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,