Friday, December 30, 2005

Paving Paradise for Parking Lots

Tough Compromises Ahead for Southeastern Oklahoma

Martin Marietta Materials is proposing to use the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer to provide water for washing dust from rocks in a quarry currently under construction northwest of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. The company plans to use limestone it obtains for its 300-acre quarry to make concrete rock, asphalt rock and base.

Because the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer is the source for much of Southeastern Oklahoma’s water, many residents are worried about the sustainability of their vital water resource. Tourists currently visit SE Oklahoma from all over our state, Arkansas and Texas to enjoy the water resources in that area. With our current drought of historic scale here in Oklahoma, I can't help but fear for our already under-protected rivers. Sadly, jobs aren't exactly in surplus in that part of the state as well.


According The Oklahoman, two federal agencies that originally objected to the plan have come to an agreement with the firm, apparently removing a potential hurdle for approval by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWB). -- Ada News

It would appear that the company has managed to convince the current administration in Washington D.C. to compromise on their enviromental policies. One can only imagine how difficult that must have been.

The Ada News has the full article: Ada Evening News, Ada, Oklahoma--New controversy brews over aquifer

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Deep Fork River Suffers Through Drought

Dianne and Turtle
Dianne and Turtle,
originally uploaded by FreeWine.
You can see from the waterline on the shore in this picture that Deep Fork is dropping lower everyday.

Our state is so parched that the red water that usually flows in from the OKC area has dried up on the way. The river's water has become strangly clear.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Deer on the Deep Fork River

Deer on Deep Fork River
Deer on Deep Fork River,
originally uploaded by FreeWine.

On Monday, our part of Oklahoma was blessed with spring-like weather in the 60's. Acting quickly, Dianne and I foisted off our spawn on the nearest Grandparent and headed to the river for some emergency paddling. We have both been spending too many long hours at the keyboard and not enough in the sunshine.

We went back to the Deep Fork River bridges near Grayson and paddled the opposite direction as we went last time. I think we were going downstream, but there wasn't enough current to make much difference either way. Although it was a little breezy at times, for the most part it was perfect paddling weather. The sun was brilliant and there was quite a bit of wildlife out and about. We saw several whitetail deer, gray squirrels and a healthy number of turtles. One crazy carp nearly jumped in my kayak!

Just like before, we found the water relatively deep for the season, slow running and much more free of logjams and debris than many parts of the Deep Fork River. The two highway bridges near Grayson make a really nice place to slip the kayaks in the water for some excercise. We both felt renewed after only few hours of paddling in the sun. On this part of the Deep Fork River, there are miles of curvy waterways to paddle up and back on.

More pictures from this trip are available on my flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freewine/

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Snow Tubing in OKC Through New Year!

Snow Tubing at Bricktown Ballpark

OKC is a bit of a drive for this family, but some events are just too cool to miss! Snow Tubing in Bricktown definately fits the bill.

We can't wait to go slipping down the towering slide of snow recently installed at SBC Bricktown Ballpark. Stretching from the second deck to second base, this snow-tubing run is the largest of its kind in the world...right in Bricktown! There is a smaller slide for kids, hot concessions and a snowman building area.

Bob Howard Snow Tubing at the Brick - Oklahoma City
Open Daily 12-10p
Christmas Eve 12-6, Christmas Day 4-10p
Adm. $8.50 for 1-1/2 hours
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Fighting The Calendar for Some Paddling Time

It looks like today will be the last day of nice weather in these parts for a least a week or more. Dianne and have been too busy printing, proofing and binding calendars to do any kayaking for the last couple weeks. If we could escape today, I'd love to paddle Deep Fork River near Grayson again. The last time we paddled it, we were impressed by the fairly deep water and lack of obstructions. I am very curious about what the conditions are like downstream of the put-in we used on our last trip.

The calendar building project has been very time consuming, but at least it has been educational. My wife Dianne creates websites and sells promotional items for Oklahoma area wineries. Her website is VineByDesign.com and this year she decided she wanted to introduce a new product - Oklahoma Winery Calendars. We have a real nice Xerox color printer, so we figured it wouldn't be too tough to just make them for ourselves. Things I learned about on this project include: how paper is categorized and priced, sprial comb book binding and more than I ever thought there was to learn about hole punching. It turned out to be harder than we thought, but I think the end product is quite nice.

The calendar we are selling is just loaded with Oklahoma special events. In addition to marking the US Holidays and Oklahoma wine events, we also included boat shows, state fairs, jazz festivals, rodeos and much more. Heck, what other calendar marks the date of the National Noodling Tournament? For those who sign up, we will also send out free updates later in the year for Oklahoma events that are still being planned.

We have made it 100% Oklahoma, now we are hoping to see it go sweeping over the plains.

When Dianne and I bought our kayaks, we expected to spend every weekend on the river. I guess everyone that buys a boat feels that way at first. Now that epic drought conditions and free enterprise have forced us to cut back on our peaceful paddling plans, I am left with not much to blog about. I think I may write an article about buying recreational kayaks in Oklahoma. We shopped around for ours and ended up buying two very similar kayaks from two different Oklahoma paddling gear shops. It might be interesting to compare the vendors and their wares.

VineByDesign.com - Promoting Oklahoma Wines & Specialty Items

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Leaders Looting Oklahoma's Most Scenic Rivers?

Are County Commisioners Looting Oklahoma River Resources?

Well, when the bad weather and job issues keep me off the rivers, I figure I can always post some news about the development of paddling resources in Oklahoma. Sadly, the last good news I found was for the improvements being made to the Tulsa Wave. This week, I only seem to find the other kind of news:

Mining Scenic Rivers in Oklahoma

Members of Trout Unlimited from Tulsa have recently made complaints to at least four state agencies and the U.S. Corps of Engineers about illegal gravel mining on the Illinois River. Now it looks like some of the mining may have been tracked back to Muskogee County Commissioner Ronnie Pevehouse.

Complaints that he allegedly removed gravel illegally from the Illinois River are without merit, said Muskogee County Commissioner Ronnie Pevehouse. The legal removal of gravel from private property adjacent to the river is saving county taxpayers $60,000 per year, Pevehouse said. - Muskogee Phoenix
Muskogee Phoenix - Commisioner accused of illegal gravel mining

Illegal Dams on Oklahoma's Scenic Rivers

Due to the recent damming of Barren Fork Creek in both Adair and Cherokee counties, and the discovery of illegal gravel mining in Delaware County on Flint Creek, Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Chairman Rick Stubblefield recently decided that something had to be done.

