Kayaking at Monte Rio, CA.

Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, Monte Rio, CA.

Headed down stream from Monte Rio today.

I got up today, with no intentions of doing anything, but play. It was cool out, but the sun was up and it was warming. Decided this would be a good day to go to Monte Rio and go down the river a ways and paddle back up to Monte Rio. I hadn’t paddled in that area for over a week. The river was still a bit muddy, but clearing and it was up five or six feet too, which was just fine with me. It was flowing fairly good, but not too much that I couldn’t’ paddle back up the river on the return trip.

Now, Monte Rio has a little problem with their boat launch, which is, it’s gets real muddy from the chocolate water when it comes up and getting ones boat to the water can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. The Monte Rio guys do clean it off, once it goes down enough, but I can’t let a little thing like mud stop me.

I arrived in Monte Rio around eleven in the morning and yes, the boat launch was a bit on the muddy side, but some water runoff had at least cleaned off one side mostly. Although, the last guy to use it to pull his boat out really messed it up a bit. It only took a little time on the shovel to get a path down to the water and I put the boat in and headed down the river.

There were some Mud hens on the boat ramp when I left this morning. You can see the sorta trail I made on the left side of the ramp. Below, you can see all that, mud too.

boatramp

 

As I headed down the river, there is a spot, called the Slot, where a great blue heron has always been and he was there sunning himself. I’m not sure if it is the same one, but there has been one there for the last ten years, I’ve been kayaking down there.

greatblueheron

 

I continued down the river toward the Villa Grande Hole, which was only about a mile down the river from where I started. Below, you can see there is no wind and the water was like a mirror.

downriverview

 

My goal was an easy one today, just make it down to the Villa Grande Hole and take it easy enjoying the river. Just after I got down there, Andrew, a guy who fishes down there, almost daily, was walking his dog on the beach. Naturally, we shot the bull for awhile. Below, you can see it’s a good place to hang out for awhile.

villagrandeview

 

I only stayed down there about an hour, then started working my way back up the river.

While I was stopped, taking a break on the edge, I heard a bird noise I’ve heard before, but it’s not a bird, it’s Pacific Pine squirrels. They make a lot of bird like noises and are very active little critters. There were several of them, chasing one another around in circles, faster than I could take a picture.

They finally stopped and one sat on a branch eating something, so I was able to get the photo below.

redsquarrel

 

I continued up the river to the Monte Rio bridge, where I again sat and spent a little time taking it easy, watching the bird life. Below, you can see a green heron that was sitting nearby.

greenheron3

 

There were some mallard ducks sleeping on the shore about six feet from me, so I took this photo of a male, as you can see below.

mallardduck

 

I headed back to the boat ramp around one pm, which is early in for me. At the boat ramp, there was this male merganser, which was hanging out for a handout, as some of the locals feed the ducks down here, so they are fairly use to people. Usually, the males do not hang out with the female mergansers for most of the year, but join them for the spring mating season for a month or two.

malemerganser

 

I was off the water just after one pm today. I went home to a nice sunny day and did some work on my van. I made a hose for the gas line to hook up my Wave3 propane heater. Then I moved some stuff around to get ready for the fuel oil guy to come by tomorrow morning and fill my fuel oil tank for the first time. I installed a fuel oil stove last summer and will be switching over to that, as my wood supply is almost gone for the winter. I had planned to run out of wood on purpose, so I can see how this new stove was going to work out. Likely something I’ll have to get used to, after burning fire wood most of my life.

Another great day.

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