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Exploring The Russian River

Paddle to the mouth of the river, just past Jenner, and return. With the current and against the wind on the way, and against the current and with a stronger wind at our backs on the return.

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  • Stuart

    This looked like a fun trip, I'd be interested in doing it next time.

    July 3, 2014

  • JW

    Hi John, I just called Casini Campground and spoke with a very nice woman named Terry, She says that they are pretty close to 100% booked (only about 16 sites left). When they are completely booked, they tend to close the day use area/boat launch area. So if they did close the day use area next weekend (which she said could be very likely, only those renting sites could access the boat launch).

    Just thought you may want to know this is a possibility, she told me the next nearest launch site would be Monte Rio.

    I'm considering renting a campsite at Casini (there are about 10 spaces left in the F row at $55.50/night includes tax, there is a two night minimum, 2-3 tents can fit in each site, sites have picnic table and fire pit) and people are welcome to share my site, of course. Overflow parking is near the baseball field close to the F row.

    June 22, 2014

    • Keith

      Is anyone staying at Casini? I would like to share a site with more people to keep the cost down. I have a 21 foot (small) motorhome that I would be happy to share the kitchen facilities on-board with others. Also there is room for up to 2 others for sleeping. Please let me know if you are interested. I will be taking a trailer behind it that can carry another or 2 kayaks from the Pleasanton area on Saturday, if someone or 2 want to carpool.

      1 · June 27, 2014

    • JW

      Keith, if you ever want to share a site in the future, let me know.

      June 30, 2014

  • JW

    I'm glad people really liked this trip. The Russian river is one of my favorite places to explore/go. Doing a Jenner launch next time would be great!

    June 30, 2014

  • JW

    Great first time with the group! Bob, thanks for showing me a few good paddling tips, you're very fast out there in the water. John and Dana, thanks for hanging back with me and chatting while I strived to keep up with this particular group of more advanced paddlers. Keith and Alex, hope to see you two at another meet! Great first outing with the group, very nice and welcoming to the newbie/beginner. Looking forward to Elkhorn, and I got Elizabeth to join us! She'll be renting, so we will get there right at opening, 8:30am.

    1 · June 30, 2014

  • Bob M.

    Yesterday was a great paddle! The people, weather and conditions were perfect. I have been busy this year and it felt real good to paddle with the group once again. Look forward to the next one.

    1 · June 30, 2014

  • John M.

    Beautiful place. Shallow in a few places; had to walk our boats through a shallow gravelly area on the return. Still, a beautiful day with great partners in gorgeous surroundings. We didn't get to Jenner, and the river betw. there and the ocean is stunning, so perhaps we'll do something out of Jenner someday. Be sure to ask Joanne about her new kayak!

    1 · June 29, 2014

  • Dana A

    Good times!

    1 · June 29, 2014

  • Ute K.

    I was waiting to be accepted into the group and didn't get the notice till just this morning. Too late to get going now. I look forward to going next time.

    June 29, 2014

  • John M.

    Hi All, I spoke with Debbie at Casini before dinner (she's a/the boss), and she said that the constraint on parking is for Saturdays, not Sundays. We're good to go Sunday at 9:30. See you there.

    June 26, 2014

    • JW

      John, are we supposed to start paddling, in the water,ready to go in the river at 9:30am?

      June 28, 2014

  • Bob M.

    Thanks Larry, I will come prepared.

    June 28, 2014

  • Keith

    I have changed my plans and will be driving my car up on Sunday morning

    June 28, 2014

  • Bob M.

    My only concern is about an earlier comment stating that the water is shallow in some spots and our bottoms may scrape. I prefer to take the high road to avoid this as much as possible.

    1 · June 27, 2014

    • LARRY C.

      It's a pleasure making everybody's acquaintance this way! Bob, I've done this paddle before, from Cassini to Jenner, and there are some spots that do scrape. For about 2 small shallow sections, I either tugged/dragged my kayak or hoisted it on my shoulder briefly (inflatable)

      June 28, 2014

  • Robyn C.

    Sounds like this is going to be a great trip. So sad that I have to bow out. I hope you all have a wonderful time. Post some pics!

    June 27, 2014

    • Robyn C.

      I found it. I'm in DC that weekend :-(

      June 27, 2014

    • John M.

      :-( indeed. Well, there'll be other opportunities. We'll "keep a light on for you".

      June 28, 2014

  • Dana A

    John: Seems the sentiment is to launch from Casini and paddle to Jenner, especially since people are camping there. I don't want to hold up the group, so I'll take a rain check. Thanks for your research and effort. I'm a little more familiar with Russian River than I was anyway! :>) Have fun.

    June 27, 2014

    • Dana A

      I'll be at Casini afterall. Looks like a paddle to do. Conditions also look really good!

      June 27, 2014

    • John M.

      You go! See you then.

      June 27, 2014

  • Joanne

    Hi All. I'll be there. Maybe bringing a friend. Looking forward to it - I always paddle from Jenner upstream...
    Joanne

    June 27, 2014

  • John M.

    I like the idea of one group, given that we don't have a ton of people. I'm okay with Monte Rio to Duncans Mills. Getting up there is the chore, so I can drive the other and see what it's like while I'm there. I'm not familiar with any of the river, so someone needs to suggest a good parking/launching point in Monte Rio.

    June 27, 2014

    • John M.

      Other opinions?

      June 27, 2014

    • JW

      I would prefer to launch from Casini as originally planned, but I'll go where the group decides.

