This blog is designed to highlight the paddling opportunities within South Dakota, mainly within a 50-mile radius of Sioux Falls. While Sioux Falls is far from the adventure of coastal regions, there is a certain satisfaction in utilizing the available waterways to observe weather, water conditions, and the landscape along the shoreline. In addition, there is a wealth of animal life on the waters of small South Dakota lakes, rivers, and creeks, including geese, ducks, pelicans, great blue heron, egrets, hawks, owls, perching birds, deer, raccoons, and beaver. Eagles, fox, and coyote are also sometimes spotted.
The sites described are places where I have kayaked over the past few years, mostly in South Dakota but sometimes including locations in Iowa and Minnesota. One of the best sources of information on the accessibility of small lakes is the South Dakota Atlas and Gazetteer, the large map book of South Dakota. Lakes with a public access are generally identified by a boat symbol marking the location of a launching site on public land.
You will notice the menu of paddling locations on the right side of the blog. Each of the postings is linked to one of the areas, and my intention is to provide a continuing review of the places where I paddle. Perhaps these narratives will help readers select waterways of interest to them. Please feel free to offer a comment regarding any of my postings; I would welcome the dialog.
I also maintain a companion blog that describes hiking opportunities within the Sioux Falls area. You can access that blog at: http://hikingsiouxfalls.blogspot.com
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Lake Alvin Canoe Festival - June 2007
The South Dakota Canoe Association (SDCA) hosted its annual festival of boats at Lake Alvin on Sunday, June 3. This is an event sponsored by the SDCA that provides an opportunity for people to try out a variety of canoes and kayaks that belong to members. People who want an introduction to kayaking often come out to try their hand at one or more of the available boats. Also, people who are interested in the experience of paddling another style of boat are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.
The day began with temperatures in the 70s, light wind, and sunny skies. Within an hour or so after the event began, a thunderstorm developed, and most of us were caught out on the lake or at the launching area and got a little wet. The rain was not cold, however, and we all were able to deal with it just fine. After half-an-hour, perhaps, the rain moved off and the boats were back on the lake. By then the wind was a little stronger, but the sun had reemerged and the day looked good.
Pete Larson brought a couple of whitewater kayaks along and demonstrated how to roll them. Rick Johns brought a couple of finely hand crafted kayaks for people to try out. He even did a little fishing from his kayak. ShaRon Kelly had a trailer full of canoes for people to try out if they wished. There were perhaps eight or ten kayaks out on the water most of the time.
The SDCA sponsors several cruises each season, and these are highlighted in the club newsletter. Joining the SDCA is a pretty good way to keep alert to paddling and fellowship activities associated with canoe and kayak activity. The price is right: $10.00 a year for an individual membership. For those who would like to initiate a membership, just send your information (Name, Address, Phone, e-mail, experience, hobbies/interests) and a check to: Director of Membership, SDCA, P.O. Box 90227, Sioux Falls, SD 57109-0227.