Night Paddle With John To the Monte Rio Fireworks

Monday July 4, 2016 Monte Rio CA.

John wants to kayak at night

I mentioned to John that the best way to experience the fireworks on the river was to be on the water. So he had the idea to paddle down river to Monte Rio and return in the dark so I decided to join him. He came by my house at six PM to pick me up and we drove down to a friends house along the river at the Northwood golf course which is just a couple miles above Monte Rio.

Headed down the river

We put our boats in the water and started a leisurely paddle down towards Monte Rio as we didn’t need to be at Monte Rio until just about dark for the fireworks to start.

This is what the Russian River looked like just after we put our boats in the water just above the golf course turn.russianriver

 

John was surprised this green night heron let  me get so close without flying off.heron

 

Here we are just coming into the Bohemian hole. There used to be a big wooden train trestle crossing the river on the right side of the picture, before my time.

boho

 

We know there’s lots of people down there

We’ve just rounded a turn in the river and the Monte Rio area just came into view down the river as far as we can see. Not much going on here, but just down there, there’s thousands of people on the beaches.monterio

 

Getting a bit closer to Monte Rio, we start to see the people by the Monte Rio bridge.rio

 

float staging area

We went by the water parade staging area where there were some floats getting ready to go.floats

 

We parade by the crowd

John’s pretty kicked back in his boat as we parade by. We are mostly the only boats in the water, so we are a bit of a parade as we make our way down past the bridge where we want to be for the fireworks display.johnboat

 

As I went under the bridge, I turned back to take this photo of the flag. There will be a big waterfall off the bridge with colored lights just after dark and before the fireworks.flag

 

Down by the fireworks I turn back to get this overall view with the fireworks launch area on the left and most of the spectators on the other side of the bridge, up river.bridge

 

No mortar tubes, but boxes instead

I expected to see mortar tubes as I’ve seen in the past, but this year there are a bunch of boxes instead.fireworks

 

While we are checking out these boxes of fireworks a security lady came up and let us know that they won’t shot off the fireworks with us that close and we need to get back. I ask her how far back and she says to the boat ramp distance, so we retreat just a tiny bit and wait for it to get dark.firebox

 

We’re in the best spot

This is where we watched them launch the fireworks from and we drifted a bit closer than the security guard advised, but it was dark so they couldn’t see us too good most of the time.watchspot

 

A few boats moved in around us as it got dark, but not many really. Most of them went up under the bridge, but we were in the best spot which I knew from experience.

They lit the first box off around nine thirty.works

 

Things went pretty fast as once they lite a box off it just kept shooting fireworks in the air rapidly.redfire

 

So now I knew why they used the boxes instead of he mortar tubes. I’ve seen littler home type boxes that do this, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in the big boys stuff. I can see this is safer than the mortar tubes as there are no mortar tubes that might fall over and fire at the crowds. The big boxes sit on the ground solidly so they make a good launching platform.

Since things came out of the boxes fairly fast, it didn’t last long, but all the fast action was pretty impressive.firestars

 

We head back up the river in the dark

Once the fireworks are done, the people start to head out and we started heading back up the river in the dark. We could see just enough to get up the river without a light as long as we didn’t go too fast.

We had a nice leisurely paddle up the river as the wind had died down and the water was flat and it wasn’t too cold out.

We thought we’d have to get out of our boats just below the house we were headed too and get our feet wet, but I think the river’s mouth must be closed down at Jenner and the water was high enough we were able to paddle through and not get wet.

That was our night out watching the fireworks.

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