California is suppose to be warm and sunny. That's the whole point. And while I don't mind gearing up for winter storm missions I expect that when the teaching season comes around things will be a little nicer. But over the past weekend I taught two whitewater 101 classes and for both it was a freezing cold day one, luckily followed by a sunny (if not overly warm) day two.
The first class had a cold, rainy, windy day one that really tested everyone's spirit. The wet exits provided instant ice cream headaches and made me numb from the waist down as I stood in the water to assist. We had lunch sitting in the van with the heater on to thaw out and we didn't get a chance to run any stretch of river since I didn't want to risk any swims in the cold water. The next class had a similar forecast on the first day and I actually went to the full fleece layers under my drysuit - something I almost never have to do in this state. For the most part the rain and wind held off - instead we got the hail! It didn't last long - I heard that it was a solid twenty minutes of the white pellets coming down further upstream - but it again made everyone question their sanity for learning how to kayak in such weather.
But in both classes the relatively nicer second day smoothed things out. Everyone got to do some downriver paddling and get a taste for what the sport is really suppose to be like. Even though the river hadn't changed temperature and the air was only slightly warmer it is amazing what a little sun can do. I'm off for a couple weeks of traveling and hopefully by the time I get back for my next class on the river the sun will be taking its permanent position in the California sky for a summer of paddling perfection.