Oklahoma Scenic River supporters may be relieved to know that the commisioner has appointed a four-member Watershed Coordination and Management Committee to tackle illegal operations along the banks of the Illinois River.

Tahlequah Daily Press - Committee named to tackle illegal river operations

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ouachita River Park Benefit Whitewater Video

Kayaking T-Shirt and Whitewater Video To Support Ozark Area Paddling

The Corps of Engineers recently announced that the 404 permit was approved to construct the whitewater improvements for the planned Ouachita River Park. The Arkansas Canoe Club (ACC) still needs help to ensure it can be completed. Click the link for more information:
http://www.arkansascanoeclub.com/mb/viewtopic.php?t=756. A key funding source has been a local whitewater kayaking video produced by their members called: Arkayakansas.

The name maybe a little tricky, but the video is really a blast. It is well worth the money and for a great cause, I've watched it more times than Spike's Kayak Fishing video and that is a lot of replay! You see some of the coolest kayaking spots in the Natural State paddled vigorously to the mean sounds of electric guitars. No time for fishing on these trips, just sliding down one mountain stream after another and doing wild creek rodeo tricks. It made me want to buy a playboat. Now they have sweetened the deal. Check this out:


To celebrate the permit and continue the progress, the price for ARKAYAKANSAS has been reduced to $20.00 just in time for the holidays and they will even throw in a Ouachita River Park T-shirt! You can order your own copy of this rockin' whitewater kayak video produced by our neighbors in Arkansas here: http://www.arkansascanoeclub.com/video/order/


I think I'm going to buy another copy of ARKAYAKANSAS to give as a gift, so I can get one of those t-shirts...and to help out the ACC.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Paddling the Deep Fork River from the New Highway 266 Bridge

Excellent Kayak Launch Point Between Dewar and Grayson

Dianne and I paddled the bit of Deep Fork River pictured in the last post yesterday. The winds, clouds and weather forecasts did not sound too favorable, but I just had to get some excercise. If I can't paddle, my job keeps me wound up tighter than a banjo string, so we decided to risk it anyway. We were blessed. Although it did sprinkle on us a some and offered very little sunshine for our pictures, we had a great time on the river and emerged only lightly damp.

This was our first time paddling Deep Fork at this put-in and we were impressed. There is a nice road leading underneath the new Deep Fork River bridge on Highway 266 beteen Dewar and Grayson, Oklahoma. You can park a good distance off the highway, yet close to the water. We were able to easily launch kayaks from under the new bridge and paddle either way for quite a distance! Although it is quite curvy, the river channel is both deep and wide here and not nearly as clogged up with logjams as most of the Deep Fork River. Naturally, there is not much current in this very dry year. You have to actually enjoy paddling as this is no 'float trip'. We paddled upstream for about four miles and then paddled back to our put-in without much difference in speed.

This is a great time to paddle this leg of the river as the trees are quite colorful now and the area is teaming with wildlife. At one point early in the trip, we slowed the paddling pace for awhile to concentrate on paddling quietly. It's an important skill if you like observing the local critters. After a few minutes of quiet padling, we were rewarded with this Oklahoma beaver shot...you can't beat that! More pictures from the area are on Flickr.

We are looking forward to launching from this put-in again soon and paddling the other direction a few miles. It is a crying shame that so many good river put-ins on our Oklahoma highways have been closed in recent years. This is an example of one community that has kept their river crossing, even in the midst of new road development in the area. I hope to learn about more places like this in Oklahoma. I'm listing them on my Oklahoma Paddling Fun page, mostly for my own reference. Send me an email or leave a comment on the blog if you can reccomend any good Oklahoma river put-ins for kayaking.

I wonder if that local restaraunt owner noticed our yaks in the parking lot and the business a little bit of dirt road underneath the highway bridge brought him? IMHO, Communities that steward these resources wisely, rather than discarding them to reduce litter, loitering or other temporary nuisance, are likely to benefit from the growing popularity of Oklahoma kayaking.

One thing is certain, buying our kayaks has given Dianne and myself a new appreciation for the state of Oklahoma and the quality of life to be had here...and you can't beat that either.

Technorati Tags: Paddling Kayak Oklahoma Rivers Deep Fork

Friday, November 25, 2005

Old Deep Fork River Bridge Near Grayson, OK

This Deep Fork River bridge near Grayson, OK has been mothballed and replaced with a new cement bridge. You can get into the water with a kayak from either of them. There's a link to the Google Map (and other kayaking put-ins) on my Oklahoma paddling website: http://www.oklahomaroadtrips.com/oklahoma-paddling.htm

Technorati Tags: Paddling Kayak Oklahoma Rivers Deep Fork


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Christmas Parade of Lights on the Oklahoma River Dec 10, 2005

Oklahoma River Christmas Parade This December OKC will be presenting a downtown parade with floats that actually float. The second annual Devon Energy Holiday Parade on the Oklahoma River is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Boats decorated in holiday lights will be accompanied by fireworks along the Oklahoma River. The parade of boats will begin about 6 p.m. at Oklahoma City's Regatta Park and then travel west to Wiley Post Park. The boats will return to Regatta Park after the fireworks display. In 2004, it was estimated that around 35,000 people attended the inaugural river parade.

Those who would like to enter a boat in the parade can download entry forms here or pick up one in person at Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., 210 Park Ave., Suite 230. Forms also may be picked up at metro area boat dealers.

Entertainment starts at 4pm and the fireworks will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Landed and Stranded - Another Dry Weekend

We scouted out two new launch points to paddle the Deep Fork River this Saturday. Sadly, forces beyond our control prevented us from kayaking for yet another weekend. This was a huge disappointment to both Dianne and I. We have both had some heavy duty work related stress for the last couple weeks and could have really used benefited from some time on the water.

Now we are stuck at home for another week shopping for Paddling PFD's and watching kayaking videos.

Hopefully, we can find time next weekend to paddle this bit of Deep Fork, get some pictures and add another Oklahoma Kayak Launch location to the list.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

PSO Paving Way For Tulsa Wave Park

Great News For Northeastern Oklahoma Paddlers!

OKC isn't the only one investing in their local recreational watersports infrastructure. One of Oklahoma's hottest whitewater playspots is about to get hotter!

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is undertaking a series of improvements to the west bank of the Arkansas River near its Tulsa Power Station that will lead to the development of a white water recreation area to be called the Tulsa Wave Park. Improvements will include grading and stabilizing a 150-foot section of the bank and the construction of a path and dock for kayakers to safely enter the water.

