Friday August 31st, the Lodi Paddle Club met at the Mokelumne Beach RV Park to paddle the "Moke" for the appearance of the last "blue moon" until July 2015. Typically a blue moon is when there are two full moons in a month, the blue moon being the second to appear. Apparently there are other definitions of "blue moons", so if you'd like more info click here.
There were more than 50 paddlers who showed up for the paddle by moonlight! Someone reported counting 64 paddlers but there were people still coming.
Friday nights paddle gave me the chance to paddle my new, to me, boat. A group of friends and I arrived about 7:45 and actually got on the water about 8:15. It was just beginning to get dark and a large group proceeded to paddle east, up the Mokelumne. When we started out it reminded me of an amusement park boat ride, where everyone is bunched up and boats are bumping into one another just before the ride actually begins. It didn't take long for us all to spread out and paddle at our own pace.
As we continued to paddle the moon began to rise over the river, lighting our way just enough to see the river boundaries. The moon was quite bright but not bright enough to see submerged logs until you were on top of them. My friends and I paddled at a leisurely pace for a little over an hour and we traveled about 2.5 miles. Many paddlers returned before reaching the farthest point for the night which appeared to be a beach that I don't know the name of. A small group hung out at the beach while I decided to stay in my boat and refuel with some Gator Aid and a power bar. After our break, my friends and I headed back down river to the launch.
There was no wildlife to be seen or heard, probably due to the large number of people on the water. It was a very beautiful and peaceful paddle and a lot of fun to be out with so many paddlers enjoying the river. I'm looking forward to July, 2015.