As we all know, life can "get in the way" of true happiness. I invite you to follow my posts as I try to reconnect with nature as often as life allows. Then,
if so inspired, pick up a paddle or pack and join me on an adventure that makes everything else fade away. -

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kansas River Float

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This day float was a Sierra Club event organized by my friend Tim and led by Friends of the Kaw.  On Saturday, September 20th, 2014 we met just outside of Perry and shuttled people to the put-in in Topeka for a 14 mile float down the KAW (Kansas River).

After a brief safety talk we headed out for a beautiful day on the water despite the threat of oncoming storms.  A bit past the halfway point we stopped for a lunch of hot dogs over a campfire built from driftwood.  This was the hottest fire I've seen in a long time!

The water was a tad low, but generally good.  I got hung up a couple of times but did not have to exit my boat to get moving again.  Rather than bringing my normal boat I had brought my son's new one, the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125.  When I bought him this boat after his successful trip paddling down the Current River the previous month I knew I would be using it as much as him.  While I love my Wilderness Systems Commander 120, I wanted something that I could get a bit more speed out of.  I immediately noticed it was faster than my commander, but also much less stable.  I will have to get used to this fact, but really enjoyed paddling this boat and would highly recommend it!  I am really looking forward to taking it on an extended trip next year!  I hope Colin will let me ;)

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Missouri River Float

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I heard about this day float through the Sierra Club Meetup Group from my friend Bill.  Platte County was celebrating their 175th year, and this float was organized as part of the festivities for Saturday, September 6th, 2014.  By the time we put in there were over 70 boats participating!

I had been wanting to paddle on the Missouri, and of course, Colin wanted to join me!  What better way to take on such a big river than with a large group?  We left the house around 7:00am, taking both vehicles to the take out point in Parkville.  We dropped my car and headed to the put-in in Farley.  After unloading, my wife headed back to Parkville and switched vehicles, thus leaving Colin and I the roof rack.  She then went shopping for the rest of the day :)

It took quite a while to get everyone's boats in the water, but once complete we headed off in the largest group of paddlers I've even been a part of.  It did not last as some sped ahead of the pack and ended up finishing long before the rest of the group.  The idea was that we would all float into Parkville to the waiting crowd by the boat ramp.  We ended up with about half of the group I would say, which was still a huge success!

It was interesting paddling on the Missouri from the moment we entered if at the confluence with the Platte.  There was a huge difference in the current, thus creating a swift eddy line that we had to quickly paddle through.  The river was wide and swift, but calm.  The strangest part was the whirlpools that would show up under your boat from time to time.  All of a sudden you were spinning without explanation!  A little corrective paddling solved this issue and soon it was the norm.

We had a great day being out on the river with great people and I now feel comfortable paddling this river.  It is however important to know what you are doing and to understand the water levels, wing dikes, etc.  I had read about it, but doing it is another thing.  I will not hesitate to paddle on the Missouri again, and I imagine there will be many more trips in my future.  I've already heard talk of a trip to the wild and scenic sections near Yankton, SD (bring it on) and I am planning a trip to the upper Missouri in Montana with Colin.  If only it were already next Spring!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lake Jocomo Paddle

After Colin successfully paddling 10 of the 18 miles on our Current River Trip by himself I figured it was time for him to have his own boat.  In all honesty, I also wanted another boat that would give me some more speed for longer trips.  We loaded up the boats and headed over to Lake Jocomo for some paddling.  This was our first time on this beautiful lake and I am looking forward to going back next year!  I was a little worried about whether or not he would be able to handle a bigger boat, but he had no trouble at all.

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