“Spend as much time as possible on mountains, in small boats, or otherwise out in the weather; if you never get wet, cold, exhausted or scared, you won’t properly appreciate being dry, warm, rested and safe.” ~ Peter Jay

"I’m an adventuring river rat at heart. Put me on a floating piece of driftwood and I’m happy." ~ Christina Glauner

"There’s folly and foolhardiness on one side and daring and calculation on the other." ~ C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Night Paddling

Last night Will Coolidge and I went out for a short night paddle. He attached a small beacon to his Pamlico 14 and I attached my newest toy to my Carolina 14. I also had a headlamp strapped to my hat. We only spent an hour max, possibly less, on the water. But it was quite enjoyable. I need to work on adjusting my camera's settings to find a better setup for night pictures, but I did have some turnout alright.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

SDCA BSR - Lake Alvin to Klondike

Today I paddled with other SDCA members in a Big Sioux River cruise. We put in north of Lake Alvin and took out at Klondike, IA.
The paddle totaled 8 miles and was a very enjoyable cruise despite some bad news for myself. I had planned on meeting my friend, Arne, and taking him along; then camping at the Palisades. Well, that fell through when he had car trouble and had to return to Lincoln, NE. I kept in touch with him during the day and he will be getting a new car soon. There wasn't anything major wrong with his but enough minor things to out weigh the value of the car. With him out of commission I decided to skip the camping and return to Pierre tonight. Though it does allow me to update my blog sooner!

Like I said the paddle was very enjoyable. As for scenery, I liked this stretch much better than the Flandreau stretch of the BSR. I managed to catch site of a fawn, bald eagle, and possible some turkey buzzards. Also, some cattle. I am not sure how many boats we had but at one point before putting in I counted 19.

Though Arne was absent, the boat I borrowed for him to use did not go empty. A woman that had planned to ride in the middle of a canoe took it down the river. The boat was a WS Pamlico 14.

I have a slide show of my pictures below (128!) and within it I took a picture of what appears to be the remains of what may have been an old river crossing (concrete remains). Anyone know the story behind it?

The take out went quite smoothly despite only room for two boats at a time. We probably could have squeezed a few more at a time, but a few locals were fishing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Past two days...

On Wednesday, a quick paddle around Dump Island by William, Chuck, Will's brother, and myself. Uneventful, except that we fought through the wind on our way down, but when we turned to come back the wind died off. Chuck had planned on using his kayak sail on the way back. He used it anyway but fell way behind the rest of us. Pictures in the slide show.

Last night, Chuck took his new QCC 700X out and Will and his girlfriend paddled my tandem. John was there too. Funny thing, we had four boats and four different brands out last night!
  1. My Perception Carolina 14
  2. My Hurricane Santee 140T
  3. John's Wilderness Systems Tempest 17
  4. Chuck's QCC 700X
Pictures are in the slide show below. Also, note that you can turn the captions on by clicking the text box/bubble in the bottom left corner of the slide show.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

5 Mile Jaunt

I went out paddling this afternoon with Will Coolidge. I decided it had been long enough since I had the tandem out , so I took the ever fearless seadog, Scruffy, along with me. We put in off of the causeway (to La Framboise Island) and paddled upstream. The total trip ended up right at 5 miles. Our destination is a small island/sandbar with a few trees and shrubs. I have dubbed the isle: Pallet Island because there are a number of pallets laying on along it.
Proof that I had Scruff and the tandem out :)

Size comparison: Will in a borrowed WS Tempest next to the Pierre-Ft Pierre railroad bridge. This is the span that used to rotate out to allow steamships to pass.We saw many kayakers out today. It was a good sight, but this one baffled us a bit. If you look close this paddler has his/her boat standing on end!

The past few days...

On Thursday, I went paddling with a friend and his brother. They borrowed another Pierre Kayak Club member's tandem (much larger than my tandem, btw) and we paddled around La Framboise Island. We took the little inlet that I enjoy. I had no problems but their boat struggled towards the end... not enough water. So they missed the below sight that I captured: two deer crossing the dam-like structure at the end of the inlet.
On Saturday afternoon I went paddling with William again (same friend as above). This time he borrowed a Wilderness Systems Tempest from Chuck (owner of the tandem and chevy metro). His brother did not join us. We paddled a few inlets along Farm Island, totaling 5.1 miles. Caught a picture of a turtle sunbathing:
A picture of Will in front of the remains of an old building.
Afterwards I let him practice wet exits with my kayak since I had my skirt along and he missed the last time.

