July 21, 2014

A Man-Made Beach {Outdoor Adventures}

If you remember my last post, you will know I am MISSING the water. Especially the beach. Growing up about 5 minutes away from the beach I definitely took that for granted.

We happened to find a man made beach out in the middle of nowhere in Roseville, CA.

Wake Island is a wake boarding park, but you can sit on the sand for free.

 I wouldn't exactly call it "swimming" water. As it kinda creeps me out.

It's this weird blue color and just full of catfish!

But for a free place to plop down on the sand- it's heaven for this east coast girl.

July 17, 2014

In Northern California- It's a River Life {Outdoor Adventures}

This east coast girl has been missing some WATER lately. Seriously, how is it that we get stationed in the middle of BFE and are not near the beautiful West Coast. Some days I love it here, while other days I just want to put my toes in the sand with a drink in my hand.

We're coming to learn it's very much a river life here in Northern California. Everyone heads to the rivers to get some sun and relaxation. While sand is generally lacking, the river promises a cool refreshment as it's usually from the mountain run off. We live about 30-hour from some rivers, so not horrible, and definitely better than the 3 hour drive to the coast.

The confluence in Auburn is the closest to us. There isn't much of an "Address" you just kinda drive until you see a ton of cars parked and you find a spot- pay the parking fee for it being inside a state park, and grab your gear and hike down. There are a ton of trails all over the river, and I'm sure a park ranger could give you an idea of some, but it's pretty much roughing it here in Northern California. places are not marked and you just kinda pick and choose where you want to go.

I wouldn't recommend any of this for small children- as the water is moving, and generally the hikes are not a leisurely walk down to the river bank. Also- stay on the trail. Rattlesnakes are rapid where we live and the last thing anyone wants is getting bit where there isn't any cell phone reception.

If you don't want a crowd, get there early OR hike back away from the easily accessible river fronts.

Also be aware- they do release the dam a couple of times a year, so make sure if the water level is rising rapidly that you GET OUT, the current is strong enough to sweep you away, and there are tons of rapids further down river. People do die here every year, so it's important to be smart as well as safe.


July 13, 2014

Kayaking 101- {Outdoor Adventures in California}

There's been a lot happening in my little world in Northern California. We have been crazy busy- in a good way. We've made it our personal mission to get out and DO stuff this summer. We've also been wanting to do more with the pups- since they need the adventure as well.

We decided to do an impromptu kayaking trip and to take the dogs with. We looked up some kayaking rental places that didn't list "no dogs" on their website- and that wasn't breaking the bank. We decided on California Canoe & Kayak at their Willow Creek Location. It wasn't a terrible drive, and the company had pretty decent prices. it's all first come first serve so it's a risk, but worst case we would just hang out at the lake for a bit.

The thing we have learned since moving to California, is that at any park, or highway close to a park- you have to pay $10 a day to park your car, plus whatever fees you incrue doing an activity. Always bring cash and fill out the envelopes. The park rangers do drive around and check for the tag in your car window- so don't think you are slick and can get away with not paying. They will ticket you otherwise.

It was our dogs first time in any body of water other than a bath. We knew we just needed them to get in and get over the shock so we took some time and walked into the lake a bit and just dropped them right in. They freaked out as expected, but we also learned they swim incredibly well. So no worries about them drowning.

We set up shop in a tandem kayak and hit the lake with the dogs. The dogs were a bit rocky with their sea legs at first and already starting to shun us after we dumped them in the water. They quickly forgot about our horrible behavior and slipped off the kayak several times into the water trying to chase birds.

We stayed out for about 40 minutes and then the dogs let us know they were just done with this adventure.

In forethought- I didn't even consider life vests for them. We just tied their leashes to the boat so when they went over we could grab them. They already wear harnesses not collars so it was easy to hoist them back on board.

After having a horrible dream about them drowning in the lake, I then ordered life vests for them both. Bad puppy moment for not thinking about these. Don't do that with your fur-babies- or real babies for that matter. Make sure they are safe.