      June 27, 2014

  • Dana A

    I'm wondering if I should back out due to the distance of 12-14 miles total, especially if it's mostly guys doing this. Any paddlers interested in doing a second launch at Monte Rio and paddling to Duncans Mills for a distance of no more than 10 miles total?

    June 26, 2014

  • John M.

    Forecast: Patchy fog before 11, changing to clear and sunny. High of 68 at Jenner.

    June 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all, sorry for the late response, I haven't been able to check my email for the past week or so. I am sorry but I can't make this one although it does sound like a blast. Maybe next time!

    June 26, 2014

  • Liz

    Sorry to back out with only a week's notice, distance and timing are not working out for me. I do hope to try out my kayak in a river some day though!

    June 22, 2014

  • Dana A

    FYI, a campground map shows the boat launch near campsites 67-70. I'm guessing signs will also be posted, and parking first come, first serve. I'll try to contact them to find out if there's a limit on parking, unless someone else knows this info.

    May 18, 2014

    • Lori P.

      Dana, the boat ramp is closest to the day use parking. I have launched from there many times and have never had a problem with parking. There is a day use fee to launch at Cassini.

      May 18, 2014

    • JW

      FYI - day use fee is $5.00 on Sun from Casini (if day use is not closed due to Casini being too full)

      June 22, 2014

  • Lori P.

    Unfortunately can't do this weekend. Have fun!!

    June 15, 2014

  • JW

    Mag, thanks for your reply. You're right. After doing more research and to get a good yak, I had to be willing to spend more. I found a OK Prowler 15 on Craigslist for $500.00. I think this is a good deal and a good all around yak. I've used this same yak in Lake Tahoe and loved it. It was between Hobie Quest 13 and the longer Prowler 15. For the price and knowing I like the Prowler, I'm picking up the Prowler tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to taking it out for the first time on the Russian River trip!

    1 · June 15, 2014

    • MAG

      JW, Congratulations! That's a great price, and the fact that you have used and like the Prowler before makes it that much better. Look forward to meeting you at a paddle soon!

      June 15, 2014

    • John M.

      I'll add that a longer water line contributes to less effort to make the boat go (cross-sectional areas being equal).

      June 15, 2014

  • Ron

    Sorry guys/gals, I had to back out because I'll be headed north for my annual road trip early this year.

    June 14, 2014

  • MAG

    My parents are driving up from L.A. and I'll be spending time with them that day. Hope you all have a great time; I'll want to hear about the paddle!

    June 7, 2014

  • JW

    Hi everyone. I am considering buying a kayak, am a beginner, can only spend between the $200-$300 range (or less). Can a good kayak be purchased in this price range? If so, what are your recommendations? Looking for something that will do good for all the future trips (river, lake and bay). Thanks for your replies - looking forward to paddling and meeting people in the group!

    June 7, 2014

    • MAG

      Hi JW, I think one of your best bets would be looking at used (no, let's make that "pre-owned!") kayaks. Consider also the cost of a paddle, safety equipment, and a way to transport it(that can easily add $200 or more, although if you're confident in your engineering skills, you can building your own vehicle rack). No rack needed for an inflatable, but the total cost will still exceed $200-$300. I think the only way to meet your budget is with something used, and realizing that you'l be limited sites with little wind or water action. I'd wait and try to save up a little more if you can. Just my opinion, perhaps others can paint a more optimistic picture.

      June 7, 2014

  • Franca C.

    Hi John, I do not own a kayak. Is it possible to rent one nearby the launch?

    May 18, 2014

    • Lori P.

      Check with Kings in Guerneville or Water trek at Jenner. Both of those rent kayaks.

      May 18, 2014

    • Lori P.

      Also they may have a few rentals at Cassini.

      May 18, 2014

  • John M.

    We had a little feedback about Father's Day, so the date has been tentatively fixed at 7/29. No expected changes in date or general location now. We'll still have to identify the specific put-in (not related to Vladimir) spot.

    May 15, 2014

    • Robyn C.

      Awww...I'm so disappointed the Vlad won't be joining us.

      May 15, 2014

    • Dana A

      I can't believe it took me that long to get the joke! I thought Robyn liked Vlad's charming personality.

      May 15, 2014

  • John M.

    Initial thoughts: any wind generally is greater in the afternoon and is generally from the west. I'll put up a straw man (for us to beat on) of putting in somewhere upriver; paddling to the Pacific or Jenner (if the mouth is just about sanded in, we could paddle to the mouth and have lunch on the sand, à la Drake's Estero or Estero Americano), then paddle back. I don't have a clue about where to start. Duncan Mills might be a decent distance for a round trip. Also, start time can be adjusted. Thoughts?

    May 10, 2014

    • John M.

      I guess there's always the thought of doing something further up the river. Again, I'm the village idiot about that river. For that matter, perhaps that's for another time.

      May 10, 2014

    • Lori P.

      John, are you talking about June 15? The upper river below Healdsburg would be okay. Above Healdsburg there is not enough water. Several good areas as long as you have a plastic kayak ( there is bottom scraping above Cassini and depending if the mouth is closed at Cassini) are Healdsburg to Steelhead beach, steelhead beach to Guerneville. Guerneville to Monte Rio is good but only around 5 miles.

      May 10, 2014

  • Roberto

    I am flying into Bay Area in early June and staying in Berkeley. Would be interested in going if there are people willing to share the ride there and back. Have a 1/2 person convertible folder that I would prefer to carry assembled..

    May 10, 2014

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