The Redwood Stumps are Coming and We Go for a Hike at Muskrat Nest Beach

Thursday December 4, 2014 Jenner CA.

It looked like another nice day as I approached Jenner this morning. It was raining a bit at home, but not in Jenner. I saw Ray in his boat up the river a ways and Steve was at the east end of Penny Island in his boat, so I put in the water and headed over to where Steve was.

It was high tide and the water was a little muddy from the recent rains. Things were mostly normal except for all the stuff coming down the river that people had neglected to take care of before the rains came. And another plus was there was almost no wind, just a little breeze. There would be more current, but it was high tide in the estuary right now.

I joined Steve and we headed up the river to try and catch up with Ray who was about a half mile ahead of us.

We saw something reddish up ahead which turned out to be someone’s dock that had gotten away and flouted down here. Everything up river comes down here eventually. It’s only a matter of time.

The upside down dock that got away from someone up the river.dock


Just past that, I saw something on a branch just above the surface of the water which turned out to be a little lizard that shouldn’t’ be out this time of year. I think it was on something that got swept down the river. It was on a branch that went to shore so I left it to it’s fate.legard


First of the big redwood stumps

Just a little ways above that, I saw this thing. Looking at it closer, it looks like one of the big redwood stumps they’d put in the river to float down and create fish habitat. This is the bottom of the big redwood stump, the sawed off tree part is at the bottom, so it’s upside down. The idea, as I understand it, is some of these stumps will get caught somewhere in the river. I think we are going to get some nice stumps in the Jenner area this year.stump1


Caught up with Ray

Ray seemed to be on a  mission and we couldn’t catch up with him until we got to Muskrat Nest Beach, where we saw his boat ashore. He popped out of the bushes as we approached.

See Ray behind the muskrat nest?muskratnest


Sure, I’m up for a hike

As it turned out, Ray wanted to hike up the muskrat nest trail to the ridge top, so I joined him. There is lots of poison oak up on this trail, so we left Steve, who catches it to kayak up to the Willow creek area and we took off up the hill once I found a place to put my boat ashore.

With the recent rains, the little creeks up there were flowing a bit through the big ferns. The trail goes right up here to the left, which we took.trail


Near the top

Near the top, I saw this nice mushroom of some kind and stopped to get a picture of it.mushroom


It’s about a half mile or so to the ridge top. I’m watching as Ray catches up, as he stops to check something out, maybe some scat, I’ve forgotten.ray


Ridge top

We saw these deer grazing the grasses on the ridge top, checking us out. The grasses have just turned green so they are happy critters.deer2


On the ridge top, we could see this old ranch barn down on the other side.barn


We were up on the hill for about two hours. Steve was waiting for us at the river when we returned to the river. We headed on down the south side of the river.

More big ol redwood stumps

Just  before we got to Eagle’s landing I spied another big redwood stump floating down the river. This one I recognized as it was sitting on the Sheridan beach the other day.stump2


And just past that we ran into some more of the stumps, with a dock floating in front of it.stump3


That dock I recognized as one just below the Villa Grande hole, just below Monte Rio. It will likely make it to the ocean unless someone grabs it before that. It’s too heavy for us to mess with with  the kayaks. And besides we aren’t down here to pick up after people.deck


Duck weed on the surface

You might have noticed a lot of green stuff on the waters surface. It’s duck weed which seems to grow along the river’s edge in the fall and is now headed to the ocean.

Here is Ray sitting in the green duck weed at eagle’s landing as we head down the river.duckweed


Ray went on home

As we passed the boat ramp at Jenner, Ray went on in for the day and Steve and I continued down to the west end of Penny island, where this kingfisher temped me to take it’s picture. They always take off just as you put the camera up, but I tracked it this time and got this photo of it.kingfisher


Fast flowing open river mouth

Up until now, the current in the water hadn’t been too bad, but now the ocean was going to low tide, so a lot more water was dumping out of the open river’s mouth.

We approached the mouth area cautiously, not knowing what the current would be. Just as we went past the restaurant near the end of the river, the current got a lot stronger and we were headed for the open mouth. faster then I like, so we pulled over to the north shore and turned around and started back up the river along it’s shoreline, where the current is less.

Once we reached a spot along the shoreline where there was less current, we stopped to take this picture of the open river’s mouth looking out into the Pacific ocean. That was close enough for me today. No way do I want to go out in that ocean.mouth


By now, it was approaching five PM, so we headed on back for the day along this route.jenner


Despite the rain this morning, the day turned out to be a real nice one.

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2 Responses to The Redwood Stumps are Coming and We Go for a Hike at Muskrat Nest Beach

  1. admin says:

    Hi Steve,
    I’m afraid I don’t know what part of history the stump replanting process is repeating? I’m sure in the olden days, the Russian River would have been full of big trees and stumps forming huge holes in the river. One with a boat would have to pack the boat around a lot of this stuff. Through the years most of this stuff has been removed for various reasons, both to use the materials and improve boating, and some for safety reasons. There is not way it will ever get back to that era, no matter what they do.
    I try to stay mostly neutral on this stuff, as my main purpose on the river is to enjoy it while I can. Man can do this and that to try and get the fish back, but in the end, it’s going to be up to Nature.

  2. Hi Bob,
    Regarding the stumps. History is the greatest teacher if you understand the need to know it and learn from it. They say the definition of insanity is to repeatedly do something in exactly the same manner and expect a different result.

    That said, this is insanely dumb.

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