Thursday, November 17, 2016

LFK in the Fall

As we roll into fall, people start asking us if we are enjoying the off-season.  The truth is that we really don't have an off season.  Most small business owners will tell you this.  There is always something to do.  When we aren't on the water, there are business matters to attend to.  This afternoon, I will be doing inventory at our shop while Jeff teaches a private lesson.

We just presented at the American Canoe Association's National Paddlesports Conference.  We shared our Waves, Wildlife, and Wonder of Mendocino County.  Here is a video from our presentation (it is 11 minutes long so que it up for when you are ready to take a 11 minute vacation in Mendocino)

Join LFK in 2017 on California's Lost Coast.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
We have been working hard on our Liquid Fusion Kayaking's 2017 calendar and are very excited about offering 3 new adventures.  For whitewater kayakers, we are offering a 4 day/3 night raft supported kayak trip on the Dos Rios to Alderpoint wilderness stretch of the Eel River.  For sea kayakers, we are offering a 3 day Lost Coast Sea Kayak Camping Adventure and a 5 day Intermediate/Advanced Sea Kayak Mendocino Adventure.
Whitewater MultiDay Trip on Dos Rios to Alderpoint Stretch of the Eel River.  Photo by Jeff Laxier
Despite all of this business work, we have been on the water quite a bit.  We have been teaching rolling, surf kayaking, whitewater river kayaking, and whitewater of the sea.
Jeff Laxier teaching the kayak roll in Fort Bragg, CA.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
Whitewater kayak instruction on Mendocino's Eel River.  Photo by Jeff Laxier
This weekend Jeff is coaching a 2 day BCU 3 Star Sea Kayak Training and doing the BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment on Monday.  With rain in the forecast, I expect we may take a day or two off next week to run some whitewater.
Whitewater kayaking on Mendocino's Eel River.  Photo by Jeff Laxier

Friday, October 21, 2016

October on the Rogue River

October is a time of shifting seasons for us.  We wrap up Liquid Fusion Kayaking's main sea kayak instructional season with at trip to Oregon to teach at the Lumpy Waters symposium.  Often we enjoy a few days exploring the Oregon Coast on our trip home from Lumpy.  This year, we decided to step away from the salt water and air and get a good fresh water rinsing so we made plans to meet up with some friends for a multi day whitewater trip on the Rogue River.
LFK Friends Jerry and June carrying yummy food and other comforts in the raft.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
Fall is a beautiful time of the year to paddle on the Rogue.  The weather was warm and we enjoyed the changing leaves and scenery.  The run that we did was from Grave Creek to Foster Bar.  At a flow of around 1900 cfs, it was a leisurely run of 34 miles with class II/III whitewater rapids.
Sunny skies and a calm stretch on the river resulted in beautiful reflections. Photo by Cate Hawthorne
It is a fall tradition for the raft and drift boat guides to put pumpkins along the river.  We enjoyed spying the many pumpkins and gourds along the river.
A pumpkin gourd marks the entrance to a small rapid on the Rogue. Photo by Jeff Laxier
Of course we enjoyed running the whitewater rapids of the Rogue.  Both Jeff and I enjoyed running Blossom Bar.  While tricky for a raft, it is a fun rapid to run in a kayak with lots of options for eddy hopping and slaloming one's way down river.
Jeff running Blossom Bar on the Rogue River.  Photo by June Ruckman-Albright
To spice things up a bit more, Jeff had to take a leap off the traditional Jump Rock on the Rogue.  He made quite a splash.

The Rogue can be quite busy in the summer with hikers and river users (kayakers, rafters, drift boats).  October is a quieter time on the river.  Many of the commercial rafting companies wrap up their season in September so we were sharing the river primarily with drift boats with fishermen and a couple of gear rafts carrying equipment for hikers.  Many of the fishermen, river users, and hikers were staying at the lodges along the river so most of the prime campsites were open.  My favorite camp was at Clay Hill.
Camping at Clay Hill. Photo by Cate Hawthorne
On day 3, we were setting up our final camp for the trip at Clay Hill. When across the river from us, a mamma and baby bear appeared.  We hooted and hollered to let them know that they were not welcome to come visit our camp.  Baby scurried up the hillside and out of sight pretty quickly.  However, mamma bear continued on her course along the river.  It looked like she was looking for fish.
Mamma and Baby Bear checking us out from across the river.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne

I bet none of us slept much our last night on the river.  We were a little concerned that mamma bear might come visit our camp.  She did not but it started raining around midnight.  It was a beautiful steady rain.  Jeff and I both enjoyed listening to it while we were all snug and dry in our new tent.  the next day we packed up and paddled in the rain to the take out.
A warm rainy day finish to our Rogue trip. Photo by Cate Hawthorne
Here is a link to more photos from our October 2016 Rogue River Trip.
A great blue heron fishes on the edge of Blossom Bar Rapid on the Rogue River. Photo by Cate Hawthorne

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sea Kayaking on the Mendocino Coast

September is a great month for sea kayaking on California's Mendocino Coast.  Liquid Fusion Kayaking has had quite a busy September.  We run sea kayak adventures year round but September typically has the best ocean and weather conditions.
Calm conditions for sea kayaking in Mendocino's sea caves.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
We kicked off September into the Sea with our 5 day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Class.  In this 5 day course, we had students go from intrepid ocean paddlers to playing in ocean rock gardens and exploring Mendocino's sea caves.
A new paddler discovers the thrills of rock gardening on the Mendocino Coast.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
The second weekend of September was LFK's BCU 3 Star Sea Kayak Training and Assessment.
BCU 3 Star Sea candidates demonstrate landing in 1 meter surf. Photo by Jeff Laxier
After a busy summer and heading into a busy fall, we took a few days off to sea kayak into the Lost Coast.  Check out my blog - Lost Coast Sea Kayak Trip 2016.
Jeff Laxier paddling into California's Lost Coast.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
Just back from the Lost Coast, we rallied for Coastal Cleanup Day.  This was our 8th year hosting an on-water cleanup of Fort Bragg's Noyo River and Harbor Area.  Despite our small number of participants, we brought in a big haul.  See and read about our BIG HAUL.
Jeff Laxier towing the garbage kayak in Noyo Harbor. Photo by Cate Hawthorne
September continued with sea kayak instruction for the Bay Area Sea Kayakers during their annual Mendo Madness Trip.  We had a gorgeous sunny day and perfect conditions for The Art of the Pour-Over - a sea kayak rock gardening play class.

Laurie getting her timing down to ride a pour-over.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
We wrapped up September's sea kayak instruction with a custom Whitewater of the Sea Adventure for some friends of the Tsunami Rangers.  Susan, Patty, and Melinda had a blast with Jeff and are looking forward to using their new skills to paddle with Tsunami Ranger significant others and friends soon.
Patty builds her confidence in dynamic waters.  Photo by Jeff Laxier
Our September wrap up has us preparing for Alder Creek's BCU Week and Lumpy Waters.
Surf zone class at Lumpy Waters in Pacific City, Oregon.  Photo by Cate Hawthorne
After that we dust off the short boats for surf kayaking, whitewater river kayaking, and whitewater ocean rock gardening.
Cate Hawthorne kayak surfing on the Mendocino Coast.  Photo by Jeff Laxier
Planning is under way for 2017.  If you would like to come paddle with us in 2017 or have an event that you would like for us to attend or host, please let us know.