When I was planning our weekend in Guerneville I wanted to embrace everything the region had to offer. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle two days of wine-tasting on the trot,so looked for something more active we could do on the Sunday. Given Guerneville sits right on the Russian River, spending the day on the water seemed the obvious solution! After doing some research I booked a full day kayaking trip through Russian River Adventures. Their promise of comfortable kayaks and picnic lunches lured me in and on Sunday morning, still nursing our hangovers, we headed to their base in nearby Healdsburg.
The trip started at Memorial Beach where we had a detailed briefing before heading off. We were told the basics of how to kayak, as well as some important tips to avoid capsizing. We were reminded that the only fight we should be having was a water fight which made me laugh as I could already anticipate me getting irritable if we couldn’t control the kayak properly. Fortunately, Cristiano and I have both kayaked before and made a pretty good team. He took the rear position in the kayak, responsible for steering us in the right direction, whereas I was at the front, providing the “engine.”
We had signed up to the full- day session, which covers a 9 mile stretch of river up to Wohler Bridge. Although there were quite a few others setting off at the same time, we all spread out quite quickly so it didn’t feel too congested.
I’d pre-ordered a picnic lunch from them which they supplied in a cooler. It was much easier to buy our lunch through them than bring it ourselves as we weren’t able to prepare anything at our hotel. I had planned to take wine and beer along for the ride, but after drinking a little too much the day before, I couldn’t face it and stuck to water instead 🙂
The Russian River is a gentle flowing river, with only a few areas of stronger current to navigate. There were plenty of families out kayaking, some even with tiny babies and dogs so it’s an activity that suitable for most people.
We took about 5 hours to cover the whole distance. The scenery was beautiful and there were lots of pebbled beaches where you could pull up your kayak and stop for a picnic or swim. The water was colder than I’d imagined but very refreshing given how hot it was.
By the end of the day we were actually quite tired. In the last 3 miles there isn’t much of a current so the paddling became quite strenuous and gave our upper bodies a good workout. We really enjoyed the trip but were quite happy to reach the end!
If you’re in the area I’d definitely recommend the excursion. If we go back to the area we want to try SUPing on the river, so I’ll let you know how we get on if we do.
Have you been to the Russian River? Would would you recommend doing?