Monday, September 11, 2017

Lake Natoma - Flatwater Fun Near Rancho Cordova

For our 2nd trip with our new kayaks we decided to paddle Lake Natoma. Lake Natoma is on the American River, located between Folsom Dam and Nimbus Dam in Sacramento County. The lake is located within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

Lake Natoma Kayaking
We launched from the Negro Bar area, which was the site of a gold rush era camp for black miners. Now the area hosts many rowing championships and even includes a kayak rental operation. Lake Natoma is 15 miles northeast of Sacramento on highway US 50, so it is very close to home for us. It is a pleasant place to paddle, as long as you don't mind paying. Fees are required for both parking and for each boat you launch.

It is a short paddle from the boat ramp at Negro Bar to the Rainbow Bridge and then until you can see Folsom Prison. It is prudent to then turn your kayaks around and head back once you see the prison, which is what we did. This part of California is the super-scenic but, as with any body of water, it can breathtaking in the right light/weather conditions. I find photo-paddling a bit disappointing around here due to the lack of clouds on most days but there are birds to watch and some lovely rock formations.

What it lacks in scenery it makes up for in lunch options after paddling. We opted for a visit to Famous Burger and I recommend it highly. The burgers are excellent, affordable and they have about a dozen craft beers on tap. Expect a happy landing if you stop by Famous Burgers in Rancho Cordova after your trip!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Win Kayaks at Scenic Rivers Fall Fest 2017

A Wacky Boat Race is a new, fun way to participate in the Grand River Dam Authority Scenic Rivers Fall Fest 2017 on Saturday.

The Kiwanis Club, with its annual Race for the Kids, is partnering with GRDA to create a festival atmosphere from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Diamondhead Resort, 12081 Oklahoma 10.

Registration for the canoe and kayak races is at 9 a.m. and the race begins shortly afterward.

For the Wacky Boat Race, participants can decorate a vessel or make a floating raft.

Four kayaks will be prizes for competitions – two for the canoe race, one for the kayak race and one for the Rubber Ducky Race.

For entries into the afternoon Rubber Ducky Race, participants can purchase one ticket for $5 or five for $20, with prizes for winners.

Proceeds of the Kiwanis' activities all go to support kids programs.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Labor Day is for Paddling

Sure it is hot, but you just have to leave early, right? That is when you can catch the most fish and the best light anyway! Dianne and I hit the American River again this year. This section of the river is not real scenic, but it is fast clear water and it is walking distance away. We car-topped our two kayaks on foam blocks and and used one of our bikes and a short Uber ride to self shuttle.
We got a bargain on both boats. Both were on sale for the holiday and came in well below $300 hundred each. Here in California we are not required to tag them but there are darn few put-in that won't make you pay for both parking and boat launching.
As they say: "It's the land of milk and honey, but you better have good money."

I had been putting off replacing our boats, but all that flooding in TX and Louisiana got me nervous. The lime green boat is a Revel 10 kayak made by Emotion Kayaks and Dianne picked a Pelican Tracker Angler kayak. Both boats performed well on the short trip from Sunrise Recreation Area down to the take-out at Rossmore Bar. Got a plan a longer trip next time though. This one only took about an hour. We spent more time setting the shuttle up than paddling the river today!