Work on the project will begin Nov. 14 and will take approximately 30 days to complete. -- PSO

View the full press release from PSO here:
http://www.psoklahoma.com/news/releases/viewrelease.asp?releaseID=203

If you're a boater in Oklahoma and plan on making it to Tulsa, please send a brief email to Stan Whiteford, sawhiteford@aep.com, of PSO telling him you appreciate PSO's cooperation in this project.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oklahoma City May Create Kayakers Play Spot

Engineers to Investigate Site of Proposed OKC Whitewater Park

City's all over the US are getting on the bandwagon to develop their local water resources into local revenue sources by building whitewater play parks. Since Oklahoma City has been working for years to make their city more attractive to young urban professionals, creating more urban kayaking options is a natural choice. On that subject, there is a bit of good news from the Oklahoma City Outdoor Network.

As of Nov 7, 2005, thanks to a lot hard work of people within the OKC-ON, Oklahoma City will be hosting the engineers from Recreational Engineering and Planning sometime in January to work on the conceptual plan for OKC's Whitewater Play Park on the Oklahoma River.


OKC-ON is a great organization, I wish them the best of luck in their efforts!

Oklahoma City Outdoor Network OKC-ON

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Little Deep Fork, A Nice Creek for Paddling

Little Deep Fork Creek
Little Deep Fork Creek,
originally uploaded by FreeWine.

Little Deep Fork Creek is a narrow, clear water creek with fairly sandy banks. It is really nothing like the Deep Fork River. It should be excellent in a more rainy season. More pics from this trip on Flickr at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/freewine/tags/littledeepfork/

Happy Paddling!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bic Sport Kayaks Introduces New Yakka Folding Kayak


BIC Sport Yakka Line of Kayaks
The new Bic Yakka a collapsible kayak with a rigid hull. Setup is simple. Just click over the release hasp and unfold. Then, inflate the stabilizing upper bladder with the included air pump. It takes only minutes.


Folded, the Yakka measures only 59 inches, and weighs only 44 pounds. A convenient transport wheel and easy grip handle make it as easy to transport as a large suitcase. - BicSportKayaks.com

The Yakka range was designed for those with limited storage space for a kayak yet seeking a lifetime sport that enhances both cardiovascular and muscle health. Sounds cool to me!



Bic Yakka 80 Kayak 2009 - 9ft-4in/Red
$750.00
The Bic Yakka is a folding hardshell kayak.
This unique folding kayaks looks perfect for hatchback kayakers.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Scouting Oklahoma's Canadian River and Paddling its Muddy Sisters

When I was a child, my folks would gather with our extended family for trips camping on the North Canadian River. Often, we would stay for weeks in our ragged caravan of tents, trailers and truckbed campers.

Some friends of the family owned farm land on the North Canadian River and kindly allowed us entry for camping, fishing and hunting. It has been too many years for me to remember how to get there or even the names of any nearby towns. In those days, we just called it Russell's Place. I caught my first catfish there and weathered my first truly frightening Oklahoma hail storm there. I miss camping at Russell's like I miss the boundless energy and easy friendships of childhood.

This weekend Dianne and I followed the roadmaps searching for river crossings to put our kayaks into the North Canadian River and the South Canadian River. When I was a child, just about every bridge over every major river had access to drive underneath fish, camp or whatever. My friends, the times have really changed! Today, old bridges are replaced by new ones that are designed to 'protect' the river from usage.

On our kayak-trip scouting effort this weekend, we found precious few public access points that we could park our car at to paddle the river. Thankfully, we did find a few put-ins available for us to share with other Oklahoma kayakers.


The South Canadian River at Calvin, OK

The South Canadian River looks mighty large on the map, but in the midst of this drought the river has become a tiny creek with wide sandy banks. You can access this river at in Calvin, OK on Hwy 75 and also on Hwy 48 North of Atwood, Oklahoma. Google Map of South Canadian River Put-in at Calvin on Hwy 75.


The North Canadian River at Bearden, OK

My beloved old North Canadian River has also gotten quite slender in this strange season. Frankly, Dianne and I can't help feeling a little bit responsible for this drought. Buying two kayaks was just asking for it! We were very surprised to find the Hwy 48 Bridge at Bearden accessible. As was the tradition in my childhood, the road leading under the bridge was awful... even when dry. Unfortunately, there were a few things that I didn't remember from my childhood: graffiti and litter. Google Map of North Canadian River Access at Bearden on Hwy 48.

My Dad says that litter and crime are the reasons why the authorities are closing off Oklahoma's bridges as river access points. I can't help but believe there are better ways to deal with these issues than shutting off public access.


Little Deep Fork Creek Near Slick, OK.

The biggest surprise of the day was when we paddled Little Deep Fork, a creek not too far from the farm I grew up on. In fact, the bridge we parked at to paddle Little Deep Fork was right on my old school bus route. Like every other body of water in the state, Little Deep Fork is quite low, but it was not too low for our kayaks! We were able to paddle a crooked mile or so on crystal clear waters before coming to a small falls that looked too dry and rocky for our boats/skills. It is a quite nice creek to paddle, even now with no noticeable current.

Dianne and I are eager to try the falls once the water comes up. Next time we paddle Little Deep Fork we will try to do a little KFing, we saw several fish boldly following our kayaks along the narrow channel. Who knew the water would be so clear? Google Map of Deep Fork River Put-in at Slick.


Deep Fork River at Nuyaka, OK

Our last paddling stop for the weekend was another upstream paddle on the Deep Fork River. No clear water here, but we entertained ourselves by salvaging a mess (literally) of free fishing gear tangled in the logjams. I've been warned before about the poor quality of salvaged hooks and lines, but I figure they have the advantage of knots that were tied by someone other than me! Besides, our kayak fishing is strictly recreational anyway, I can live with a few more getting away.

You can paddle for several miles up the Deep Fork River, here at the put-in near Nuyaka Creek Winery. There are no portages, just some tricky logjams to weave through. We have found that in our kayaks we can paddle well in water just a few inches deep. Anything shallower than that is plowing, not paddling!

At this depth and flow, Deep Fork is nothing like whitewater paddling or even like floating the Illinois River. Traveling both upstream or downstream requires paddling, not floating, which makes it the closest thing to exercise in both our lives. The low rivers provide wake-free paddling with ample protection from the Oklahoma winds, a fact we were very thankful for yesterday. Google Map to Deep Fork River Put-in near Nuyaka Creek Winery.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Paddling the Arkansas River

The Wichita Eagle recently did an article on Wally Seibel, a Kansas kayaker who loves paddling the Arkansas River. His likes to paddle from a put-in just south of Wichita, to the upper end of Kaw Reservoir about 15 miles into Oklahoma.

