“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
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Well, Friday was such a beautiful day that I took the afternoon off to go paddling. I just did my routine trip around La Framboise Island. The wind was calm and the temperature was in the mid 70s F. I covered the 5.75 miles in an hour and a half, averaging just under 4 mile per hour. Some pictures from the cruise:
The water was very low.
Monday, November 2, 2009
In part due to the wetter than normal weather in October, I only got on the water once during the month. This weekend was beautiful, so John and I decided to get our November paddle in yesterday (Sunday). Even Chuck was able to join us!
We covered 4.8 miles and finished in time for me to get back into town to catch my Panthers game and the Vikes/Packers game :)
We put in at the main Farm Island boat ramp and continued down and into Farm Island.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I spent this past weekend backpacking with boy scouts in the Badlands. As many of you already know, I volunteer with my old boy scout troop. Another adult and I took three scouts backpacking in the Badlands. We found a route on the Backpacker magazine website. It began from the Conata picnic area and went up to spot called Deer Haven. Pretty much a group of trees and grass accessible only by scrambling up one of the crumbling dirt formations common to the Badlands. The route is actually a 22 mile loop that I would like to complete next summer either with the scouts or on my own. Having limited time, we just went up to Deer Haven over the weekend.
We arrived Friday evening, packed about 3/4 of a mile in and setup camp. On Saturday morning, we packed up again and headed to Deer Haven. We did have a few miscues on the way. The first was when I was paying more attention to the location of Deer Haven than the route (on my gps). We ended up adding about a mile paralleling the route but on the wrong side of a formation. The second miscue was my gps refusing to give a direction; this was resolved when my gps lost signal and immediately gt it back. Once we made it to the top, we took some to rest. The original plan was to camp at Deer Haven, but we wanted a shorter hike in the morning so we could get back to Pierre sooner so we planned to hike back down. Once we were off deer haven and a half mile away, I noticed that the tent on my pack was missing! So, one of the scouts and I hiked back (without packs) to retrieve the tent. Luckily, we did find it.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I had planned to go paddling on Saturday since the constant wind and rain were forecast to end. Well, the wind ended and I was thinking of paddling in the rain but decided to watch the Notre Dame game instead... and what a game! John and I did get out paddling today (Sunday) though. We weren't sure where to go, but decided to give the Bad River another shot and see how the recent rain effected it. Not too much new to report. We put on the causeway and paddled across the Missouri River to the mouth of the Bad River and then continued upstream the Bad River. We did not make it as far as we did in September, but we did cover 8 miles and John hit 31 straight months paddling. I am only at 10 (January through October). And some pictures...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I took Friday off and drove down to Sioux City for a Young Dubliners show.
The show rocked. After staying the night at a motel in Vermillion, Indy (my dog) and I headed up to Sioux Falls for a Scheels fix and then to join up with the SDCA crew for a cruise on the Big Sioux River. And my favorite picture of Indy and me from Jay's Flickr photostream...
We met at the BSR access near Lake Alvin and paddled to the access upstream of the dam at Klondike, IA. As a note, some time in the future, the dam will be made passable with riprap, etc. Should be a lot of fun once that happens. The trip was quite enjoyable. All the participants spread out a fair bit. Indy was getting a little bored during the first half of the trip, so I let him swim/walk along the boat a couple of times. Kind of a trolling motor! He really seemed to enjoy it; plus it took a lot of energy out of him. He behaved very well for the remainder of the trip; laid nicely on the deck/skirt. Nothing else too exciting to post; we did not see much for wildlife. plenty of cattle in on spot and a few small birds. I spent a bit of time chatting with Jay Heath along the way and he should have some good pictures of Indy and me. My gps read about 8.1 miles. Some pictures below; they did not turn out the best as it is a bit difficult to deal with a dog and a camera while paddling. Should be better once I start taking Indy out in my tandem.
Monday, September 14, 2009
On Sunday, John and I paddled up the Bad River reaching further than I have ever been. Further yet than where Chuck and I made it to in June. The day was windy, but the bends and high banks of the Bad River kept most of the wind off of us. We ended up covering about 8.2 miles.
