Sunday, February 8, 2015

23rd Annual Cow Patty Pageant

Saturday a couple of friends and I participated in the annual Cow Patty Pageant on the Estero Americano put on by Rivers for Change. Rivers for Change is a nonprofit made up of a wonderful and "passionate group of river enthusiasts dedicated to changing the way people think about and interact with water." Janice Green has a nice write up about kayaking the Estero on her website.

It turned out to be a beautiful day on the Estero. I wasn't sure what to expect and with all the flash flood and small craft advisories on Friday, I thought the event may be cancelled. I was delighted when we arrived in Valley Ford to see the sun shining and there was no wind to speak of. After checking in at the schoolhouse in Valley Ford, we made our way to the put-in less than a mile away. We met a bunch of happy and enthusiastic paddlers and some were dressed appropriately for the event decked out in a multitude of cattle attire. The first group to launch were the recreational paddlers doing the short course. My friends and I signed up for the intermediate course which was 11 miles round trip and the second wave to launch at approximately 9:50 am. The last wave launched 10 minutes after us and were made up of the competitive paddlers most of which were paddling surfskis.

Due to the weather forecast we were told that we would need to turn around at 11 am no matter where we were on the Estero so we could be off the water before the next storm hit. We paddled our hearts out and almost made it to the ocean but came up a half mile shy of our goal. That's ok because that means we'll have to return. I didn't get to take as many pictures as I would have liked because of the pace we were trying to keep so that's another excuse to go back.

I'm proud to say that my friend and I tied for second to last place and had a moovalous time taking part in this event!

Rivers for Change also hosts the CAL 100 which takes place Memorial Day weekend. This 100 mile race is also on my bucket list!

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