One of three navigable rivers in the state, Seibel said he launches on the Arkansas at public ramps, or where he has permission from a landowner.

He kayaks the river as often as possible, and said all seasons have their advantages.



Read the full article at their website: RIVER RIDER - The Wichita Eagle

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

River Currents - Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Newsletter

The latest issue of River Currents, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission's Quarterly Newsletter, is now available at http://www.scenicrivers.state.ok.us/

Look for a cool article on the Oklahoma Eagle population.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Deep Fork River Bridge at Nuyaka


Just down the road from the winery is a nice put-in spot for paddling Deep Fork River.

Recreational Kayak Fishing in Oklahoma

Thank Goodness there is more to kayaking than risking your neck shooting wild Rocky Mountain rapids. Paddling Deep Fork River this weekend was great fun and we can't wait to get out on the North Canadian River.

Rec Kayaking Growing Fast
It is no surprise to us that recreational kayaking is growing by leaps and bounds all over the U.S. and abroad. New kayak designs, materials, and technologies have made the sport possible for virtually anyone. Recreational kayaks normally offer: larger cockpits for easier entry and adding carrying capacity for paddlers of more..*ahem*...generous sizes. They are shorter and wider to make them less 'tippy' and loaded with cool features like fishing rod holders. Why not enjoy some kayak fishing in your local lakes, ponds and slow moving rivers, when you can get the boat for a few hundred bucks? A recreational kayak is a fun, inexpensive way to get outdoors, get active and get some excercise...heck if this hurricaine season continues much longer you may need one to get out alive!

Our Kayaks
Dianne and I bought our first one at Academy Sports in Tulsa. It is a 9.5 foot Heritage Angler kayak, we considered buying a canoe, we couldn't decide who would get to drive. When we just had to have another kayak, we decided to try a different brand. This time we bought a 9.5 foot Perception Swifty. By having two kayaks, we don't have to argue about who will drive. I may still buy a canoe one of these days for cargo capacity on multi-day camping trips, but for day trips paddling around Oklahoma our boats work fantastic.

Kayak Comparison
The two kayaks we bought are very comparable in size, function, features and price. However, we both agree that in a head-to-head kayak comparison the Heritage was a better all around deal. The Swifty cost a little more and doesn't have quite as many features. Both boats come with a paddle, adjustable foot pegs, and comfortable seats, but the Hertiage Angler also has two built-in Rod Holders and straps down lines on both the bow and stern. he Swifty lacks any rod holders and only has a strap down line on the stern.

KFing Taking Off in he Gulf Coast
We enjoy both our recreational kayaks for regular paddling, exploring and Kayak Fishing. If your Yak doesn't come with rod holders, you can always add them yourself. Whether it is in a pond, river, lake or ocean, fishing from your kayak keeps you out of the weeds, moss and other obstructions that line the shore. Go where the fish are! Your kayak will allow you to slip silently up the narrowest channels to the shallows where the biggest fish are feeding.

There is a growing number of Kayak Fishing websites, a couple of my favorites are:

TexasKayakFisherman.com - Covers Kayak Fishing across the vast stretches of shallow water around the Texas Gulf Coast.

PlasticNavy.com - Saltwater Kayak Fishing with the Plastic Navy. Great KFing photos and information!

Both sites are focused on ocean kayak fishing. Freshwater kayak fishing sites are still few and far between...but I'm keeping my eyes open! If you know of one, email me the link or drop us a comment!

Technorati Tags: Oklahoma Canoe Paddling Kayak Fishing Kayak


Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Fall Colors On Deep Fork River

We paddled several miles up Deep Fork from the bridge near Nuyaka Creek Winery today. The water is so low that there isn't much difference paddling upstream or downstream.

Still, I love padding this creepy, curvey maze of logjams. More pics on Flickr. Our kayaks are ideal for squeezing between the driftwood, trotlines, beaver dams, etc.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

More Fun on the Mighty Muddy Deep Fork River

Picking, Paddling and Pelicans

I think we might take another paddle down the Deep Fork River this weekend, we didn't quite get enough last time. Cooler weather is right around the corner, the leaves are changing and last weekend we forgot the camera! All great reasons for a weekend trip paddling down the mighty muddy Deep Fork River.

True, it doesn't offer the thrills and crystal clear waters of the lower Mountain Fork River or the bevy of canoe liveries that line the Illinois River. However, paddling the Deep Fork River offers wonderful solitude, diverse and abundant wildlife and an obstacle course of curves, underwater logs and maze like logjams to negotiate. Even at its current low water level, there's Plenty O' Muddy Fun to be had by all!

Deep Fork Music Festival in Chandler, OK November 4th - 6th, 2005
Not only is cooler weather right around the corner, but so is the annual Deep Fork Music Festival in Chandler, OK. Held on the first weekend of every November, this festival features Oklahoma's finest grass-roots music performers. The Deep Fork Music Festival is also the home of the Oklahoma State Autoharp Championship and the Deep Fork Festival Dulcimer Championship.

Spend the night at the campground and enjoy music, food and all-night Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Blues, Red Dirt, Traditional Mountain Music, Alternative Country, Appalachian, Grass-Roots and all manner of Acoustic jamming. Check out the list of pickers and grinners schedule to appear: 2005 Deep Fork Music Festival Line-up.

Phone: 405-589-1573
Fax: 405-359-8612
E-mail: lexy@dffest.com
Web site: http://www.dffest.com

If that's not enough to get you out and about for an Oklahoma Road Trip this weekend, how about lake paddling? I'm tempted to head out to Tenkiller Lake or Keystone Lake this weekend...they say it is for the birds...the migrating birds!

Hordes of American white pelicans carpeted Keystone Lake at Osage Point north of Cleveland earlier this week. Some 10,000 of the creatures floated and fished in the shallow water, while others, circled overhead on wings that can span more than nine feet. -- AP Article

Pelicans in Oklahoma...how about that? Technorati Tags: Oklahoma Bluegrass paddling kayak

Monday, October 17, 2005

Deep Fork River Kayaking at Nuyaka

Paddling the Weirdly Wonderful Deep Fork River

Since this year's strange weather brought us another summer weekend, right here in the midst of autumn, Dianne and I hit the water again. This time we stayed close to home and paddled the Deep Fork River near Nuyaka Creek Winery. We had scouted out the put-in a couple weeks ago, when I busted my foot. After spending the last two weeks on the couch, I was eager to do some paddling. Kayaking in the Deep Fork River proved to be more fun than either Dianne or I was expecting.

