Lake Hennessey 2021

Lake Hennessey 2021

Spent a beautiful Saturday at Lake Hennessey with the Marin Canoe and Kayak club. This is a great winter paddle because this area is too hot in the summer. About an hour drive to the lake and a pleasant eight mile paddle from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a pleasant stop for lunch.

Kayak club at Lake Hennessey

Marin Canoe and Kayak Club

Lyz took this photo with her cell phone as we waited for the others.

Lake Hennessey kayak

Enjoying Lake Hennessey

Lyz has a folding “origami” Oru boat.

This is the path we paddled, about eight miles. The lunch spot, with a porta-potty, is marked in red.

I drove along Silerado Trail to witness the Glass fire burn, and on the way back I took Chiles Pope Valley Rd. I realized that there is still “nowhere” available in this state. The pastures, which are supposed to be emerald green in January, were not because the year has been very dry so far. Not a good omen for this wildfire area.

Chiles-Pope Valley Rd.

Facebook Hou-Dunnie

Facebook Hou-Dunnie

Jim DeRoche posted this on Facebook with the comment, “It’s not.”

My comment:

When I was a toddler, my parents used to tie me to the highchair in the kitchen, then go to the front room to play Bridge with their friends. I was so adept at getting free, their friends called me Hou-Dunnie.

His reply:

Anyone, who is incarcerated or held against their will in any manner, possessing the mental toughness and heart to stand against their circumstances, I have great respect for always. Anyone, who adds a 3-D component to the mental one, physically demonstrating where their heart is by successfully going over the wall in any manner and beating the opposition, I have even greater respect for always! Love that move you pulled, reversing your parents sketchy binding caper, defiantly executing a move superior to that perpetrated against yourself and winning the evening. That’s a keeper of a story! 😂❤️😎❤️😂

Yeah, well I have 10 younger siblings, and I have more stories about bound toddlers. But… another day…

Anet Dunne Crack me the F up!

Walker Creek Paddle

Walker Creek Paddle

Deb turner organized a Wednesday outing to Walker Creek which started at the Keys Creek Put-in. Justin joined us to further scout after an outing with Miguel from Marin Canoe and Paddle a few weeks earlier. A cool, 65° day was predicted but it was warm in the parking lot.
Walker Creek Put In

There was a 5′ high tide at 12:20 pm, so we put in at 10:30 am and paddled upriver with Justin who would stop and use his lopping shears to remove overhangs. At noon we hiked to the top of a hill with a magnificent overlook of the valley shadowed by the coastal mountains. The sun went behind the clouds and a breeze came up — I regretted leaving my compression shirt in the car. We took a short hike on the valley floor and saw some beautiful owls fly away. My knee-high rubber boots were adequate for the short hike.

Walker Creek Satellite Map

Red circle: estimated lunch spot

The creek is beautiful and lined with a variety of riparian trees: birch, alder, bay, and sycamore. There are many submerged logs, so a 5′ or higher tide is necessary to clear the logs and it was like paddling a slalom in many places. I think my short Kiwi boat would have been a better choice than the 14′ boat. We saw a river otter early in the trip, and as we went farther up, the water becomes very clear. When the sunlight hits the surface you can see the bright green grass growing on the bottom.
Walker Creek Map

On the return trip, we saw some ENORMOUS brown cattle with big horns at the crest of a hill where a subsidiary creek enters. We were all wondering what cattle breed we were seeing. The paddle back took one hour and the outgoing tide was clearly moving, so a shorter boat would have been fine except when transporting tree loppers as both Deb and Justin were. It takes about 45 minutes to drive from Santa Rosa to get to the put-in. This was a sensational day trip when the tides are advantageous! Very beautiful and satisfying, with a real sense of visiting a place rarely seen. I almost didn’t see it — I missed the turnoff to the Petaluma-Tomales Road twice!

