“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

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lake Oahe - Spring Creek to Peoria Flats

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.
From 2009_08_01
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.
From 2009_08_01
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.
From 2009_08_01
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!
From 2009_08_01
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.

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