When I was growing up in Nuyaka, I spent many hours along the muddy banks of Deep Fork trying to catch a catfish. I can't say it as one of my favorite rivers, but it was close to home. There are loads of huge catfish in that river, but catching them can require a great deal of patience. The most exciting fishing I ever experienced on Deep Fork was running Trot Lines or Noodling. When sitting on the riverbank fishing with a rod, I would get just a couple bites in a day. I think I finally figured out Deep Fork's secret this weekend, if you really want to have fun...leave the fishing rod at home. The best fishing on Deep Fork is with bank poles, limb lines, jugs and trotlines.

Paddling the Deep Fork River in our kayaks was lots of fun. The river is as crooked as an Enron accountant, so you are constantly wondering what is around the next bend. Logjams are piled up all over the place, but our narrow kayaks slipped between them with ease. We saw a couple of folks bank fishing under the bridge at the put-in and no other people for the entire trip!

Since we were paddling alone, and the Deep Fork River offers no canoe liveries, we had to make it a two-way trip. We paddled down the river a few miles and then paddled back upstream to the put-in. Sadly we don't own a good paddler's GPS, so I can't tell you how far we paddled, but by the time we made it back upstream, we were pretty tired. Although we didn't cross any whitewater rapids or paddle down any waterfalls, we still had a great time exploring.

Paddling Deep Fork is sort of like a primitive, less scenic version of the Illinois River. The main event is dodging logs and low water spots. Wildlife, of the non-human variety, is more common on Deep Fork and the water is red and muddy. The banks are red clay, rather than the gravel or sandy banks common on more scenic rivers. If you are walking the banks this red clay mud will build up quickly on the soles of your shoes making them heavier with each step.

There is something kind of weird about the scenery on the Deep Fork River, like it is a remake of the Illinois River directed by Tim Burton. The river floods regularly, so it is full of big, leafless trees stretching their branches out at bizarre angles. No longer rooted to the earth, the trees splay themselves out unnaturally. The barkless branches begin to look like flailing arms, frozen in their fight against the river's current. Everything looks slightly alien here. In the water are slender Aligator Gar with long toothy snouts - most unfishlike. Black Dragonflies cluster together on Deep Fork swirling around paddlers curiously before whisking off to parts unknown. From the giant, yellow Flathead catfish to the massive Leatherback turtles, nothing looks quite like you expect it to.

There is one whitewater rapid at the put-in point on this trip, but we did not paddle it. This used to be the site of a low water bridge. Large sheets of rusty metal poke up ominously in the deepest parts of the rapid. At the current water level in Deep Fork, it just looked too dangerous for a couple newbies like my Wife and I to run.

This time we paddled for a few miles below the rapid. Next time, we will put the kayaks in above the rapid and paddle upstream for as far as we can. Hopefully, we won't forget the camera next time. I'll let you know how it goes!

Know any good paddling spots on the Deep Fork River?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rice for a Busted Toe and Good Water for Paddling

The Oklahoma paddling news has been a little light recently due to a lack of paddling on my part. We went last weekend to scout a possible float on the Deep Fork River near Nuyaka Creek Winery.

We were just discussing launching our kayaks when I took a nasty fall among the rocks that surrounded the bridge we were under. I hit the ground fast and hard and felt my head bounce up about a foot! Dianne was immediately asking me if I was OK, but I was a little too stunned at first to answer. Actually, I was quite blessed that I did not bash my head into the rock pile I was stumbling across. By the time I stumbled back to the car, I had figured out that I had busted my big toe up pretty bad.

As we drove back home, my big toe started growing both larger and more painful. The toe had turned completely purple by the time we made it home. Ever since my feet outgrew my Daddy's cowboy boots in fifth grade, I have been a total klutz. This has given me the experience to know that doctors can do very little to help a busted foot that is not gushing blood. In our house, we treat stubbed toes like this with RICE.

Our Homegrown Health Treatment for a Busted Toe

The mnemonic “RICE” stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is the classic treatment for toe injuries and other minor foot and ankle sprains.

Rest is the key component to allow for successful healing to occur.

Ice is applied during the first 48-72 hours after the initial injury by placing the injured toe in a bucket of ice water for 15-20 minute intervals.

Compression helps speed up the healing of stubbed toes and sprained ankles. Try taping the big toe in a compression dressing using tape or something to immobilize the toe.

The 'E' stands for Elevation and Equipment change. Elevate the foot using an ottman and some pillows. Also, stiffer shoes may help to resist motion of the great toe or a cane or crutch can be used to keep weight off the damaged digit.

To this mix, we add daily Epsom Salts soaks and plenty of Motrin for relief of minor pain as well as to decrease the inflammation of the injury. Of course, I must warn everyone that I am not a doctor, follow my method at your own risk.

What's Next?

I'm walking around now, but I still have quite a lot of pain and swelling. In fact, Dianne has veto'd our plan to paddle down the Lower Mountain Fork River this weekend. This is a huge bummer as we were planning this trip to celebrate her birthday. Now klutzy Tom has ruined two weekend paddling trips in a row.

However, Dianne did say we can still go paddle, if I can find an easy river with flow conditions high enough to avoid portages. Now, I am burning up the phone lines trying to find a nearby river outfitter reporting river conditions high enough to float without getting out of the boat. So far, it looks like we will have to drive more than 6 hours to the Spring River in Arkansas or the Current River in Missouri.

Got any suggestions?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Tenkiller State Parking Lot and Greenleaf Camping

Tenkiller Lake Bluffs
Tenkiller Lake Bluffs,
originally uploaded by FreeWine.
Our weekend trip to Tenkiller Lake State Park didn't quite fit our plan. We did make the trip to Tenkiller and we spent quite awhile driving around and checking out the lake.

We saw the lovely bluff overlloking crystal clear waters, the Scuba Diving area and lots of great RV spots. Sadly, we did not find what I would describe as an excellent summer tent camping spot. We spent a couple hours driving around looking at one pile of gravel after another one. However, since we don't like sleeping on rocks or hiking a few miles to reach the water, we decided to try nearby Grenleaf State Park.

Sure enough we found a perfect summer tent camping site right by the water on Greenleaf. We wanted a shady spot because the weather forecast was for sunny skies and highs in the upper 80's.

Since it was pretty early in the afternoon, I paddled out quickly for some kayak fishing in Greenleaf Lake. I saw ducks, cranes, squirrels, snakes, turtles, buzzards, an armadillo and countless children. What I did not see was a sign of any fish larger than a minnow...and I only saw one minnow.

