Elkhorn Slough, January 18-19, 2013
So last weekend I got up at 3 am and drove our happy little 1986 4-cylinder Toyota motorhome to Monterey Bay. There at Kirby Park on Elkhorn Slough I found about fourteen folks unloading bright-colored kayaks and organizing dry bags, binoculars, lunches, and figuring out what clothes to wear. It turned out that t-shirts and shorts were perfect for the warm, clear day.
|Elkhorn Slough on Monterey Bay, Northern California|
|Loading up at Kirby Park|
And the shotgun blasts certainly did not discourage the sea otters, who were everywhere, happily engaging in sea otter nooky. Seals (or sea lions) also happily lazed in the sun or followed us around in the water, oblivious to the hunters.
|Paddling the upper Arm of Elkhorn Slough|
|Upper Arm, Elkhorn Slough|
|Sanderlings in evening light, Moss Landing|
|Harbor seals begging|
|Killdeer on the Lower Arm, Elkhorn Slough|
|Dairy barn and paddlers on Elkhorn Slough|
Lake Clementine is a reservoir on the North Fork of the American River near Auburn, California. It was built in 1939 to contain debris released by hydraulic gold mining. "Hydraulicking" as the mining technique was known, made use of water canons to release small amounts of gold from large amounts of ancient river sediments. The huge amounts of debris generated made its way down the rivers to clog irrigation canals and cause river flooding in California's Central Valley, which has been a major agricultural resource since the 1800's. With debris containment its only purpose, Lake Clementine maintains a constant water level, popular with skiers and wake-boarders in the summer, but generally calm and quiet for paddling in the winter.
|Lake Clementine on the North Fork of the American River|
|Pre-launch prep near the dam on Lake Clementine|
|Tony is happiest when afloat - photo by Jim Snyder|
|The gentle pace of the paddle, a Meetup led by Sven, allows time for exploration of side channels. Photo by Jim Snyder.|
|Heading up Lake Clementine - about an 8.5 mile round trip paddle|
|Debbie exploring a secret landing - photo by Jim Snyder|