Two Rock Turn Off

Frida Kahlo at the DeYoung

Frida Kahlo at the DeYoung

Frida Kahlo at the DeYoung

My artist friend, Sue, drove up from Santa Monica to join me for a visit. It was nice that the gallery wasn’t shoulder-to-shoulder with visitors like some previous special exhibitions. This show captures the time when women were objects — I find it useful to think of them as products of their own marketing. Examples from my youth: Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Maria Callas. Like Frida, each was exquisitely aware of her public persona and cultivated it carefully.

Back in Frida’s day, art was narrowly defined by the kinds of things you see in the Louvre: pastoral landscapes, allegories, myths, biblical stories, heroic battles, portraits. This show is much more personal and feminine, and I was stunned to learn that her foot had been amputated and that she died before her husband Diego who was 20 years older. I was also surprised that her father, G. Kahlo, was German-born, and that the Casa Azul belonged to her because her father had bequeathed it to her.

The photographic portraits of her were very interesting to me. Her father was a professional photographer so she knew how to “sit” for a photograph and many famous photographers (Weston, Dorothea Lange) made portraits of her. As her reliance on pain-killers increased, you can see it in her face in the images.

Her father made many photographic self-portraits of himself, and that may have influenced her many self-portrait paintings. The artist I went to the show with has NEVER done a self-portrait, and neither have I.

Of course, the clothes and the story behind the clothes was the centerpiece. I liked the show a lot.

Van Damme Camp Albion River Paddle

Van Damme Camp Albion River Paddle

Covid restlessness finally kicked in for me after seven months of seclusion. I joined Lori, Deb, and Liam for three nights camping at Van Damme State Park at the end of October. Liam and I shared site 009 and Deb and Lori were next door at 008 where they had the sunshine and free wi-fi that Lori loves. She joined a Zoom meeting with the Petaluma Paddlers one evening! This was my first visit, and not cheap! My half of the on-line reservation was $61 plus $10 a night for three nights as “extra car” for a total of $91. I discovered more private and forested campsites 27-30 deeper in the “lower loop” that are far from wi-fi and close to the Fern Canyon trail that I would like to try out when it is hot in Santa Rosa. Here is a link to a video showing all the Van Damme campsites.

Van Damme Campsite 009

Ft. Bragg Bike Trail

Wednesday Bike Ride

We all brought bikes, and Lori on her electric bike led us on a trek from the north side of the mouth of the Noyo River in Ft. Bragg to MacKerricher State Park Laguna Point for lunch. Because it is autumn, the rafts of ice plant that cling to the coastal cliffs were turning red, making russet caps on the ochre cliffs silhouetted against sea. I had not been on a bike for years, so the 11-mile ride was a stretch for me and for Deb.

Mercury is retrograde, and when we returned from the peddle, Deb’s car battery was dead (again). Liam gave her another jump start and we rolled into Mendicino Tow at 110 Manzanita St at the north end of Ft. Bragg just before closing to get a new one.

The scenery along the coastal trail was quite beautiful, with plentiful, colorfully-painted rest stops along the way (Covid petri dishes) and beautiful Glass Beach sparkling with the sea-softened remnants of a long-ago refuse site.

The next day we explored Big River at 9:30 a.m. to catch the high tide, but it was too windy so we drove south to Albion River Campground and paid the $5 per boat to launch. The river was beautiful, calm, dotted with unique houseboats. Deb and I got all the way to the “island” and explored the Lagoon on the way back.

Albion River Campground

Covid Line To Get Permit

Albion River

Beautiful Albion River

Albion River Owl Box

Owl Box Foreground, Lori in White Oru Boat, Deb in Blue Boat

Albion River Island

Deb Approaches Island Turn-Around Point

Albion River Island

Island Turn-Around Point

Albion River Kayaking

Heading Home

Mercury being retrograde, we got to see the Mendocino Tow people from Ft. Bragg again when we got back, because Deb accidentally locked her car keys in the trunk. Liam used his AAA membership for the call, and when Deb’s door was open and her key retrieved, the driver waved good-bye. Liam said, “Don’t you want my billing information?” “Nah, we have it all on file.” “See you tomorrow,” I chirped as he left. That night after fresh guacamole and white wine, we went to the beach across Hwy 1 from Van Damme.

