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
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
"Changing Pace" Article in South Dakota Magazine
South Dakota Magazine has a great story this month that presents the life-changing effect of kayaking upon a man in the Black Hills who has been fighting Parkinson’s disease. This story should resonate with readers of this blog on multiple fronts. First, kayaking is presented as a physical activity that can be continued, even with some physical limitations, over a lifetime. There is inspiration in the way Kelly Lane, of Rapid City, is committed to kayaking and indeed credits it with helping him maintain an active life. Then, there is a description of kayaking the many lakes in the Black Hills and finding contemplative joy in being alone on the water.
As I read this piece, I was reminded of my own motivation for kayaking and was struck with the similarity of purpose presented by Kelly Lane. I find the same satisfaction in kayaking the isolated prairie lakes in the Sioux Falls area as he does in similar but more scenic lakes in the Black Hills. Reading this article makes me want to explore the 33 lakes found in the Black Hills. It also offers some assurance that kayaking is not just for dare-devil white-water paddlers; kayaking is an activity that can be meaningful on several levels, and I feel encouraged to continue on with my paddling, even as a retired 70-year old geezer.
I strongly recommend this piece in the March/April issue of South Dakota Magazine.