We had figured we could get bait, ice and stuff at the handy marina just a short walk down the road. Later on, we found this to be completely wrong. An army of Boy Scouts had descended on the park, purchasing all of the ice, bait, American flags and food the marina had to offer. About the time my wife walked back to the campsite to deliver this news, the rain began.

It rained from about 7pm to well after midnight, which gave us an unexpected opportunity to put our new, larger family Wal-Mart Tent to the test. Dianne picked up the family size tent this week on clearance, so it was cheaper than hotel room! Thankfully, it performed as expected. Dianne and I were even able to keep Dylan entertained enough to outperform his GameBoy and folks can't ask for much more than that.

We all woke up rested and dry in the Walmart Tent. I got up first and put on the camping coffee. This left me time for a wonderful morning paddle and more fishless fishing. After giving the coffee about an hour to percolate over the charcoals (for some reason it takes way longer than our autodrip coffee machine at home), I paddled back to find Dylan and Dianne awake and happily feeding a gaggle of ducks that had waddled up to the campsite.

After breakfast Dylan and I paddled around Greenleaf Lake together until he got pretty tired. Paddling our kayaks is kind of tough for Dylan because the boats were not designed for persons of his stature. Luckily, what he lacks in skill and strength, he makes up for with enthusiasm and optimistic curiosity. Overall, we had lots of fun and that fit our plan perfectly!

Greenleaf is a great park / lake to take your wife and kids to whether you have an RV or a Walmart tent. They even rent canoe and kayaks, if you don't have your own!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tenkiller Lake Camping This Weekend

Gone Fishin

This weekend Dianne, Dylan and I are planning a short kayak fishing trip to Oklahoma's crystal clear Tenkiller Lake. Just a few weeks ago we took a trip to to Burnt Cabin Cove, a private resort on Tenkiller. This time we will be giving Tenkiller State Park a try. I have heard that the facilites are recently rennovated and I am just itching to get some hooks in the water.

There are around 150 primitive camping sites at: Bluff View, Cedar Ridge, Fisherman's Point, Eagle Point, Goose Neck Bend North and South and Hickory Flats camping areas. If they aren't all already occupied by evacuees, we'll be at one of them!

Tenkiller State Park is located on State Highway 82, 12 miles north of the Vian exit in Eastern Oklahoma. Stop by and visit with us, if you are in the area. Look for the big Wal-Mart tent with two kayaks parked nearby!

Got any Tenkiller fishing tips?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dallas Downriver Club Floats Illinois River Sept. 24-25

Folks from nearby paddlers club, the Dallas Down River Club will be in Oklahoma this weekend enjoying a float trip down the Illinois River at Tahlequah.

Be sure to give these Texans a big ol' Okie welcome if you see them on the river. Stop by their website at www.down-river.org for some great Texas paddling resources.

The Dallas Downriver Club

Southwest Paddler - Another Great Paddling Website

Many folks, like my wife Dianne and I, are trying to learn all they can about canoeing and kayaking in Oklahoma. One of the best resources on the web for this type of info is the Southwest Paddler website authored by Marc McCord. For a description of this excellent website's content I'll direct your to Marc's own description of his site.

...Southwest Paddler, the most comprehensive resource for information related to outdoors recreation on and near the rivers, creeks and streams of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

This guide is organized by state, and provides information about waterways and the businesses that cater to the outdoor adventurer looking for a place to enjoy paddlesports, camping, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, nature photography or other leisurely pursuits in the great outdoors. -- Marc McCord


You really can't beat Marc's site for detailed info on paddling this part of the country. I will consider this site quite a success, if it can approach Southwest Paddler in its utility.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge Update

I Stand Corrected.

OKC paddler Bill Becquart was kind enough to point out a few mistakes on my Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge post.

First of all, I am told that when our distinguished legislature decided to rename one of the largest rivers in the state, they only decided to rename the 4 miles or so that go through OKC.

That actually suits me fine because I have always thought that renaming the North Canadian River was right up there with 'Freedom Fries' and 3.2 beer in the Country-but-Clueless Category. Within the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge and further north....it remains the North Canadian River. However, you do still need to buy the OKC boating permit.

By far, the more egregious error was in classifying the Lake Level Gage as a River Level Gage.

Bill reccomends checking the river gage at Yukon or El Reno to get a better idea on the floatablity of the North Candian River.

Anything 400 cfs or more at Yukon will be a good trip (i.e. no dragging) down the North Canadian River thru Stinchcomb and anything below 200 cfs forget it....

It takes 3-1/2 days for water released from Canton to reach Stinchcomb. -- Bill Becquart


Thanks for the tips, Bill!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge River Level Gage Up!

Oklahoma City’s Best Place to Find Solitude

Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, near OKC is considered best for paddling when the local North Canadian River (AKA Oklahoma River) flow gage is at or above 1240 feet. It looks like the paddling is geting good at Stinchcomb!
The Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge lies north of Lake Overholser and follows the North Canadian River past Morgan Road in Yukon. It contains over 1,000 acres that haven’t changed much in the last 150 years. Hundreds of birds, small mammals such as beaver, and deer make their homes in the refuge.

The primary ways to enjoy the refuge are by foot, mountain bike and boat. Several trails suitable for hiking run through the refuge linking four small lakes to the river. Entrances to the trails are from NW 50th on the east side of the refuge and County Line and Morgan Roads on the west side. -- Jeff Patterson
Just make sure you have your Oklahoma City Boat Permit ($5.00 per day or $25.00 per year), you can buy then at a number of locations just call 405-297-2191 for a listing of vendors.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Real White Water Park for OKC

Paddlers of Oklahoma Unite!

Everyone interested in having a whitewater park built in Oklahoma City should show your support by attending an upcoming meeting to request that the city help fund a feasibility study of the project. The meeting will be held SEPTEMBER 27 at 1PM.

OKC CITY CLERKS OFFICE
2nd Floor
CITY HALL
200 N WALKER ST.
Oklahoma City, OK

To learn more about the effort to establish a serious paddle sport attraction in OKC visit Horton's OKC Water Park Blog.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Kayaking is More Than Eskimo Rolls To This Okie

An Oklahoma Author Celebrates His Love for Foldable Kayaks

My wife Dianne and I are recreational kayakers, as opposed to whitewater kayakers or sea kayaking enthusiasts. We both hope to experience every kind of paddling someday but, for today, our skill level and budget keeps us on fairly gentle rivers and local lakes...but that don't mean a guy can't dream!

In an extremely informative Klepper Kayaks article on his personal website, Chickasha Oklahoma author CB Bassity really whets my appetite to buy a Klepper and head out to sea.

