Monday, November 26, 2012

November Notions 2012

Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, fall was one of my favorite seasons.  I loved the cool crisp mornings with warm Indian Summer days.  Central PA is typically very green in the summer but explodes with color in the fall.  The vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of the deciduous trees of course set things off, but there are other subtle changes in the landscape that distinguish fall from the other seasons.  I particularly enjoyed the contrast of green pastures and cornfields as they highlight the contours of the farms rolling hills.

We get similar weather in Northern California but without the spectacular colors of the fall leaves in PA.  Northern California gets some gorgeous fall colors but they are quite different from the East Coast.  Of course on the Mendocino Coast, it is tough to rival the dramatic colors and action of the Pacific Ocean.

California tends to get greener in the fall as it begins to rain.  Our redwood forest gets more colorful with the explosion of wild mushrooms that awe us in variety of their shapes and colors.

With the rain, our rivers will turn from shades of emerald and deep forest green to silty brown during and after rain.  And with the rains comes whitewater on our coastal runs.

Last week, it was a special treat to get a Pre-Thanksgiving run in on the Eel River.  The colors were spectacular and what has inspired my blogging thoughts on fall.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Coaches at Play

All work and no play is no good - even when you are a kayak coach and a lot of your work is play.

Like our students, kayak coaches look forward to symposiums because they are gatherings of like-minded folks.  We enjoy getting to meet other paddlers, sharing our learning tricks and tips with new students, learning new teaching skills, and the camaraderie of working with other coaches.

Part of that camaraderie is getting to play with the other coaches.  It is nice to have an early morning surf session before the day begins or even better yet a coaches paddle the day after the event.  A Coaches Paddle the day after Lumpy Waters has become a tradition that many of us look forward to.  This year the conditions were stormy as we prepared to launch from the beach in Oceanside, Oregon and paddle out to Three Arch Rocks.

We paddled through the 3 Arches.  They were like wind tunnels and quite fun when the wind was at your back but quite challenging when the wind was in your face.

Of course we looked for some rock garden play.

The conditions made it challenging but some good rides were found.

And a great time was had by all.