Also, I went out for a short paddle on Saturday evening. A few sunset pictures from it.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Yesterday, I put in at a spot just downstream of the swim beach at the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area. I paddled with Indy to the entrance to the Tailrace and waited for John and Gary to catch up; they departed from the same spot later than I did. It was a beautiful day; not too warm but not cold either. Wind was calm. We paddled up to the tailrace structure and John went into the pipe a considerable distance. We ran into a little problem on our way back though. There is a point/pennisula between our departure spot and the tailrace. The water is always very fast there but in past years we have been able to go wide and get back upstream. The point combined with the dam running water made it near impossible to get wide enough. Garyended up pulling up on the point. John did make it, but he had to cross over to the opposite side of the river and stay over for a consiferable distance upstream beyond the point. I tried the same, but tried to cut back too soon and ended up pulling out on the point with Gary. I think I could have made it if I didn't have Indy and possibly had a longer boat. Or if I would have just stayed to the opposite shore. It was still fun though. Because of losing ground and fighting back near the point, my gps read something like 6 miles. I think (from google earth) it was more like 5 miles.
Posted by Patrick Wellner at 9:09 AM
Monday, August 24, 2009
I convinced John to go paddling yesterday. It was a beautiful day; temperature in the mid to upper 80s, light wind, and few clouds. We went into the interior of Farm Island. I also took along Indy, my new dog from the humane society. He is an australian shepard/blue heeler mix and is about 7 months old. He did alright on the water. As well as Scruffy did the first few times he went out. We ended up putting in about 4.9 miles.
The last picture is from Saturday, when I took Indy out for only about a mile near the American Legion cabin.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Last night, I helped take some Boy Scouts out canoeing. We paddled from the Oahe Marina down to the causeway. When we arrived at the marina, there were a few rain drops and some clouds in the distance. We thought we could make it to the causeway before any storms hit. We were right... timing is everything though. Maybe 10 minutes after arriving and while we were loading the canoes back on the trailer, it began to rain. After finishing loading, we convened to the nearby amphitheater to partake in cake and ice cream to celebrate the scoutmaster's birthday. Then the full storm hit. Torrential downpour, wicked wind, and even a little hail swept through. As with most SD storms it was short lived though. As with most excursions, I think the storm will make even this short trip memorable. Also, my gps read 5.88 miles, but that also inludes me doubling back to check on some scouts that fell behind. Slideshow of pictures below:
Posted by Patrick Wellner at 4:15 PM
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sorry, I haven't been posting much. I have been keeping my mileage updated though. And last weekend I didn't paddle at all. Instead I spent the weekend in St Paul for the MN Irish Fair. On Friday I met with Cory Diedrich (sp?) and paddled around La Framboise with Cory and his cousin or nephew (I don't recall which). Cory paddled my Carolina and I paddled Chuck's Temptest. I am actually storing the Temptest in my garage while Chuck's garage gets some concrete repair done to the walls. Nothing too spectacular, 5.7 miles.
After the testing of my Carolina, Cory is planning on ordering one of his own! Yesterday, I paddled with Chuck and his girlfriend, Diana. Again we went around La Framboise Island, but with a slightly different route (we came through the main channel at the downstream end). We managed 6.4 miles. We even came upon Cory and his family enjoying the river in Griffin Park.
When Chuck and Diana pulled up to the causeway boat ramp, I heard bystanders say "Look at THAT!" and one even pulled out a camera... heh, a geo hauling around a 18', 90 lbs. kayak is a SIGHT!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Today, John and I decided to paddle another stretch of Lake Oahe. I decided to borrow Chuck's 18' Temptest, so as I could get used to it in case I decide to enter the SD Kayak Challenge. John and I met at Peoria Flats and loaded my boat and gear into his Tracker. We then went up to Spring Creek. Spring Creek is the home of the relatively new deep water marina on Oahe. As John and I departed, a sail boat was also heading out into the lake.
When I first hopped into the temptest, I thought, "Whoa, I can only fit one foot in!" But I then noticed that the foot braces were too short for me. The boat was fine to get into after adjusting the foot braces. Initially, we had a side wind causing us to fight to track straight. I also noticed my feet were feeling numb. After fiddling with the foot braces, I ended up setting them all the way forward (towards the bow). Between that and the wind dying down my feet felt fine. Fairly simple fix for a break-in cruise.
As we approached Peoria Flats, there were numerous trees underwater and lots of fish near the surface. We enjoyed paddling through some of the groups of trees... though it is important to be careful. Even without a current, these trees could be strainers. Just a little wind pushing you into them could do it.
We ended up covering 8.25 miles. Again, the Google Earth aerial photos are from when the water was low and show us paddling over land!
