Monday, May 23, 2011

A Great Loss

Yesterday my family and I learned that we had lost one of our own. My nephew, who was only a few years younger than I and more like a brother to me, had taken his own life. Alone in a car in some back alleyway he had ended his own suffering of a pain that none of us will ever fully understand.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Canoeing Workshop

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in a workshop for Red Cross Canoeing instructors to refine our paddling skills and improve our teaching abilities. We were able to fly out Randy Carlson, an ACA certified instructor trainer, and his assistant Zak clear out from Minnesota. We did one day of tandem flatwater paddling, focusing on techniques for teaching the fundamentals of canoeing, then did two days on moving water (The Lower American River which was flowing at 8,000 CFS); one in tandem and one in solo boats. Thanks to a generous grant from the American River Parkway Foundation this amazing training workshop was available to all instructors in our program free of charge. I felt quite lucky to be involved!

For more information and instruction on canoeing in the Sacramento area go to

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lost Coast Gloom

I am really behind on my blogging here, as I took yet another trip to the Lost Coast two and a half weeks ago and have yet to share it. Turned out to be a wet and gloomy weekend on the coast, but I'm finding as I explore this area ever year that it has many faces and all of them are quite beautiful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lower Colorado River Canoe Trip GPS Data

OK, I finally got around to getting the GPS coordinates off the GPS and uploaded the data onto EveryTrail. The best way to view it is to click it to go to EveryTrail, click "view map fullscreen", pause the slideshow and close the image, then zoom in on the route clicking the red dots to view the photos at that location. You'll notice the first portion from Walter's Camp to just before Draper's Cabin is not very accurate. I had forgot to start the Waypoint Tracking on my GPS. From Draper's Cabin on it's very accurate!

You can download the gpx file of the trip on EveryTrail by clicking here:

Lower Colorado River Canoe Trip

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in California

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lower Colorado Canoe Trip Video

Put together a video of our trip to the Lower Colorado River. See the full trip report here:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Red Cross Canoeing

Aside from canoeing down the Lower Colorado river and picking up a new canoe, I've been spending a lot of time helping out to get ready for another season of teaching canoeing with the other volunteers in the Red Cross Canoeing committee. I've mentioned it a few times here, but it really is a great program of canoeing classes in Sacramento. The program has been around for over 35 years, and there are some seriously good paddlers teaching for it.

Anyways, one of the things I have been doing to help out in the program, and in promoting canoeing in the area in general, is to work on the Red Cross Canoeing website. In the past the canoeing classes were just mixed in with all the other American Red Cross courses. This year I have been working with the folks at the Capital Region Chapter to create a bit of an identity for the program. To start with we added a dedicated canoeing section for prospective students to check out. From there, a description of each class and a photo illustrating the class can be found. I'm also adding a photo gallery for pictures we have, and in the future hope to add photos submitted by students of the class and the canoeing they do after taking the class. It's coming together pretty good, and I'm hoping it will help to boost enrollment this year.

Check it out here:

Navarro Canoe

Jennifer and I have been keeping our eyes open on the local craigslist for a little bigger canoe (okay, maybe it was mainly me looking). We looked into an 18 foot Kevlar Wenonah Jensen, but I had too many questions about it that we passed on it. At the same time a friend of mine told me about a Navarro Canoe that might be coming available. I had seen a few here and there, and let me tell you they are some beautiful canoes. I started searching for more about them and found one listed, but it was in Ashland Oregon (some 4.5 hours away). Seemed too far to go, but I emailed the guy selling it anyhow to get more information about these boats that I was quickly becoming highly interested in. I exchanged a few emails with him, and long story short, he and his wife offered us a very good deal on not only a beautiful 17 foot boat, but some nice paddles, a canoe cart that's more heavy duty than my old one (see my Daddy daughter canoe trip report to see what happened to my last one), and a bunch of miscellaneous PFDs and flotation pads (we can always use extras for guests). They liked the idea of selling the canoe to us, as they too had a boy and girl and used to enjoy canoeing with them when they were younger. It was just too good of a deal to pass up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Seven Wonders

"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." -Walt Streightiff

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lower Colorado Canoe Trip

This will be my second season being involved with the Red Cross Canoeing Committee here in Sacramento, and this year some of the core members decided to organize a group paddling trip down 43 miles of the Lower Colorado River starting at Walter's Camp near Blythe and finishing at Squaw Lake.

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about paddling the Lower Colorado in Southern California. I grew up in Riverside, which is within a couple of hours of the area, and I made it a point to avoid such places as Blythe which is the nearest town to our put-in. On top of that, it's a pretty major commitment to dedicate a whole week to a trip, not just for me, but for my wife who would be home all alone with our two young kids (7 and 3 years old). Still, I have this unrelenting hunger for adventure, and this trip promised plenty of it, so knowing that I'd owe Jennifer big time (which I'm sure I'll be reminded of for quite some time) I hopped on-board for a journey that did not disappoint in the slightest.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


It was a beautiful weekend in Northern California, so the family and I headed up to our little secret spot for sledding. It's really just a pile of rocks in a campground, but it makes for some fun quick sled rides in all directions. I took my new GoPro Hero HD camera along to see if I can get any fun clips. I'm really impressed at the video coming out of such a small camera!

Here's a video of us sledding:

And here's us making a snowman with the camera set to snap a photo every two seconds. The memory card ran out just before we finished, which is why it jumps a bit at the end, but I have the remedy for that on the way in the form of a 16GB SD card. Definitely a fun little camera!