Challenge Yourself While Chilling Out on the Russian River

Published in: Daily Photo


Do not be alarmed when the guy at Burke’s Canoe Trips on the Russian River in Forestville, California emphatically insists that people flip their canoes about half the time, then stresses the question, “Are you a REALLY good swimmer?”


Dude, I was freaked! — but it wasn’t that bad.

I expected raging rapids and Indiana Jones-style waterfalls when El Hub and I rented our canoe there last Saturday, but except for one or two dicey spots, and a near-capsizing we almost caused ourselves trying to avoid some obnoxious chillins’ who sprayed us with giant water guns, the river was steady and calm.



We canoed the river last year, too, but that was from Monte Rio Beach in the town of Guerneville. This time we started about 10 miles upriver, and I liked it better. The river was more wild and the shore was greener, and we saw a lot more birds, like an osprey, a blue heron and about 500 ducks — all of them female, which was a bit weird…

Anywho! This time was more exciting than last year because there was more to see and do. There weren’t really any rapids (thankfully, ’cause I got scurred!), but we did have to pay closer attention to the river because there were one or two tight turns.

But that kept things interesting.


We parked on the shore a couple of times to stretch (and because the metal seat hurt my booty; note: next time bring something to use as a small pillow) and look around. We also packed a backpack with some water and snacks (and sunscreen, of course) and stopped to have a picnic lunch.







The canoe rental was $65 for the day at Burke’s. You get into the water right there at the rental place in Forestville, and then they pick you up downriver at the end and bring you back to your car on a big bus.

Afterward we stopped in Guerneville for dinner at a friggin’ fantastic, fun, very casual place called Betty Spaghetti.

The food was unreal…



El Hub had their specialty, the spaghetti, and the sauce was BOMB. He said it was the best spaghetti he’d ever had (except for his mom’s).

I had a pesto pasta dish for my meal — also delish — and then for dessert, a cake in a jar. 🙂







El Hub had the chocolate ice cream, which was made with mana from heaven organic milk and duck eggs.


It was a fun time and highly, highly recommended if you’re ever visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. The river weaves through Sonoma County and Wine Country, so there’s a lot to see and do (and eat!) in the surrounding towns like Guerneville.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 11 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Lauren says:

    This is so gorgeous!! The nature of Cali is one of the reasons I’ve always wanted to move there…won’t happen w the hubs job. 🙁

    I hope you realize how stunning you are with little and/or no makeup I the patio pic. You seriously are a blessed, stunning, talented woman. I’m so happy you and El Hub had a great time!

  2. Canoeing down a river and food posts. Pretty much my two favorite things. I just love it when you share your travels with us. It’s my third favorite thing. I went kayaking today around a local lake today because someone has given Atlanta a (short lived) reprieve from humidity this week. Can’t get enough of the water and nature.
    Meg @ Pinch of Nutmeg recently posted … Fiesta in Your Mouth Mexican Rice

  3. Kirsten says:

    Wow, that looks like the best day ever.

  4. sarahc says:

    I used to go tubing down the Sacramento River when I was in school, and those were some good times! Someone always towed a cooler filled with brews hehe. This looks like fun for the whole family.

  5. Rachel says:

    I miss Cali so much! I lived right by the Russian River in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol and we would always go to the river after work on a hot day to cool off!

  6. Fieran says:

    Wow, those photos are amazing. Looks like it was a fun trip.

    Now I wish I could go to Cali again…

  7. Kwmechelle says:

    That sounds like an idealic day and a fun adventure. Of course, my fave part was the part about the food because, you know, priorities! And I’d like a side of the manna from heaven, please and thank you! 🙂

  8. Looks and sounds like you had a super fun day, Karen! 🙂 It’s been aaaages since I last went kayaking, but hopefully I’ll get to do it again soon. Also, your hubby’s dessert, zomg… /enterdroolmode
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | LIERAC Sunific Self-Tan Iridescent Tinted Cream Gel + Tinted Gel

  9. Ashleigh says:

    So much fun! Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 I need to go canoeing/kayaking before the summer is out!

  10. I can’t wait to go canoeing again, but until Little Bean learns to swim I will stay off the river for sure.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Beauty Influencers Sunday Column Vol.10 – Essential Makeup Brushes Everyone Should Own

  11. Kim says:

    Looks lovely and I’ll just come out and confess that I want to punch people with water guns. I always get it the worst and blame the Hubs. He is a total jack*ss with those things at theme parks and, unfortunately, the bad karma is coming back on ME. HAHA!

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