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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Holidays launch that ‘other paddling season’

A holiday toast, but non-alcoholic, the ballerina-elves were quick to say
No store lines, no anxiety, no monitor screen eye strain since...

...it’s not a Cyber Monday event (thank goodness). But I have officially declared an early start to the Other Season – aka winter paddling. Traditionally (and by that I mean just last year), the Other Season begins on December 21, the Winter Solstice. But thanks to a certain global virus, we will start early since 2020 has delivered the winter of our discontent. (Shakespeare, with words he had way.) He also never overused parentheses, but I digress.

Otter puts on an aquatic show -- video below
Paddling is among the safest forms of recreation, Covid-wise, and with continuing mild weather, it’s a great time to get out of the house and on the water. Plus, most state parks remain open for day use. And as I noted last year, there are unusual things to see this time of year. Last weekend, that included paddleboarders in holiday tutus and a river otter foraging for lunch. 

A couple of caveats: State officials ask folks to stay local as much as possible to avoid overcrowding park venues. And even though daytime temperatures are often in the 60s,

water remains cold, as one Dad found out on a dip in Lake Natoma, near Folsom.  Fortunately, he had his family along in a sit-on-top – although they seemed reluctant to make room for him back on board after he took a cold dunking. (Would that make him a Pop-sicle?) Kidding aside, cold water is no joke.

Dad's swim was brief and brrrrrisk
But with or without holiday attire (PFDs always, please), and on a nice day, you can enjoy a quiet, other- season paddle and drift away from unpleasant distractions and cares. And as 2020 coughs, recounts and whimpers to a close, that’s about as good as it gets. 

© Glenn Brank, 2020