Monday April 20, 2015 Albion CA. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday April 21, 22, 23, 2015 Boonville CA.
Albion River Resort
I had to get it going a bit earlier this morning as the plan was to be at the Albion River a few hours before high tide. High tide was at 1:45PM and I had a little over an hour drive to the coast where the Albion River meets the ocean.
I was on the road just after 9 and arrived at the Albion River Resort Café and Office about 10:30. I paid my five dollar launch fee and asked about Wi-Fi? They gave me the password so I could post yesterday’s blog when I returned from my paddle, which I did.
Ride the tidal current up the river
The plan was to put in and ride the high tide going up the river. I wasn’t sure when the best current would be so I wanted to put in about three hours before high tide which I did. I had my boat in the water about 11AM.
I put in at the ramp which is almost under the highway 1 bridge and paddled up the river, really mostly drifting up stream with the incoming current. There is another boat launch ramp up that the resort owns just up the river a bit which has a channel leading to the river where there isn’t much current, but I wasn’t sure there was enough water in it to get out onto the river, so I didn’t use that ramp.
Here’s the boat launch ramp I used,looking down the river towards the ocean which is just on the other side of the bridge.
The incoming current was fairly strong here which was ok as I was riding it up. I passed by this harbor seal, which didn’t seem to mind my presence.
I was paddling along here and was going around the stumps on the right.
When I realized the stumps were harbor seals, looking very content. They didn’t budge as I passed.
I drifted on up the river on the incoming tide and didn’t paddle much. The river is rather scenic.
A floating house
I rounded a turn and this was my view. A two story floating house. There was some smoke coming out of the chimney and I saw a person there through a window.
Not far up the river from the house, I ran into these two little cabins which were also floating with no one around.
I drifted on past the cabins and on up the river. I ran into a number of cormorants resting up in the high trees along the river bank. In some of the places the cormorants where making a lot of cormorant type noises. Grunts, clucks and other croaking noises. Quite impressive.
The river narrowed a bit as I continued on up looking like this. There were a lot of high banks on the side of the river on the way up, but the water was up to the green grasses once the high tide was in.
As far as I could go
After about two hours drifting up stream, around 1PM I was getting near the end of how far I could go up the river, somewhere just over four miles with this 4.1 foot high tide. I think you could get up the river a bit further on a 6 foot high tide. The river started to narrow down and a lot more logs started showing up in the water as the river narrowed down.
Not many places to get out of the boat
I finally got to the end, as far as I could go. There weren’t many places to pull in and get out of my boat as most of the sides of the river where steep banked, until the high tide was all the way in and maybe I could get out in some grasses, but it wasn’t quite high enough yet.
I found this little gravel spot near the place I turned around and pulled onto it and got out of my boat for ten minutes checking out an old road that went by the shore.
I knew the water level was still rising, so didn’t plan to stay long.
When I looked back at my boat after a short time, I could see I better hurry up and get back in it if I didn’t want to get wet. Just in time.
I’d turned back down the river shortly before high tide. The current wasn’t very strong as I started back down the river and it wasn’t long before it was high tide and the current slacked and I was paddling on a flat lake after that.
Lots of character
As I went back by one of the little floating cabins I noticed this one had a lot of character, the door, the bench and the building.
This kingfisher was staying just ahead of me and mostly out of camera range, but it finally sat still long enough for a picture.
As I approached the place where most of the boats where tied up, the tide was going out so I was riding the current again. This was my view as I went down the channel past the boats. On the hill in the background are some of the houses of Albion.
Back at the boat launch ramp
It was almost 5PM as I approached the highway 1 bridge and pulled into the boat ramp just to the right of it. It looks more like a train bridge.
I took my boat out of the water and posted yesterdays blog and had some things to eat before heading on back to the cabin near Boonville.
Wrapping up, I could have rode the tide at two or maybe one hour before high tide and done alright. Or even just started up the river during high tide and rode the low tide back down.
The tidal current wasn’t too strong once I cleared the lower channel where the boats were and I think I could paddle against it along the edges, but riding the tidal currents is sure easier.
I enjoyed paddling this river and will do it again.
Tuesday April 21, 2015 at the Boonville cabin
Marty has been saying we need to get some trees cut down so they’d start drying out for next years firewood so that was our main project for the day once we got it going this morning which was more like noon.
We knew we’d only have enough energy to fall the trees and that was about it, so we had to make sure we didn’t block any of the main roads.
I successfully cut three trees down with no problem, but the fourth tree got hung up on another big tree so we had to work a a bit to get that last one down on the ground. Of course, the chain saw started acting up about then, but we took a break and got it fixed.
This last tan oak tree is hung up on another tree and didn’t want to come down until I carefully cut more of it up until it fell down.
We finally got all the trees on the ground and it was time for anther break. Here’s Marty, my supervisor taking a break.
I saw this little crawley thing moving in the forest litter so I checked it out. Some kind of centipede? I don’t think it cared for all the noise the chain saw was making and was vacating the area.
We had some more work planned, but we never got to it and that was it for another day.
Wednesday April 22, 2015 Boonville Cabin
Today the plan was to remove an old dead redwood log out of the road that tended to throw cars off the road. We started the job a couple days ago, but didn’t have the time or the energy to finish it, so today was the day.
We get up slow and get a late start on things around here, so I think we were on the job just before noon, befitting a couple older retirees.
We had to dig out around the log which was just over a foot in diameter. Once we got the dirt out around the log, we’d cut it with the chain saw. We did that, but the log wouldn’t come out until we found a couple side parts that needed to be cut off first.
Here’s Marty playing goffer making sure the dirt is off around the log. We used the bench a lot during this operation.
We worked on the log until two then went down to the cabin for lunch and a rest and came back around four to finish the job. That job came out good, but really tired us out.
Here’s what the cabin looked like just after we returned for the day.
Another nice day in the redwood forests of Boonville.
Thursday April 23 Boonville cabin
I was going to head on home today, so when we got it going this morning, we just sat around in the cabin and then went outside to sit around enjoying the day after all our hard work the days before.
Eventually, we ended up on the bench up on the hill by a little water fall. The bench needed moving a few feet and reset on the ground, so I got the digging tool and we moved it just a bit so we could walk by it easier and continue up the hill on the trail.
Once that was done we tested out the bench some more and then worked on widening the trail up to the bench so an older geezer could walk up it as he ages.
Here is the bench and the widened trail up to it. There’s a little water fall just below the old redwood stump which makes a nice little trickling sound.
When I looked at my watch it was already two PM, so I headed out towards home and Marty followed in his jeep as he had to go to Boonville to get some more gas for his generator that he uses to charge the batteries that control his propane refrigerator.
I stopped at the main gate to let him go by me as he drives the jeep a lot faster than I drive my van.
A couple hours driving and I was home putting a few things away from the van and that was my day.
Good trip and now back to kayaking the local river.
Planning to do the same next week