James Murren
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Kayaking San Diego’s Mission Bay

By James Murren

The Earning

The setting sun warmed our backsides as a steady tailwind helped us across San Diego’s Mission Bay in the direction of Vacation Isle. The tide was working against us on the open water crossing. My wife and I were in kayaks on a moonlight paddle with a group that set out from the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, which is jointly owned and operated by Associated Students of San Diego State University and UC San Diego Recreation. Looking east, the big ole moon rose over the Anza-Borrego desert and the mountains of Laguna and Cuyamaca. Sitting in our boats in the bay, watching several brown pelicans, I experienced an understanding of home.


We circumnavigated the Isle by going clockwise, rounding it and then working our way back across the bay. Small lights shined from the sterns of the kayaks — tethered beacons for others to see. The breeze calmed and silence fell over the water in the final minutes of day’s light. Suddenly, the sky, that was softly lit up by a nearly full moon, exploded into greens and reds and golds: nearby Sea World was having a fireworks show. Still in the boats, we turned them around to see the display and paddled backwards, oars dipping and boats sliding while we ooooh-ed and aaaah-ed.

The Beer

Best Day Brewing is a new non-alcoholic beer crafter out of northern California. They make a Kolsch, a Hazy IPA, and a West Coast IPA. On the paddle outing, I had the West Coast IPA. Refreshing? Yes. Taste like an IPA? Indeed. Citrusy and all that good stuff? Yep. Hydration? Surely!


The next morning, I got in my regular Saturday morning ride: 25+ miles in the Cuyamacas this time around. Pedaling a mountain bike up and down the desert-to-mountains landscape on a warm spring morning had me hankering for a post-ride beer. The new Rove Beer hit the spot. If there’s a brewery trying to do everything right when it comes to sustainability, Pure Project is easily in the top of any list anywhere. Rove comes in at 4.2% and goes down easy, pretty much perfect for a trailside beer, or at the crag, the river, the mountain top, the beach. As the Pure people say, it’s an adventure beer (American style lager), plain and simple. rove.beer