Perfect Day for Rafting the American River

The blimp was over Carmichael to cover the Masters' Golf Tournament.
It was a high of 92 degrees with light cloud cover. Perfect for rafting, cycling, and golfing.

I stopped my bike along the American River Parkway to watch the hundreds of river rafters floating downstream. It brings back so many good memories of rafting as a teenager. My son and his friends also have spent many a day on the river. It is a lot of fun and best when hot but not too hot. You can rent a raft around the Sunrise Boulevard bridge or launch your own craft from one of the parks on either side of the river. It takes a couple of hours to float down to Ancil Hoffman park or to Arden Park. A small part of me worried that none of the boaters has their life jacket on and I know they are drinking alcohol.  (Boating and alcohol should not mix!) I did not wear a life jacket as a teenager either as tan lines were more important to me than safety. In spite of the drought Lake Natoma and the American River from Orangevale to where it meets the Sacramento River in downtown Sacramento are at normal summer levels because it is regulated by releases from the Folsom Lake reservoir.

Looking across to Negro Bar on Lake Natoma.
Looking across to Negro Bar on Lake Natoma. The Aquatic Center has hosted the NCAA Pacific Region rowing championships.

Lots of people were also boating on Lake Natoma. This manmade lake stretches from the Aquatic Center at Hazel Avenue to the Rainbow Bridge in Folsom (about 5 miles). The bike/horse trail makes a ring around it. I cycled 56 miles round trip from 9-2:30 today. I was still recovering from 30 miles yesterday in the 104 degree heat. This is all about preparing for RAGBRAI so it is miles + time in the saddle. Speed is less important. I am finding that it is a mental challenge as much as a physical challenge. I shared with my cousin John that I am worried I will not be able to ride the full length, and he chuckled and said he gives himself permission to take a day off and go play golf. I felt better and decided I will do my best. Keep my eye on the prize: have fun. On the ride home I noticed the blimp in the sky. At first I thought it must be passing through on its way to or fro an event in the Bay Area. Then I remembered the US Senior Open Golf Tournament in Carmichael. I hope none of the old duffers playing yesterday expired in the triple digit temperatures. I imagine today’s high of 92 with breeze was a relief. I hope the television gives the audience some views of the river.