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:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Weeks Ago in Costa Rica

With the slowly approaching paddling season here on the northern plains, I can't help but think of our recent two week trip to Costa Rica, especially my first time rafting through class 3 rapids.  I looked at the rushing water over rocks in the Sarapiqui River and knew that I would never have even thought of going through with a kayak.  Still, there were two guide/rescue kayaks (a short whitewater boat and an inflatable kayak) as part of our group of four rafts going on the two-hour cruise. As you look at the photograph of us, I am in the bow on the right side, and my wife, Marcella, is right behind me.  She can't swim and I can't get her into a kayak; still, she had confidence in the guides and loved the ride.  She was sorry to see the trip end. I began thinking that maybe I would have to add a tandem boat to my fleet for future cruises, but she does not seem too eager.  Maybe, with reason, she had more confidence in the whitewater rafting guides than in my skill level!

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