We Kayaked the Creek!

July 2, 2016

Heh. Guess what we did today…

kayak wake


Went a-rowin’ down the mighty Putah.

This is that nearly two-mile stretch from the Whole Foods parking lot at the east end, to the riding ring and Oak Grove at the west end, through the UCD Arboretum. That part of Putah Creek.

We couldn’t find anything in the literature that says you can’t do it, so we did it.  Jim’s been working with the University to measure and map the depth of Putah Creek. He’d purchased an inflatable kayak for the purpose and, last winter, had floated up and down the creek performing his official, professional duties. In the meantime, he reported to me (and others) that it was a pretty cool experience. He’d suggested that when the weather warmed up, I (and others) might enjoy a paddle trip. If unofficial.

So, Vicki Smith and I decided to take him up on the suggestion.

This summer, the University is planning to drain a portion of the creek in preparation for much needed renovation, so now seemed a good time to take advantage…

As everyone knows, the creek’s got a duckweed and algae issue:


It looks a fright:


This is a shot toward the west end. This is duckweed growing on the surface of the water. Bit of a problem, yes.

And it takes a bit more effort to paddle through it:


It’s not slimy, but it can be thick. It’s sort of like a billion lentils.

Anyway, back at the east end…

Jim facilitated boat prep and launch…


Steve’s shot of me, Vicki, and Jim.. who appears to be doing all the work:

kayakprep (1)

Steve helped with the put in:


And we’re off!

kayak whap (1)

(Getting used to the paddle; I’m not whacking Vicki in the head.)

Steve positioned himself on the next bridge down and got this great shot:

drone shot

(Note who’s now got control of the paddle!)

And away we go for a three-hour-tour, a three-hour-tour. 


(It was actually only a 1 1/2 hour tour.)

There were numerous bridge undercrossings:



Some of which included heavy vine growth that we had to negotiate…


The water cleared in some spots and looked like the Putah Creek we all used to know and love:


But mostly it was like this, and pretty tough to get through:


Still, we were happy and had a GREAT time!!  We saw a few people we knew and were the subjects of lots of pointing, laughing and photos!

Here, I’m my own subject…


It took one and a half hours, but we made it (not without a little tiny bit of sea sickness, believe it or not… a function, maybe, of the smell, and slight rocking of the boat).

Here is the take out, which was a lot easier than we anticipated:


We had visions and near expectations of ending up in that water, but nope. It was an easy out. The boat was light and easy to haul out, as well, and we carried it over to the road near the gazebo where Jim met us and took over deflating and packing tasks.

So fun!!

I highly recommend it, not for the thrills, but for the ability to say, “Heh. We kayaked the creek.”










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: