that New Year's resolution to kayak more because the rivers and lakes will be hopefully brimming with water. Plan an expedition or at least an over-night canoe trip. It's a new year and time to think big!

On New Year's Day Freya Hoffmeister announced her next challenge, the never-before-attempted kayak circumnavigation of North America. The German adventurer will attempt the 30,000-mile journey over the next eight to ten years, paddling alone in stages of three to five months. The route travels of the famous Northwest Passage, a crossing of Hudson Bay and a trip through the Panama Canal. It will outline the coastline of 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico.


“Freya will paddle in two half loops, starting twice in Seattle and finishing twice in New York City,” explained in a press release posted on her Facebook page. “She’ll paddle northwards half of the year’s trip time and southwards the other half." Hoffmeister is one of the world's most prolific expedition paddlers. She circumnavigation Australia in 2009 and her circuited of South America, in six stages from 2011 to 2015. She also circled Iceland and New Zealand’s South Island, both in record time. Last year she paddled around Ireland, a 43-days, in yet another groundbreaking expedition.

 Okay maybe not that big. But for some even small trips can be big.

Last year Florida paddler Mary Meyers, 83 and a half-dozen girlfriends, the average ages of 80, got together and kayaked four of her state's central rivers in four days. Based in a cabin they paddled some of Florida's prettiest waters.
"We inspire each other," Meyers told the Tampa Bay Times, "There's so much talent among this group. We find solace in the river."
She has some advice for the new year to anyone who hesitant about not getting outdoors for an adventure, "Get rid of your pills, get rid of your pillows, and get yourself a paddle!"

While you won't see one drop of water in the movie La La Land, it's hard after watching the film not to come away without some motivation and inspiration about following your dreams.  It's about aspiring actress Mia, and a jazz pianist Sebastian trying to make it big in show business. In one discouraged by a lack of not getting jobs, Mia unloads on Sebastian about her failing career. Sebastian pulls her back to reality by saying, "This is the dream. It's conflict and it's compromise and it's very, very exciting."

So it's 2017, dream big, plan big. Take along trip, or be in kayak or canoe race and just get out there.  Former member of the Canadian Freestyle Whitewater Kayak Team and Bronze medalist, Anna Levesque said, "You don't have to be a daredevil to enjoy the river."

And we agree. You just have to dare yourself to get out there and enjoy it.