The drive home on Hwy 128 is breathtaking through the Navarro section. Deb, Liam and I stopped to check out now-closed Paul Dimmick campground on the way back. No water, and the Navarro River is very low. The trip was great fun and I hope I beat the odds and will not get sick as a result of my adventure.

Two Hours to Van Damme

We Stayed in Site 8 and 9 near Campground Host and Visitor Center WiFi

Circled campsites 27, 28, 29, and 30 looked like the ones chosen by expert campers. They are deep in the campground, away from the WiFi and close to the very interesting Fern Canyon trail. I would like to check them out.

Boundaries: Excerpts

Boundaries: Excerpts

Anna Runkle, the Crappy Childhood Fairy, recommended Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend. At first, it was hard slogging through the ultra-Christian rhetoric and scriptural references, but it started to make sense by the end as an example of Judeo-Christian indoctrination in our society. Here are some excerpts. Brackets indicate my comments.

p87 – The Law of Cause and Effect. Rescuing a person from the natural consequences of his behavior ENABLES him to continue his irresponsible behavior.

p219 – Fear of Success. Poor finishers fear envy, criticism, [punishment and revenge]. [The #1 emotion of narcissists is envy.]

p223 – We withdraw from relationships when we need them most. Just like untreated cancer, boundary problems will worsen with isolation. [Co-regulation is stronger, more balanced.]

p227 – Unmet emotional hungers. We all need love during the first few years of life. If we don’t receive this love, we hunger for the rest of our lives. This hunger for love is so powerful that when we don’t find it in relationships with other people, we look for it in [things] food, work, sexual activity, or over-spending money. Compulsive spending is often a reaction against strict rules.

p229 – Address your real need. Impulsive eaters may discover that food is a way to stay separate and safe from romantic and sexual intimacy. As their internal boundaries with the opposite sex become firmer, they can give up their destructive food boundary. They learn to ask for help for the real problem, not just the symptom.

p231 – Surrounding yourself with people who are loving and supportive, but who will not rescue.

p234 – [Survivors of childhood trauma] are convinced there is no good within them. Over-permeable boundaries. Believe they are treated badly because that’s what they deserve. Our ability to trust ourselves is based on our experience of others as trustworthy.

Trust, the ability to depend on ourselves and others in time of need, is a basic spiritual and emotional survival need.

  • Figure out what you are risking when you change
  • Are you willing to lose (love, safety, …)
  • Be diligent in carrying out your plan
  • Get started. Do it.
  • Don’t give up. Pursue your plan to the finish.

Forgiveness is: writing off the debt in our hearts. They no longer “owe” us.
p259 – Take an inventory of your unmet needs.
p260 – To set boundaries is to risk losing the love you have craved for a long time. Letting go of the wish for them to be different is the essence of grief.

  1. Own the problem of your own poor boundaries.
  2. Stop sabotaging your freedom.
  3. Seek Grace and Truth to cope with grief
  4. Get support for your grief.
  5. Let go of what you can never have. Move on to what you want.

You can only steer a moving ship. Your efforts to preserve the old waste your energy and time. Letting go is the way to serenity. Grief is the path.

Coming from a home where anger was used by a parent to control children
p262 – Do I have an angry person in my head that I still fear? This hurt, frightened part needs to be soothed.

  1. Realize it is a problem
  2. Talk to someone. You will not not work this out alone.
  3. Find the source of your fear (Anna Runkle’s Daily Practice)
  4. Stick to self-control statements, stick to your decisions, reiterate what you will do and what you will NOT do. Let them be angry. Tell them you care for them but your NO still stands.
  5. Regroup and talk to your support system.
  6. Practice. “God does not want angry people to control me.”