A Klepper kayak is the gold standard for Foldable Kayaks. These skin and frame boats are based on an ancient design that have been carefully fine tuned over the years to produce a stable, seaworthy craft you can pack into a duffle bag, fly to the other side of the world with and paddle home in!

In his very personal and detailed article, CB Bassity describes the 17-foot boat he ordered from eBay and received via UPS. That is one portable boat! To learn more read CB's Klepper Kayaks Article or check out the book he recommends: The Complete Folding Kayaker.

Been paddling a foldable kayak in Oklahoma? Leave us a comment; we would love to hear what you think!

Klepper Kayaks

Friday, September 09, 2005

Great New Paddling Instruction Book!

Looking for a Book To Learn About Kayaking...Fast?

Basic Kayaking BookKeep your eyes open for excellent new kayaking book.

Basic Kayaking, an innovative kayak instruction book co-written by Nantahala Outdoor Center's paddling school director Wayne Dickert, a former Olympian and 10-time qualifier for the U.S. Canoe and Kayak team, hit bookstores this summer. Dickert began instructing boaters at the NOC in 1986 and later introduced the innovative Rapid Progressions boating clinic, which guarantees that students learn important skills.

Wayne's 96-page, spiral-bound book, Basic Kayaking (only $13.57) is filled with step-by-step photographs, illustrations and text detailing gear choices, basic water reading and paddling instruction from the most basic of lesson - picking up a boat correctly - to more complex lessons like learning to surf waves.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More Kayaks on the Arkansas River

Paddle Kansas!
Like Oklahoma, Kansas has not exactly become well known for it's great paddling spots. In fact, the entire city of Wichita only boasts one official boating access point on the Arkansas River, and it just opened in June of this year.

All that may change in the future as the Wichita City Council is considering funding a study to create better access to the river for recreational uses. They are thinking about putting access points on the Arkansas River every five miles to encourage more kayakers, canoeists and boaters.

Technorati Tags: kansas paddling rivers canoe kayak

Read the full article here: Wichita Eagle 08/08/2005 - Plan: More kayaks on Ark

Edmond Exploring New Recreation Development at Arcadia Lake

Planning New Water Recreation Options for Edmond, OK

A joint meeting was held recently between the Edmond Fish and Game Commission and the Edmond City Council to discuss development opportunities for nearby Arcadia Lake.

Both the commission and a separate ad hoc committee of city officials have been working the last several months to find new ways of expanding the development and amenities at Arcadia Lake. The city is preparing to send out a second request for proposals nationwide to see if it can find a private partner willing to build a marina and possibly a restaurant and other amenities to further develop the lake. Other plans in the works are opening a road in to the lake from 33rd Street and beginning to develop the park land on that side of the lake.


Hopefully, they will consider adding canoe and kayak rental on the lake or even consider a full water park bid from REP or a similar contractor.

See the full article in the Edmond Sun: The Edmond Sun Online

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Arkansas Canoe Club Rendezvous 2005 Sept. 16-18

Nearby Paddling Fun

The 2005 Arkansas Canoe Club Rendezvous event is scheduled to be September 16, 17 and 18.
Volunteers are always welcome and it takes dozens to put this event on.

Don't feel left out just because you are an Okie, after all the ACC does have an Oklahoma Chapter (Next meeting Thursday, 8 September 2005 at 6.30 PM).

Schedules, contact info, directions and much more can be found on the ACC's Rendezvous page.

ArkansasCanoeClub.com - News

Friday, September 02, 2005

Float the Illinois River For Free, For A Good Cause Sept 9, 2005

Free Oklahoma Canoe Trip on 9-9-2005!

One of the best ways to enjoy a day of paddling, while pitching in for a great cause is to participate in a river cleanup. Outfitters supply boats and volunteers provide the hands and eyes...you could even win your very own canoe!

The final Illinois River Cleanup for 2005 is coming soon! On Friday, September 9th, you can float the Illinois for free, spend time with fun people, and enjoy a free lunch, all while lending a helping hand to our local environment.

This cleanup will help to get our river in great condition after all of the summer`s activity. Come out and enjoy the prize drawings after a day on the river and a hearty lunch.

You could be this year`s winner of an Osage canoe! The cleanup, lunch, and drawings will last from 9:00 am until 2:00 or 3:00pm. Call Meredith at the OSRC, at
(918) 456-3251, to register.

Hope to see you out there keeping Oklahoma Scenic Rivers...well...scenic.

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What Can We All Do To Help Katrina's Victims?

Blood and Money - Give Till It Hurts!

Hurricane Katrina is the eleventh named storm in this busy 2005 hurricane season. The Red Cross is responding to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as preparing to respond to the next disaster, wherever that may be.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, including hurricanes, by making a financial gift to the Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.


Call me a liberal, but I'm one of those guys who believes that throwing money at a problem is a great 'Go-To Solution'. It sure beats throwing a 'blue ribbon commission' or a congressional task force at a problem!

https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp

Monday, August 29, 2005

Our Trip to OKC Wildlife Expo 2005

Kayak Into at OKC Wildlife Expo 2005 Learning To Enjoy the Oklahoma Outdoors

The weekend Dianne, Dylan and I ventured up to OKC to attend the 2005 Wildlife Expo put on by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The OKC Outdoor Network (blog) got their members to loan out their kayaks and canoes, plus sent out volunteers to help newbies get a taste of paddle sport. The kids seemed to love it!

The expo is put on to introduce Oklahoman's, especially young folks, to the great fun to had in the great outdoors of Oklahoma. With the help of an army of volunteers, they gave demonstrations, lectures and hands-on training in fly fishing, archery, kayaking, tracking, trapping, rock climbing, Bow Hunting, mountain biking, paintball, novel camping supplies and loads more stuff. I got a fun lesson on making fire the old fashioned way...with friction.

Since the event was free, the lines were long...real long, but we waited patiently. Dylan got some bait casting tips and a great intro to archery. There is a movement afoot to start teaching archery in our public schools and I for one hope it is successful.

On the downside, I didn't manage to get that fly fishing lesson I was hoping for and they canceled the Atlatl throwing for safetly reasons. I was looking forward to the atlatl demonstration, so it was interesting to hear about them and see the models they brought. However, I would much rather chunk one than get a lecture.

Next year, I think I'm going to study the schedule a little closer and try to make it to more of the coolest demonstrations.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

High Water At Turner Falls

More Oklahoma Whitewater!

Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma
I just learned from an Oklahoma blogger that the Turner Falls area has gotten some major rainfall recently. Judging from the picture James posted, I think I may need to personally investigate this matter. We have been getting some rain here in my area lately, but nothing like at Turner Falls.

