High water observations
On Sunday, following the edicts of a decades-long tradition, I slid my whitewater kayak into the flow of Sonoma Creek near Glen Ellen and headed down stream to see what a weekend of rain had created. The creek was the size of a small river, moving like a freight train at a volume I would guess exceeded 3,000 cubic feet per second. This is not, by the way, an activity the uninitiated should even consider, especially during high water. I’ve been running rivers for years, I know Sonoma Creek’s charms and its hazards fairly intimately, but with all that, the power of Sunday’s flow caught me somewhat by surprise and dictated course corrections I hadn’t planned on having to make. And it revealed a potentially deadly hazard I only avoided because I had carefully scouted a safe take-out site in advance.