Friday, July 28, 2017

OVER THE BOW: LOON LAKE


“For my part I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream” – Vincent Van Gogh

Clear skies the group, mostly 20 women boaters getting ready for their first trip on water. The pristine blue water and textured granite shore of lake creates a post card like vision. There is a lot more water than the year before. California's drought seems like a distant memory with views of patches of snow can be seen on the horizon of mountains, while the cobalt waters of the lake are brimming up along the rugged shoreline.

At 6,378 feet, Loon Lake Loon Lake sits in the northern section of the Crystal Basin Recreation Area in the Eldorado National Forest along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nestled up close to the federally protected Desolation Wilderness, the recreation area is capped by the majestic granite peaks and traversed by lakes, reservoirs and streams spanning over 85,000 acres of forested rugged terrain along the Crystal Range.

Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips has hosted this two-day overnight one-of-a-kind camping experience in August for last decade. During the days, paddlers escape the heat while exploring the pine scented lake's many sapphire colored coves and bays and textured granite islands.

 At night the campers are treated to a night-time paddling experience to view the Perseid Meteor Shower.
All the meals, camping equipment and kayaks are provided for paddlers and first time campers to enjoy a cozy "roughing it" in-style camp-out, freeing them to only de-stress and unwind in the realm of nature.

If you want to go Current Adventures Kayak School and 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

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 21, 2017

POSTCARD FROM EPPIES

 "Every stroke, every few strokes, at least, think about opening those top hand fingers. If your just clenching down you are going to get tired in a hurry. Your whole body is going to tense up. It's not going to as fun and your'e not going to be as fast. You're going to be a lot faster. If you have a lot better technique. Its going to be a lot easier on your for that last part of the race." --- Dan Crandall 

Training night
For the past month Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips was conducting  intensive kayak workouts for racers building up to last weekend's Eppie’s Great Race.  It's the final leg of Sacramento's annual 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  this weekend. Known as “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” the race is one of the largest paddling event in the United States.


River lines from Dan Crandall
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. The Current Adventures instructors helped those paddlers with fundamentals of paddling and river reading that will came  in handy on race day.

Running San Juan Rapids
Here is a look back of at some of the highlights of race day and those training sessions on the river.

 
Pre-Race Clinic




Race Day

Race Day

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 7, 2017

BORN TO PADDLE, KAYAKING WITH KIDS

    The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in
  pools and eddies to remind you who you are. --- Lynn Culbreath Noel


"Can I fall in?"
That question is usually unheard of in my adult classes. Just the thought of  rolling upside in their kayak would strike terror into them. But, this query came from smiling freckled-face ten-year-old girl with boundless energy and little fear.

"Sure if you want to." I replied.

The girl and kayak in one motion capsize with plop, gurgle and splash. An instant later, in text-book maneuver she lowers her head to the bow, pushes her legs and feet clear of the kayak and then drops them to the bottom and brings her still smiling face up alongside her kayak.

It's an annual rite of summer on Lake Natoma near Sacramento Ca., as nearly dozen kids were taking part in Current Adventures Kayaking School & Trips youth kayaking classes. There the students learned paddling skills and water safety while developing a deep appreciation nature.

"Kids love kayaking and most take to it almost instantly," said Current Adventures' Dan Crandall, "We get them smiling at the beginning of class and have them laughing by the end."

Anyone who works with kids regularly knows they come with have short attention spans and aren't to focused on learning the technical aspects of the forward, back or sweep strokes.The key for instructor John Weed, is to keeping paddling exercises fun, short and interesting. He used a game of keep-a-way to get the students to paddle and steer their boats. From the shore, it looked like a mayhem of bumper boats crashing about the lake, but before long the students are discovering how to propel and turn their boats while chasing a green ball.

Another game Weed put to used to help kids practice boat control all while having fun was called Sharks and Minnows. He is instructed one kid to be a shark while all the other kids were all minnows.

"I'm hungry!" called out the shark.

"And I'm a little minnow," cried the scattering minnows trying not to get tagged by the shark, because once tagged they become a shark.  It kept going until every paddler became a shark. By using these active games the young kayakers were soon making new friends and having fun all while building paddling skills that they can be used on the lake or river.

Next it was off to explore. Across the flat-water, the lake offers some special hideaways like “Swampland” and “Berry Pond". As the kids toured the hidden backwaters occupied by turtles,tadpoles, deer and other critters, the wonders of nature came alive to them. Quietly paddling along they became naturalists as they explored and made their own discoveries in the lush wetland.

On day three the Junior class ages 10-14, moved on to the easy moving waters of the Lower American River. On the river the young paddlers after two days of paddling lessons tested their new skills on moving water. While a little apprehension came over the group at the sound of rushing water, but it was all smiles on the other end after they punched through a series of fast water. Before the day was over the youths are immersed in river reading, river signals, and moving water paddling maneuvers.

"This class leaves them begging for more, said Crandall, "The kids always leave these classes super excited and many come back year after year."


Meanwhile back on the lake, I had pushed the kayak up on to shore and dump all the water out of it with help from the still smiling and dripping wet ten-year-old girl. I was going to get plenty of practice doing over next couple days when she asked, "Can I do that again?"


 If you want to go
Current Adventures Kayak School and 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