On Saturday evening Will, Chuck, and myself went out for a Bad River excursion, totaling 6.5 miles.
I always enjoy an early morning or late evening paddle, because the wind is normally down at those times and the sunset doesn't hurt photo opportunities either :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

La Framboise

I paddled around La Framboise Island last night. It was enjoyable paddle and the critters were numerous! First was a buzzard of some type. I am no bird expect, so if anyone can tell me what it is for certain I would be appreciative. If I were to guess, I'd say a turkey buzzard. Wikipedia just informed me that the Turkey Buzzard (or Vulture) is the most common type, so that is probably correct.That was the closest I have ever managed to get to a buzzard... not that I can get much closer t than I did last night.

Later in the trip, I entered the small channel between a sand bar and the island proper. For the first time in weeks there was enough water to get through.

I was unable to get my camera up in time to catch a heron or crane as I entered the channel. Again I am not good with birds, so I am not sure what I saw. It was a wading bird and was mostly if not completely white.

I also captured this nice photo of a fawn. He (or she) took off downstream ahead of me.
Later on I heard a lot of rustling in the rushes and saw a duck come flying out as if being chased or spooked. I never saw what chased the duck up, but it seemed or I assumed it to be rather small from the sounds. I would guess some sort of small mammal.

Not much later I saw a doe and fawn (possibly the same fawn) take off across the channel and into the island proper.

On my return journey, along the Pierre side of the island I came across a couple with recreation kayaks enjoying the shaded water along La Framboise.

I didn't have my gps with me, but from previous paddles I know the trip was about 6 miles, maybe a tenth or two above.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wet Exits

Last night the Pierre Kayak Club went up to the Oahe Downstream campground and practiced wet exits. I managed to take a couple of video clips of the other two guys performing the wet exit.

Chuck Kevghas

John Adler:

All three of us did well with the wet exits, so we will probably try to work on rolling in the future.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Paddling Comics

If you haven't discovered it yet, there are some paddling comic strips online. The one I am referring to is Bubblestreet, though there are less than three years worth (2005-2007).

Some of my favorites are below:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Farm Island and More

On Wednesday evening the Pierre Kayak Club took a paddle around Farm Island. Ended up being about 7.1 miles. I took some pictures but they all turned out blurry. I cleaned the camera's case and the pictures turned out fine tonight.

Scruff can ride on the new boat for short distances!And a pair of pictures of myself in the new boat.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Farm Island Cirumnavigation

Today I took a trip around Farm Island (near Pierre). I put in at the boat ramp on the north end of Farm Island State Rec. Area and paddled down and around Farm Island, taking out at the beach by the campground. Then, showing off my macho side ;) , I carried my boat the 0.5 mile walk to my pickup! The paddle ended up being about 7.3 miles. But don't forget the added 0.5 mile walk to get your vehicle, I wouldn't recommend carrying your boat unless there are plenty of attractive gals around... there weren't very many for me but I wanted to know if I could do it... I can.

A few pictures from the trip:

A doe and her fawns.
Fawns at play.

"Mom, where are you?! That blue floating thingy is looking at me!"

Thursday and Friday...

I managed to get out paddling Thursday evening and twice on the 4th. On Thursday I just did a short jaunt up the main channel in my tandem with Scruffy, sorry no map but there is a youtube video at the end of this post.

On the 4th, I paddled as far up the Bad River as I could make it... not as far as in April though. Totaled 6.5 miles. Then in the afternoon/early evening I paddled with my mom and Scruffy (they had my tandem) about 4.2 miles around Dump Island. Due to crazy wake from all the boaters I decided to try my skirt with the Carolina. It worked and even supported Scruff when he swam over to me!

A mink or something in the Bad River.
A lone horse up on top of the hill.From Thursday...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An Evening Around La Framboise...

Tonight I was just dinking about in the river, listening to the city band concert, when Dave Pfahler shows up with his boat. So I decided to tag along on his paddle around La Framboise Island. Got a little kayak talk in and I also got some great sunset shots.

My paddling, including the dinking around, was 7.5 miles.Dave built his boat with Rick Johns (SDCA) of Vermillion.

I think these sunset pictures (with and without Dave's boat) look fantastic.