The Temptest made a difference... I can easily cruise at 3-4mph in my Carolina; In the Temptest I can easily cruise at 4-5mph. My biggest concern with the SD Kayak Challenge is the wind. Strong winds will make paddling on Oahe extremely difficult and night paddling would probably be out of the question (in the case of strong winds). Since the registration deadline is the Wednesday before the race, I might hold off on making my final decision until close to the deadline so I can see the weather forecasts.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This weekend was amazing. I originally decided to go to Sioux Falls when I heard that the Dakota Irish Fair had been revived after a three year absence and was bringing in one of my favorite twin cities' bands, The Wild Colonial Bhoys. I also wanted to take my boat along and find some time to hit the BSR over the weekend. I later learned that the Sioux Falls Air Show was the same weekend. I had never been to the air show before; though, like most boys, when I was a kid I was enthralled by airplanes. Yesterday morning, I left Pierre around 8 and headed down to SF. I first went to the Big Sioux State Recreation Area and set my tent up. Once camp was set, I headed to the SF air show. It was amazing... and I didn't even see all the acts! I caught Pierre local, Jim Peitz, the F22 demo, the Vanguard Squadron, a P51 Mustang (my favorite plane as a kid), a couple of C130's, and the Blue Angels. All were great!
Above: A F22 and a P38 (WWII era) fighter.
Above: P51 Mustang fighter.
Above: the Blue Angels.
Below: Playlist of video clips I took at the air show. Near the end of the Blue Angels performance, I started walking back to my pickup so I could go over the the edge of Falls Park on Phillips Ave. for the 2009 Dakota Irish Fair. The first time I went to it was in 2006; it was also the last one to occur until this year. Not a whole lot going on. But it seemed to be a better setup than in 2006. Also, my experience with Irish Fairs are based upon the twin cities and KC. If people continue to turn out for it as they did yesterday, the Dakota Irish Fair could grow into more.The acts consisted of the Dakota Pipe Band, the Sioux Falls Ceali Band, the Shamrockers (another SF group), and The Wild Colonial Bhoys. At some point or another, I had heard every group perform in the past. WCB is more rock and rebel song oriented than the others. When WCB opened with Hair of a Dog, I wasn't the least bit surprised to see some older folks leaving. But I was glad to see most of the crowd applauding through out the show. Especially since the median age was probably closer to my parents' age than mine. Btw, I believe I was the only adult standing through the whole show (besides the band that is). WCB put on a great show for SF and I hope to see them back next year. Another, low cost, idea would be the Wild Clover Band out of NE. I could name many other bands, but they are probably out of the budget of the Fair. Maybe Scythian isn't... Scythian. And now I will get to the paddling since that is the point of the blog. This morning I awoke to a fair amount of fog. I got up and took the kayak down to the BSR access near the Big Sioux Rec. Area. I paddled upstream for about 1.25 miles and managed to save some distance downstream because I totaled only 2.4 miles. The fog made for some nice photo opps too. I was on the water for a little under an hour.
|From 2009 Sioux Falls Air Show
|From 2009 Sioux Falls Air Show
|From 2009 Sioux Falls Air Show
|From 2009 Dakota Irish Fair
Friday, July 24, 2009
Well, I haven't been very good about posting this week. Though I have kept the paddling days and distance in the sidebar updated. On Sunday, John and I paddled around Farm Island, about 6.5 miles. We paddled against a stiff headwind on the way downstream. We relaxed a bit after coming around the end of the island. Somehow, we managed to move against the wind faster than with it.
Will and his brother.
An immature bald eagle, I believe.
On Tuesday, I paddled around La Framboise Island, about 5.7 miles. I was out late enough to get some decent pics of the sun setting.
On Wednesday, I dinked around near the bridges and caught some more sun setting pictures. Only about 2.4 miles on Wednesday evening.
Yesterday afterwork, I helped my mom go out in my parents' boat. And then I went out myself along with Will Coolidge, a pharmaceutical student, and his brother. Will was paddling one of Chuck's boats and Will's brother was paddling Will's boat. We just made a run around La Framboise Island, about 5.7 miles. Will and I believe we saw two immature bald eagles. They were too big to be much else. Anyone that can tell me if we assumed correct, thanks. Not too much else to say.
