“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, June 26, 2011

Rockin' Split Rock

I've been seeing many Facebook posts about paddlers gaining glory on Split Rock Creek and could not sit idly by. So, I took this weekend to get out of Pierre and do some paddling and camping near Sioux Falls. A college friend of mine, Andy, recently relocated to Mitchell for a new job, so I invited him to come along. This will be his second stint paddling my Perception Carolina 14. I, obviously, brought along my Current Designs Storm GT for myself.
On Saturday, it ended up being just the two of us paddling. We launched from McHardy Park in Brandon, SD (above the rapid) and paddled Split Rock Creek to the confluence with the Big Sioux River and then on to the Highway 42 bridge. It went great and, after the rapid in the park, was a quiet cruise. We covered a little over 8 miles. After finishing the cruise, we returned to McHardy Park to get another run on the rapid. Ryan S. ended up meeting us there and offering to shoot some video of us running the rapid.

Saturday night, Andy and I met up with Roger D. and camped at the Big Sioux Recreation Area. On Sunday we would double the paddlers from Saturday. Ryan met us at the campsite and we decided to do a longer version of the cruise some paddlers have been doing on Split Rock Creek through Palisades State Recreation Area. We began at Split Rock Park in Garretson, SD and finished at 259th St. near Corson, SD. We had some quite rough water to navigate, but everyone had a blast and no one swam. We covered a little over 10 miles on the cruise.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Medicine Creek

With the current flooding situation and boating ban in the Pierre area, I have had to mix up my paddling routine. Mostly I have been paddling up on Lake Oahe from the East Shore boat ramp and the Okobojo Point campground. Yesterday, I chose to explore a brand new (to me) waterway, Medicine Creek.

Medicine Creek joins the Missouri River 15 miles out of Pierre along highway 34. The location is referred to by most people as twin bridges. There are two bridges on hwy. 34, one for the creek and one for the railroad. There is also a third bridge for the creek to pass under the railroad.
Twin Bridges
Railroad Bridge
I scouted the area on Thursday afternoon before proceeding to Okobojo Point and I could not use the access off of the highway bridge over the creek. The high water provided essentially no clearance under the railroad bridge upstream. I did find an access point on the upstream side of the railroad bridge though.

There was plenty of  wildlife about. I saw plenty of small birds, fish jumping (probably carp), and even a couple of deer along the way.


This creek was a lot different than the other paddling locales around Pierre... even the Bad River. The high banks were mostly tree filled and tall grass and filled the banks everywhere else. Further up stream went from muddy backwater to a rocky, clear, and fast flowing creek. 
A small tributary?

Moving up the tributary. 
Dead End.  

I made it past this ripple. 
The creek started to get cleaner, rockier after I got past the ripple. 

I did not get past this ripple/rapid. 
About to head back downstream.
I thoroughly enjoyed paddling Medicine Creek. My only complaint is I could only go about a mile upstream. I probably will not return to this creek, because it is too short.... ...unless I can find another access further upstream and can travel down to twin bridges.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

110000 CFS, dog paddling, and East Shore

With the flooding situation, the closest place for me to paddle is the east shore access on Lake Oahe. On my way up to east shore, I swung by the stilling basin to check out the water.

This is what ~110,000 cfs looks like; the remaining 40,000 cfs is coming through the power plant.

At east shore, I initially tried to work with Indy on the Current Designs Storm GT. It did not work too well. I did get him to sit still for a bit, but it won't work for a downriver cruise. My options are the tandems or to find a canoe. I prefer the canoe idea for hauling camping gear and the dog someday.
From 2011-06-11

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pactola Reservoir

Over the weekend I ran the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Half Marathon. After picking up my race packet on Saturday, I headed towards Silver City and Pactola Reservoir to meet up with some of the Black Hills Paddlers for some paddling and grilling. I arrived at the Jenny Gulch put in just in time to haul boats back to Silver City for the grilling/picnic.

After some great food and BSing, I headed back to Jenny Gulch to do some solo paddling on Pactola. Not too much to report. I spent about a hour on the water and came across a couple of recreation paddlers. I also explored where Rapid Creek feeds the lake. The scenery was beautiful and the part of the lake I stayed in was a no wake zone. If I was in the Black Hills just for paddling I would have stayed longer and paddled more of the lake, but I didn't want to wear myself out.

The half marathon went well too. I met my goal of finishing in under 2 hours. My stats for the race were:
overall place:236 out of 1791
division place:17 out of 51
gender place:156 out of 554