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:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Recent Grads on Canoe Expedition to Hudson Bay

In 1930, Eric Sevareid, who would go on to become one of the top CBS radio and television reporters and commentators of the 1940s -1970s, graduated from high school in Minneapolis and, with a pal, set off in a canoe for Hudson Bay. He wrote about this expedition in a book entitled Canoeing With the Cree in 1935, a book still available and one of the classics in canoe wilderness travel. I read this book many years ago and remember it still. Eric Sevareid was paired up with Walter Cronkite for many years, and I remember him well during that period when CBS news was the dominate broadcast voice on television.

This year, two young women who are just now graduating from St. Olaf Collage in Northfield, Minnesota, are setting out on June 2 from Fort Snelling in Minneapolis to recreate the Sevareid journey. Their website at gives details of their plan, and they are documenting the voyage on a blog at I plan to vicariously follow along on this 2,250 mile trip that begins on the Mississippi River, into the Minnesota River, on to Big Stone Lake, down the north flowing Red River of the North, to Lake Winnipeg, into the Hayes River, then to York Factory on Hudson Bay.

Although a few others have recreated this journey over the years, these two young grads hope to become the first women to follow Sevareid’s path. I try to tag along on expeditions like this, much as I do with Roz Savage’s row around the world. Expeditions like this are inspiring to me. I like to follow people who set out on their own path to challenge themselves and nature rather than follow a more traditional route to career, financial entanglements, and conformity. So, I will be checking in regularly to see how their trip is going.

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