Blaming others gives them to power to [be the only one who can] make things right. Take back your power by taking responsibility for your life and make the life you want.

Guilt is not a core emotion. It is “you are bad.” [It is a trauma response to a boundary violation suffered as a child.]
The guilt I feel is my problem. Do the things that are right but elicit guilt feelings [or fear of punishment/retaliation/retribution]. Work the edge. Cope with the grief. Mourn.

First, securely bond [with someone appropriate and capable of secure bonding]. Second, set boundaries.

Don’t ping-pong between Compliance and Isolation

Resentment is a signal. Do I have permission to feel angry? Anger is a messenger.
p279 – Boundary-injured people are slaves

Drake’s Estero

Drake’s Estero
Drake's Estero

Liam, Bill, and Brian

Deb Turner led four of us on an all-day, socially-distanced paddle to Drake’s Estero in Marin. Liam briefly enjoyed sailing, but the day was calm. We even had a sprinkle of rain as we had lunch on the sandbar separating the estero from the Pacific.

Drakes Estero Kayaking

Anet Paddling Toward Ocean

Drakes Estero

Liam Drake's Estero

Liam Rocks His Aussie Hat

As we paddled back from our lunch stop at the beach, we got a little too close to the seals sunning themselves on a sandbar. A naturalist saw this, put down his sandwich and paddled furiously to intercept us before we got too close. I was surprised because I had been concentrating on following the group and avoiding the shallow water and did not notice that I was on track to overrun them.

Seals Drakes Estero

The Seals Can Be Hard To See

Bob Gray brought his wooden boat and enjoyed the beautiful day.

On the way back, we tarried at Home Bay, one of the fingers of the Estero, because it is home to some leopard sharks, bat rays, and jellyfish. The heavy silt makes it shallow, so the water is warm. Bill and I enjoyed chatting as we hung out.

Home Bay Drakes Estero

Anet and Bill Crowe near Home Bay

Beginning Boater Brian Carroll did well, even though we all got in a bit of trouble for getting too near the seals that were lounging near the beach sandbar.

Brian Drakes Estero


Brian was accompanied by his friend Bill Crowe who invited us all to Rancho Nicasio afterwards where we enjoyed a socially-distanced beer and food with a view of a beautiful garden.
Bill Crowe Drake's Estero
I think this is going to be my “vacation” for socially-distanced 2020. A cut on my left hand prevented me from camping earlier in the summer, and the fires started on August 19. I wish I had taken a dip in the ocean while we were stopped for lunch, but it was cool and rainy and I didn’t think of it.

Deb Turner Drakes Estero

Our Leader, Deb Turner

23andMe: Bad News Good News

23andMe: Bad News Good News

In early February, my sister Peggy alerted me that she had spent the extra money for the health information available with a DNA test on She learned that she carries two mutations that can lead to hemochromatosis, a disorder in which the body stores too much iron. I clicked the button on to get my health results and they were the same. Two tests were available to determine if the condition was active: Peggy and I are negative on both tests. We do not have the disease and we have both decided to donate blood regularly because, if we had the disease, phlebotomy would be the only treatment.

Now the good news. I also carry two GOOD mutations that bestow fast-twitch muscles.
Genetic Power Athlete

This report is based on a genetic marker in the ACTN3 gene. This marker controls whether muscle cells produce a protein (called alpha-actinin-3) that’s found in fast-twitch muscle fibers. While some people don’t produce this protein at all, almost all of the elite power athletes who have been studied have a genetic variant that allows them to produce the protein. This suggests that the protein may be beneficial at least at the highest levels of power-based athletic competition.

ACTN3: More than Just a Gene for Speed

One of the most promising genes in that regard is ACTN3, which has commonly been referred to as “a gene for speed”.

Studies have found that most elite power athletes have a specific genetic variant in a gene related to muscle composition called the ACTN3 gene. This variant causes muscle cells to produce alpha-actinin-3, a protein found in fast-twitch muscle fibers.