In moments of distraction, my mind keeps drifting back to a hot and sunny, absolutely perfect day spent floating down the Russian River in Healdsburg, California. When we were planning our last trip, I was in touch with Beth from The Wine Road, an incredibly helpful organization and site for wine country planning and events. (They do my favorite event, Wine & Food Affair, in November. I want to go back for it!) When I told Beth that we wanted to spend a ton of time outdoors, she suggested River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Trips, right on the edge of the Russian River in Healdsburg. A couple of emails later, and we were booked for a double canoe for the Saturday afternoon of our stay.
Our first impression of River’s Edge is that everything is SO organized, making the trip smooth and worry free. They had coolers, trash bags, cords for holding items in the canoe, even hair ties, available for us to borrow for the day; when you are not local it is always helpful to not have to go get everything separately! They also take your keys before you head out to the river, handy for them for keeping the parking lot organized, handy for you if your canoe happens to tip over!
We started our journey on a school bus ride out to a remote beach. Our driver was hilarious and had everyone laughing before we arrived. Once at the beach, we checked in, learned a little bit about the river, and then we were on our way.
We didn’t waste any time and started paddling right away. Pretty soon it was just us and the fish below as we enjoyed gorgeous blue skies and perfect Northern California scenery. Due to the drought in California, parts of the river were almost dry, and in those we got out and carried the canoe.
Other parts of the river were deeper, but never much deeper than up to my waist or so. The current was slow, and so were we, truly taking the time to take it all in. There were some incredible houses along the way, all with stairs leading down to beaches, and I could easily imagine spending summer afternoons on the river and evenings at wine events. A girl can dream, right?
About halfway through our journey, we pulled over and had a picnic on a secluded little beach. We brought Boont Amber Ale, waters, smoked salmon, hummus, cheese, crackers, chips, and salsa. It was the perfect light lunch before a little swimming to cool off from that magnificent California sun. I LOVED the dry heat we had for our entire trip.
After we made our way to Veteran’s Beach in Healdsburg to drop off the canoe, we did a little more swimming and then headed back to River’s Edge to get our keys and head out. The trip even included a free ice cream at the end, a sweet and cold treat to end the perfect afternoon. The people at River’s Edge could not have been more welcoming, and their hospitality was what helped to make the day so special.
Many thanks to The Wine Road for all of their recommendations and to River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Trips for hosting our afternoon canoeing. We plan on coming back every time we are in Healdsburg!
For more on things to do and places to stay in Healdsburg:
September is also California Wine Month! The Wine Road has some specials happening. If you are in wine country, check them out!