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 01, 2008
Annual SDCA Canoe Fair
For many years, the SDCA has sponsored the Annual Canoe Fair at Lake Alvin, near Sioux Falls. This has been a time for people interested in trying out different types of boats to actually get out on the water to see how they like both the experience and specific varieties of craft. Some people came out who have never or rarely been in a kayak, others wanted to see and try out a variety of boats, and still others came to join in a group experience and network with other paddlers. Some parents brought their children so that they could experience getting out on the lake in a kayak or canoe.
This Sunday afternoon was really magnificent. It was one of the first days when temperatures rose into the 80s, the skies were clear, and there was little wind. Altogether, it was a really fine day to be out on the water, laughing with others sharing similar interests.
SDCA members served as mentors to novice paddlers and helped them learn the very basics: getting in the kayak, handling the paddle, balance, propulsion, and finally getting out safely.
Participants at the fair ranged in age from children to older people interested in a new outdoor activity.
The craft available for the participants included river-running, recreational, cruising, and touring kayaks. There was also a Folbot at the event, hand-made “Rick Johns” crafted kayaks, canoes, and a rowing boat.
There were at least two-dozen boats available for people to try. At least six people took my 13-foot Dagger out for a short tour. SDCA members felt that the event was very well attended and fully met the objectives of the outing. Lots of people got out on the water in a variety of craft.
To keep alert to future SDCA activities, I advise readers to check the SDCA website regularly: http://skcka.blogspot.com. Club members, of course, receive a newsletter with an agenda of future activities. Any interested in becoming members of the SDCA may contact me for information on membership at firstname.lastname@example.org.