SACRAMENTO RIVER, Calif. - Admiral Fox and I two days ago made our first foray together across the great American River to the tiny island (and declared nation) of Freedonia, about which I wrote in July.
The water in the river is very low right now and at the west end, almost low enough that mainlanders can walk across from the wealthly American River Drive side, holding their backpacks and coolers high above their heads.
Fall is arguably the most pleasant season in Sacramento - reasonable temperatures, little wind and all those damned plants that produce the pollen that jams up my sinuses have gone dormant.
I can breathe, I can breathe!
And today, being Labor Day, the weather has cooperated even more than usual. At 9 a.m., it's barely 70 which means an 85 degree day, perfect for a cruise out to Freedonia again.
The gasoline prices don't affect kayak and boat traffic on the river very much, few people know the place as the jewel that it is. So when we take a picnic out to Freedonia today, it's doubtful we will have any company, unless there are brave waders from the north side of river.
In a few weeks, however, the operators of the Folsom Dam, 20 miles away, will start getting nervous about the impending rains for October and will start letting out water quickly.
But by then, we might have built up our paddling muscles enough to fight whatever current the river throws at us.
We were mid-island on Freedonia hiking two days ago when Admiral Fox causally said, "Wow, wonder if there are any rattlesnakes out here?" (We were both sporting flip-flops and bathing suits...)
No sighted, but we will be on guard today when we visit.