Jailhouse to Toilet Bowl Beach, November 20th 2007.

Because Thursday was Turkey Day, John Boeschen moved the Thurseve Paddle to Tuesday but still insisted it was a “Thurseve Paddle”. I was excited to hear that he was launching from Jailhouse beach, since the logical place to paddle to from there is Toilet Bowl Beach, John’s pet name for the beach on Red Rock Island. I have always wanted to camp on this private island in the middle of the bay and the weather was great for this. I threw my camping gear in my kayak and joined John, “Indiana” and “The Mayor”.

We paddled across the bay next to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Ahead of us we watched cargo freighters and high speed ferry boats cross in front of us. We waited our turn and then ducked across the channel. The sun went down behind us before we made it to Red Rock. A usual, John photographed the trip and documented it with his own unique take on the trip.

Red Rock has lots of driftwood for a campfire so we didn’t need a presto-log this trip. We sat around the fire and had a fantastic meal. The Mayor brought pasta with fresh-collected chanterelle mushroom sauce on it! When it came time for everyone else to leave they stoked the campfire up tall for me. Rather then let this fire go to waste I dozed in front of it for another hour or so before retiring to my bivy-tent. Camping on a cold clear fall evening can be pleasant with the correct sleeping bag to hold in the leftover warmth from the fire.

I got up at 6:00 in the morning to pack away all my gear before anyone noticed me. Once it’s all stowed in dry-bags inside the hatches of my kayak I have plausible deniability. If the county sheriff comes by and accuses me of illegally sleeping on a beach I’ll just say I stopped here on my morning paddle.

All text and images Copyright © 2007 by Mike Higgins / contact