Monday, March 29, 2010
Kayaking in Elkhorn Slough is a great way to see California wetlands the way they used to be. A bit of what Steinbeck was banging on about, since you can't find that at Cannery Row any more. It's hard to find such a pretty and easily accessible spot in the bay area. It's always fun to go on your own, but I think you learn more if you take one of the tours. Monterey Bay Kayaks leads some fun ones: Ride the Tide, Sunset or Natural History tours sound good. If you've got little ones age 3-12, there's even a shorter one for you.
The reason why I do not recommend just renting a kayak in Monterey near Cannery Row, is that you'll see tourists harassing the marine mammals (what about "stay 20 ft away from the marine life", do they not understand? must be the imperial system). You'll see some kelp, but you're not likely to find the interesting stuff that lives on it (crabs, nudibranchs, etc). And you'll get fine views of all the hotels and shops lining Cannery Row, ummm, if you're into looking at hotels or you can paddle amongst the boats in the harbor (do they count as marine life?).
Moss Landing, the little town adjacent to Elkhorn Slough, is tiny. So it's easier to escape town and feel like you're away from it all (though there is that mighty big smoke stack). I guess it just feels a lot more wild, which I definitely like. And the best part is, there's no prior paddling experience required for the majority of the trips. They're not even exhausting, unless you want to make them tiring. This would be a fun way to round out a weekend in Monterey or Santa Cruz. Though don't miss Monterey Bay Aquarium either.
Photo credits go to:
meerar, christianleorphrer and d_m_w