“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 24, 2012

Safety Boating for Triathlon and Legacy Park to Downtown Greenway

Yesterday morning I met up with other members of the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association to provide safety boats for the swim portion of the Wall Lake Triathlon. The triathletes were impressive. Nobody dropped from the race and only a handful needed to momentarily hang onto a kayak to catch their breath..

After the race, Willard Story, Cory Dietrich, Kati Albers, Roger Debates, and I went to Legacy Park to unload boats for a trial run of the upcoming Race To The Falls on August 25th. More information about the race should be available on July 2nd. While we shuttled vehicles, John and Jenn Geyer also joined the group.
Skunk Creek was at 4.6+ on the USGS gage and Cory told me that it is good above 4.5. Without rain, it could get pretty dicey by the end of August. The BSR was definitely low in places yesterday, but Cory told me that the city plans on releasing some water from the diversion dam to help with the race. I think the BSR will be alright and I am already thinking of race strategies. For instance, I may start with my Seven 2 paddle on Skunk Creek where the rocks and shallow water could be more prevalent and switch to the wing when I get to the BSR. Now back to yesterday's trip.
John and Jenn exited the river at the 26th St access, near their home. I foresee a new boat in their future, since Jenn struggles to keep up in her current boat. She did great in John's boat at the Niobrara, so who gets the new boat might be a tossup.
We continued on passing paddlers that were part of a group sponsored by a local bar. Some of them might as well have been using inner tubes instead of kayaks for all the paddling they were doing though.
It was a cool sight to pass from a wooded park area into downtown Sioux Falls on the river. I hope the river greenway area downtown gets lots of use, so the city continues to value the BSR, greenway, etc as the great assets that they are.

We ended up covering 11.7 miles. Map below.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Paddling With The Diedrich's

About a week ago I received an email from Cory Diedrich, inviting me to join him, his family, and his sister on a cruise on the Niobrara River for today. I was leaning heavily towards joining them until Saturday. I let Cory know that I should probably stay in Pierre for a combination of reasons that included the wind forecast for Valentine having 30+ mph gusts. The wind forecast was enough to dampen the Diedrich clan's plans. They decided to join me for a paddle in Pierre.

We decided to depart from the Oahe Marina just below the dam and end at Griffin Park in Pierre. I met them at Griffin Park, where we loaded my boat and gear into their van and trailer. We left my pickup and Cory's sister's (Dee's) pickup at Griffin Park and drove up to Oahe Marina.

We took a leisurely pace to enjoy the day on our way downstream. The high temp was in the mid 90s and the wind was from the southeast in the mid teens with 20 mph gusts, relatively calm for my trips. We made a few stops at sandbars along the way and noticed many buffalo/bison bones and teeth in the water just downstream of the stilling basin. When we reached the causeway boat ramp, we helped Cory's wife, Janey, and his sons, Sam and Aiden, over the causeway as a shorter option to our trip. Cory, Dee, and I continued on around the La Framboise island and back up to Griffin Park. Our total mileage was 11.3 miles.