Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The essential guide for paddling Northern California

Charlie Pike explored Suisun Marsh for the second edtion of "Paddling California"

 If you are serious about exploring Northern California by kayak, there are four essential items: a kayak, a paddle, a PFD – and Charlie Pike’s guidebook. His new, revised edition of “Paddling Northern California” is now available, and it comes highly recommended.
Charlie, a Newcastle resident well-known in area paddling circles, published his first edition of the guide in 2001. The new edition updates and expands that work, has a nice layout and is printed in full color. It’s a handsome, sturdy paperback chock full of detailed maps and info that I've found in no other guide.
Some time back, when Charlie was just getting started on the new edition, he took me paddling out of Suisun City. Levee banks and marsh grass towered over us. It was impossible to spot landmarks or determine our position. At every turn, I would have guessed the wrong way to go. Not only did Charlie know the turns, but he knew almost exactly where they were, based on his meticulous research.

“Should be a channel coming up shortly,” he’d say in a casual tone. Twenty yards later, the reeds would part and the channel would appear as if by magic. I always wondered how long it would have taken to find my body if I’d gone paddling out there alone.
The second edition adds seven new chapters, from Suisun Slough down to Mono Lake, while six more chapters have been expanded. The writing is clear and concise – and very accurate, both in terms of the details and the “feel” of each paddle trip. It took an incredible amount of work to bring all this info together, and it's a bargain at the price. This is a kayaking resource you'll use for years to come.


The cover price of “Paddling Northern California, 2nd” is $22.95 (ISBN 978-0-7627-8590-2). Autographed books may be purchased from the author ($27.60 includes tax and priority mail delivery). Send checks to Charlie Pike, 9181 Los Puentes Road, Newcastle, CA 95658.
“Paddling Northern California, 2nd” is also available at REI, Amazon.com, Falcon.com, www.globepequot.com/ , www.abebooks.com/ and www.powells.com.