When a Minnesota girl from a family with a passion for watersports born of the Land of 1000 Lakes, moved to California, taking her kayak into its flat water destinations beckoned. Since then, Janice has paddled more than twenty thousand miles over the past 30 years throughout the state of California exploring the lakes, reservoirs, bays, harbors and rivers by kayak.
Janice L. Green bought her first kayak in 1985 manufactured by a young Malibu innovator named Tim Niemier. It was an Ocean Kayak Scupper, and she still feels it is "the perfect fit." But that was the 80's. The internet was in its infancy and guidebooks on where to paddle in California were hard to find. So, road map in hand, she set out for the beautiful flat-water landscapes of The Golden State.
"The fear of the unknown was high in the beginning, and so were the risks," recalls Janice. "I suppose you could say I was flying by the seat of my pants, relying mainly on my physical condition, and common sense.
I picked the smallest lakes in the beginning and the ones that weren't as remote. Once I built up my experience and confidence I began to venture to destinations where I was frequently the only one there, discounting the bears, of course."
The result was a compilation of maps, photographs and campsite notes of the most breathtaking paddling destinations in California.
Once Janice realized how valuable this data could be to other paddlers who either didn't have the time to gather the information themselves, or who didn't want to blindly venture to unfamiliar destinations, she got to work compiling it into an electronic format for publication.
"From experience, I have found the unknown is only fearful because it's unknown. In most cases, once you have conquered your fears, you will find there wasn't anything to be afraid of at all," she relates. "Hopefully, these guidebook will take away any of the concerns you have about paddling unknown destinations."
Her first guidebook PADDLE ME: A Flat-Water Kayak and Canoe Guidebook for Central and Southern California was just the beginning. Lakes up north began to call and in 2005 Janice completed PADDLE ME ll: A Flat-Water Kayak and Canoe Guidebook for Northern California.
In 2010, Janice paddled 60 new lakes, at which time she combined the original two guidebooks into one called: Kayaking California’s Flat Waters: A Complete Guide to Kayaking and Canoeing California’s Flat Waters. It is a passionate life’s works to the extraordinary paddling destinations in California.
Being a solitary paddler for over 25 years, Janice has learned that you need to use common sense and take extra safety precautions. "By taking a few precautions when you go on a paddling adventure, you can increase your chances of having a pleasurable and safe trip, whether you choose to paddle alone or with a companion." By following a set of rules, Janice has maintained her safety while paddling for nearly three decades.
Janice continues: "Always paddle close to the shore, wear a PFD and let someone know where you will be paddling and when to expect you back. Always give a responsible friend a copy of your trip plans with the names and telephone numbers of the lakes and dates you will be paddling."
" Include the names and telephone numbers of the campgrounds where you will be staying, along with your arrival and departure dates. As an extra precaution when paddling on remote lakes, inform the park rangers where you will be paddling and when you will be returning. That way, if you don't show up, they will know where to begin looking for you."
By following these rules and other common sense procedures she has maintained her safety paddling favorite flat-water wilderness destinations over the years.
All of the lakes and sections of river featured in the guidebooks are flat-water. They all allow kayaking and canoeing and are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles.
Kayaking groups for California online:
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