“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, May 8, 2011

Rock River and Lake Vermillion

On Saturday, I drove down to Rock Rapids, IA to meetup with some fellow members of the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association for cruise on the Rock River, organized by Dave and Mary Fink. We met at Island Park in Rock Rapids and shuttled vehicles down to where highway 75 crosses the Rock River. It was a great day, temperature in the 70s and little wind. Not long after beginning the cruise, we came across a small rapid that surprised many of us. Apparently, high flows made it a bit larger than normal. There were a few other ripples encountered downstream, but just on the first half of the cruise. Around the halfway point, we took a short break on a sandy beach. The second half of the cruise was fairly uneventful. We did come across some other paddlers taking a break, a fisherman, and a few folks riding a 4 wheeler along the river bank.

My phone recorded 9.27 miles and another paddler's gps tracked about 9 miles; let's call it 9.1 miles.

Today, I met Ryan Snuggerud at his house where we waited out the T-storm before heading to Lake Vermillion. I didn't bother to carry my camera, because of the nasty wind and waves on the lake. I, also, forgot to track our course. For the most part, we just battled and "played" in the wind and the waves. I was using my wing paddle to see how it handled choppy conditions (very well as it turns out). Ryan was paddling his recently purchased Pax 20 and paddling with his newish Greenland paddle. After a bit, we returned to a calm area near the boat ramp to swap paddles. I now better understand why the purists love Greenland paddles, though I am not sold on them for me. Ryan was impressed with the sprinting speed he could get from my wing paddle.

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