My mom paddling my parents' Wilderness Systems Excel. A 16' tandem; the front seat slides into the middle for soloing.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Joe got back to Pierre around 8 last night. Joe, Kelly and Tina from RC, and myself were camping in Griffin Park last night. We had numerous paddlers stop by to visit with Joe and show him the hospitality of Pierre paddlers, including, John Adler, Chuck Kevghas, Dave Pfahler, Gary and Lenise Haag. We got up between 4 AM and 5 AM today to tear down our tents, etc. John came shortly thereafter and we shuttled my pickup and Kelly's Explorer down to DeGrey. The water was beautiful early this morning. Glasslike doesn't begin to describe it! Before we launched a Pierre local stopped to visit. He apparently is a standup paddler and formerly worked as a kayak guide for Dakota Adventures (aka Steamboat). We had the Haags paddling their 12' Pungos, Kelly and Tina paddling an 18' kevlar canoe, John paddling his Temptest, I was paddling my Carolina, and, of course, Joe paddling his CD Storm. The Haags turned back after maybe 4 or 5 miles; I honestly can't remember when exactly they turned around.
Mr. Yellow is only missing a big yellow pimp hat. Joe joked, he'd keep an eye out for one in New Orleans. Group Photo! L to R: Tina, Kelly, Lenise, Joe, Pat, John, Gary. Joe. Tina and Kelly. Joe. Joe. On to St Louis! Joe has friends down there planning a party for him when he passes through. Sadly, I am only going back to Pierre. I would love to do a long journey someday.
A great paddle. We covered 23.5 miles and faced a headwind most of the way after about 10 or 11 AM. I would like to thank Joe for allowing us to paddle with him and I hope we didn't slow him down too much. He seemed to enjoy the company; I suspect we left a last impression upon him as he did to us. More pictures can be seen at my picasa album.
I also need to mention that we have an open invite to come to the Black Hills to go creekboating with Kelly. For any interested, we might be able to arrange something... maybe a SDCA and Black Hills Paddlers coop event. I hope everyone continues to follow Joe's journey to the Gulf of Mexico; I know I will. Hopefully, the pictures of Joe creek boating with Kelly and Tina surface on Joe's blog this week. I also recommend those in the Vermillion and Yankton areas to try to meet with Joe when he paddles through. His cell and sattelite phone numbers are on his website. And a video clip of Joe, Tina, and Kelly...
...much better than Joe, the plumber isn't he?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Joe is spending tonight at the Oahe Downstream Campground #2. John and his wife, Cathy, met Joe and I at Mad Mary's Steakhouse for supper. We listened to Joe talk about his trip so far. We talked a little about our own paddling and what he (Joe) can expect downstream. Sounds like Joe will be meeting Kelly and John at the causeway at 11 AM tomorrow. I believe that John is going to watch over Joe's boat, etc., while Kelly takes Joe out to the Black Hills. Joe should be back in Pierre Friday evening. I think he will be camping in Griffin Park Friday night. I think John and I are planning on paddling along with Joe for a bit as he departs Pierre.
Again, Joe's website/blog is http://www.paddlingforparkinsons.com
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
John and I just got back from driving up to Pike Haven on Lake Oahe. We went up and met with Joe Forrester, a med student from the U of Virginia, that is paddling from the Missouri River headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico. Joe is paddling to raise money for Parkinsons disease. John is going to help him portage the Oahe Dam tomorrow and it sounds like Joe is going to stick around the area until Saturday. I think some folks from the Black Hills Paddling Club are going to show him around the Hills Thursday and/or Friday. John and I are planning on paddling with him a bit as he departs on Saturday; I think some folks from the Black Hills are planning on doing the same.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Last night, the Boy Scout troop I volunteer with took the troop's canoes out to goof around on the water. There also were a couple of kayaks. my Carolina and another adult's boat. Not much to say. A slideshow of pictures:
Posted by Patrick Wellner at 12:49 PM
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Today was again windy. I talked Chuck into taking an excursion up the Bad River. And what a day to do it! We made it further up the river than I have ever been! We totaled 7.4 miles.
We launched from the boat ramp at the mouth of the Bad River and Chuck was his usual late self. About a mile up the Bad River is a draw that has never before had enough water to paddle. Today was different. I couldn't very far up it, but I did make it around a bend. After our endeavor up the draw, a rainstorm passed over us. Nothing to bad, just added some clean water to the Bad River. Don't mind the water spots, but here is a picture of where we had to turn around. And nearing the mouth of the Bad River. That is a pedestrian bridge over the river. It is next to the boat ramp.