|Dave Finck on Lake Alvin|
March is a time of great restlessness for those of us living
on the northern plains. This has
been a very long and cold winter and the arrival of a day with some sun and a
temperature in the high 50s is enough to become our obsession.
Dave Finck and I decided to take a “road trip” this morning and
visit several of the area waterways south and west of Sioux Falls. I can’t help but look back two years
ago and enjoy photos and narratives of a couple of cruises that I took on Lake
Alvin and Lake Lakota in mid-March.
There won’t be any such early cruises this year. Instead, I would guess that we are at
least three weeks away from being able to get out on area lakes.
Our first stop this morning was Lake Alvin, then we drove
across the Big Sioux River at the Grandview Bridge crossing, south of Sioux
Falls near Lake Alvin. From there,
we drove to the Klondike Rapids and walked across the bridge from the Iowa side
to South Dakota. We then continued
south to Lake Lakota, just on the southeastern edge of Newton Hills State Park.
|Big Sioux River looking upstream from Grandview Bridge|
|Big Sioux River looking downstream from Grandview Bridge|
|Big Sioux River at Klondike Rapids|
|New Service: Kayak Rentals at Lake Lakota|
From Lake Lakota, we drove west to check out Swan Lake,
located between Viborg and Hurley.
|Geese on Swan Lake|
All of these areas are in transition now. The ice is becoming splintered and porous
with pools of recently melted surface water scattered about. I would not want to walk out on any of
those surfaces, although we did see a guy ice fishing on Lake Alvin with a vehicle
parked on the ice.
|Guy out on the ice at Lake Alvin|
Geese were headed north overhead, and we could hear their
loud calls to each other. On Swan
Lake, we came across a large flock of geese standing around on the ice.
|Geese on Swan Lake|
The lakes are about to experience a great change as the warmer
surface water shifts with the deep cold water and the annual breakup takes
place. Kayaking and canoeing might
resume within just a few short weeks.