Lake Siskiyou to Golden Gate: Mount Shasta women complete journey on Sacramento River
Two Mount Shasta women and their companion ended Saturday a source-to-sea voyage down the Sacramento River on rafts and kayaks.
Outdoor educator Arianna Kosel, 29, and river guide Alyssa Winkelman, 28, got back to Siskiyou County on Sunday after the 21-day trip that took them from Cliff Lake to Lake Siskiyou on skis, to Yolo County on packrafts, and to San Francisco Bay and out onto the ocean on kayaks.
The purpose was to make a film documenting the beauty and necessity of the Sacramento River.
The third member of the team, camera operator and wilderness guide Jamie Trapp of Alaska, filmed their 400-mile journey.
The generosity of people along the way was amazing, Kosel said. “People offered us places to stay — their homes, their yachts, places to do laundry and shower. They made us meals.”
The team stopped at Turtle Bay Exploration Park's museum in Redding to buy a mascot: A plastic turtle they named "Manager."
The three women had to exchange their 8-by-3-foot packrafts for kayaks at Knights Landing in Yolo County — a move they didn't plan to make until winds picked up near Suisun Bay in Solano County. That happened because weather was unexpectedly mild.
"We were experiencing a lot of flatwater with little current," Kosel said. "We only had three days of rain in three weeks."
When they paddled under the Golden Gate Bridge and out to sea, family, friends and supporters were there to cheer them on, she said. “It truly was the trip of a lifetime."
The team will use Trapp’s footage of the trip to make a documentary that highlights the river’s importance, and to explore diverse views regarding water rights for agriculture, protection of wildlife and use of hydroelectric plants and dams.
“So many people rely on that river for so many things,” Winkelman said in a January interview with the newspaper.
Film footage taken includes interviews with people who make their living from the river, and with those who want to conserve it: Farmers, recreationists, Native American tribal spokespeople and scientists. They plan follow-up interviews with state legislators.
Water is a limited resource, but there’s hope for solutions, Kosel said. "Everyone’s voices can be heard and needs are recognized. We try to keep an open mind in the film."
The team hopes to complete their documentary this year in time to enter it in winter film festivals, she said, but that may be cutting it close: They have ten hours of footage to edit.
For more information about the team and their trip, go to https://sacsourcetosea.com.
Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.