Kayaking Monte Rio to the Golf Course and Back

Sunday April 6, 2014 Monte Rio, CA.

An upstream paddle

I’m thinking this morning that it would be a good day to kayak Monte Rio. I thought I’d go up river as with the river up a bit, it’s easier to paddle up the fast water just below the Monte Rio bridge. Usually, the water is too shallow and swift to do it easily. And because of this, I usually get out and walk it up the gravel shore line.

When I arrived at the boat ramp, it was a little on the muddy side.ramp


Some shovel work

I carry a flat shovel in my car in the winter time, just for this purpose. I shoveled off enough of the mud to put my boat in the water. I’d shovel off more mud, but the river will soon drop below this level and more mud will have to be shoveled off. So, if I wait, the local fire department may take care of it for me, as sometimes they do. ramp2


The river is flowing fairly fast

The river is still up a few feet from the recent rains and muddy too.

Just below the bridge, the water runs fast and it’s sometimes a challenge to paddle up through it. I started on the right side, but at the top, just below the bridge I tried to break out and my boat started to go back down the river. I could of paddled like hell and tried to get under the bridge, but that’s just too much work and may not work anyway.

The trick

The trick is to go all the way over to the left side and paddle up the side, with ones paddle sometimes pushing off the gravel on the shore, working your way to the top. At the top, the water is the swiftest and one must go for it, keeping to the left shoreline to stay in slower moving water. If you do it right, it’s not that hard, but if you do it wrong, it’s real hard and you likely won’t make it through this area without getting out and walking it. The water flows fastest in the middle of the river, which is too fast for a kayak to move up the stream. That’s the secret of paddling up the river, on the edges, not the middle.bridge


After making it to the bridge, I worked my way up the river in and out of the trees on the side. Once I got a ways above the bridge it got a bit easier paddling.

This is my view as I headed up the river at the first turn above the bridge.upriver


It’s been quite awhile since I paddled up river in the winter against the current. I had to work a bit harder than I remembered.

I thought about turning back a few times, but I really wanted to get up to the big hole on the turn of the Northwood Golf Course. I stopped a few times to take a break and finally made it up there

I surprised this pair of wood ducks as I rounded a turn. I was surprised they didn’t fly off as I was fairly close to them.woodducks2


I paddled up to the top of the turn in the river and hung out for awhile before starting back down the river.

This is my view as I started back down the river.boho


I went by the wood ducks again and this time they were in the water and headed for the bushes as I approached them.woodduck


One nice thing about going down the river after paddling up it, is the fact that you can just drift down it now, without paddling. It’s well earned.

I drifted slowly back down the river.

This is the view just above Monte Rio.river


I passed under the Monte Rio bridge. The boat ramp is just past the bridge where I took my boat out for the day.bridge2


I took this picture of the mallard ducks and and mud hens resting near the boat ramp.ducks


Here is a nice close up of a male mallard duck.duckhead


I went on home and was planning to do some yard work, but just couldn’t get it going. I napped for a couple of hours, then went out and enjoyed the evening in the yard, not doing any work, but just thinking about what needs to be done.

That’s my day.

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