Trip report

Posted by George Jung on Jun 4, 2005

Today, went on a 20 plus mile paddle on the Missouri (middle of South Dakota), taking off around 8:00AM, and heading south of town. It was overcast, had rained last night, but otherwise was a gorgeous morning. Accompanying me was G. Grabin, some-times poster here, and owner of a Chesapeake 17 (I paddle a 17LT). It has been a wet spring, and the bluffs are lush with dark green grass, a condition that will change soon as temperatures rise and everything takes on a 'brown' tinge. There was a nice chop, with the quiet broken only by passing fishing boats, heading out on yet another weekend fishing tourney. Aside from a deer, a herd of cattle in a pasture, and the occasional fish jumping out of the water, it was quite calm and quiet... until we decided to cross over to the west bank. It was approximately 1.5 to 2 miles across; there was some wind, contributing to a nice, rolling wave set. Then the rain started in, first just a heavy drizzle, progressing to a nice summer shower. This looked to be an opportune time to stop for lunch, add some rain gear, and rest up; we were about 10 miles from our launch point. After a half hour or so, the rain let up, and we decided to head back, choosing to re-cross the river to shorten the distance a bit. It's amazing how quickly that wind can come up in South Dakota! We had some pretty good waves, and were again pleased at how well these boats handle rough water. It seems we always get some close inspection by the sportfishermen; they seem surprised these boats would be out in these kinds of conditions, but then, kayaks are something of a novelty in our area. No hassles, and many keep an eye on us, in the event of problems.

Not much else to tell. This was a great paddle, fairly uneventful save for weather conditions. The bluffs are spectacular, and the shale cliffs were striking, in the rain. Wish you all could have been there!



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