I haven't been able to visit the Turner Falls area since my days of attending church camp there as a child. Even then, as a cynical, self-absorbed youth, I found the beauty of Turner Falls to be awe inspiring


Over five inches of rain fell between Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14, stranding more than a dozen campers at Turner Falls Park.

Park Manager Tom Graham said Monday picnic tables are the only known casualties of the August flood. About 15 campers, however, played the waiting game, waiting for Honey Creek to recede.


Anybody make it out that way for some paddling?

Tribulations of a Young Professional

If PaddleTales Were A Magazine

Fun with Graphics Generators

As a guy who has always been a helpless, hopeless basket-case in the field of art, I always wished I could make things of beauty... or at least recognizable!

Thankfully, technologies have been created for folks like me. I call them Graphics Generators. A cool one I was playing with this week makes Flickr pictures look like magazine covers. Here's an example:

Click to See Full Size Image

Cool, huh?
You can make your own if you have a free flickr account (very handy if you take many pictures) and a little time. This Flickr magazine cover generator is great fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sweet Morning Paddling on Tenkiller Lake

Tenkiller Lake KayakingDianne and I spent the weekend happily tucked away in the largest cove on Tenkiller Lake...Burnt Cabin. We paddled both kayaks around the wonderfully clear waters of Tenkiller and camped on the bank.

The fishing was a little slow, but Thank God you can always depend on Oklahoma's weather for some entertainment. We enjoyed the nighttime sky fireworks of a distant storm on one side and a skyful of stars on the other.

Early the next morning we paddled around the newly surfaced trees along the edges of Tenkiller Lake. Later, a thick fog rolled in and the morning stayed comfortably cool until nearly Noon. We had a nice lunch at the marina and learned that they have water bikes, Funyaks, canoes and even some motor powered boats for rent.

We really enjoyed Burnt Cabin Resort and Tenkiller Lake is a real jewel.

Friday, August 19, 2005

12th Annual Illinois River Balloon Fest in Tahlequah

Illinois River BalloonFest 2005
Date: 8/19/2005 - 8/20/2005
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Place: Tahlequah Municipal Airport

Gates open Friday at 4:00pm and continue through Saturday. For more information, see: http://www.tah-balloonfest.com. or call 918-453-9958.

Upcoming Events at Lake Tenkiller

Tenkiller Lake Fishing Report

Tenkiller Lake Fishing Report - from The Okmulgee Times

Elevation 6 3/4 ft. below normal, water 88 degrees. Largemouth bass slow with some action midday in brush on soft jigs; catfish good drifting at 10 to 20 ft. on cut baits and good on stinkbaits at 20 ft. mud flats; sunfish good on worms in docks. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort. 8-14-05


Okmulgee Daily Times 8-14-2005 - Fishing Report.





This Weekend's Paddling - Tenkiller Lake

It looks like we will be paddling the yaks around on Tenkiller Lake this weekend. We still haven't decided exactly where to camp, so if anyone has reccomendations, we would love to hear them!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Enjoy Local Wines and Local Brews at Skiatook LakeFest 05

LakeFest 05 - October 15, 2005!

The Skiatook Lake Association and Crystal Bay Marina are sponsoring LAKEFEST 05.

Paddle on out to Skiatook Lake for an afternoon and evening celebration with tastings from two Oklahoma Wineriess and the Tulsa FOAM home brewers organization.

Three live bands will feature jazz, rock, and blues. Natura Vineyards and Nuyaka Creek Winery will feature their wines.It starts October 15th 2005 at 2pm at Crystal Bay Marina point (6mi west of Skiatook,Ok on Highway 20) which overlooks 'the clearest lake in Oklahoma'.

Technorati Tags: Oklahoma Wine Lakes Wine Tasting Food & Drink

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A New Blog for OKC Outdoor Network

New Blog for OKC Outdoor Network

The Oklahoma City Outdoor Network gives people who camp, hike, backpack, rock climb, canoe, kayak, cycle, mountain bike and walk... a way to make new like-minded friends.

They have a really informative website and now have added a brand new blog!

OKC Outdoor Network - Message Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Trinity River Paddlesport Race Near Dallas 9-10-2005

The Trinity River Challenge September 10, 2005

The Trinity River Challenge is an 11 mile paddlesport race held every September to raise money for the river related causes that the Dallas Downriver Club (DDRC) supports. The race course is a stretch of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River between Carrollton and Lewisville TX.

Originally the race was run from the bottom of Lewisville Dam to McInnish Park in Carrollton, but due to the security issues of the post-9/11 era, the DDRC is not able to gain access to the property below the Dam so the race is now run as an up and back race starting and finishing at McInnish Park.


  • September 6, 2005 - Early Registration Deadline

  • September 10, 2005 - Registration/Check in opens 7:45 am

  • Registration/Check in closes 9:00 am

  • Racers Meeting 9:15 am

  • Race Starts 9:30 am

For their entry fee and participation, the racers receive a Trinity River Challenge tee shirt, a goodie bag containing various free items from the race sponsors, and a hot lunch featuring barbeque beef brisket and all the trimmings.

Racers compete in a wide range of boat classes in the men's, women's and mixed divisions from solo recreational kayak or canoe out for a day of fun on the river all the way to the USCA type racing boats who are currently trying to run the course in less than one hour and thirty minutes.

Hope to see you there!

The Dallas Downriver Club

Technorati Tags: kayak canoe paddling

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Seen Any Pelicans in Oklahoma, Lately?

Camping and Paddling on Grand Lake
Camping on Grand Lake
Dianne and I spent last night in our little Wal-Mart tent at Pelican Landing Resort and Campground near Ketchum, OK. This was our first visit to their shaded waterfront campsites on the Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, but I think we will be back soon!

Although we didn't catch any fish, the facilities were excellent and we had loads of fun paddling around the Duck Creek section of Grand Lake. I definately want to return in September with my son, as I am told that Grand Lake is on the annual migration path for Pelicans. In fact, we may try to make it to the Grand Lake Pelican Festival September 23-25... I'll let you know if we see Pelicans!

Pelican Landing Resort occupies 1/2 a mile of waterfront on the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake. The camping is sort of expensive at $18.50 per night for non-members, but the bathrooms and showers were very clean, well lit, and all functioning. The have a nice pool on site, ice, a clubhouse with vending machines, A/C and TV. I mention the A/C and TV because those are the letters I miss most of all while camping! We asked about the price of memberships, but it was so far beyond what we were willing to pay that I instantly forgot the actual price.

Although we paid more to camp than I ever have before, it was money well spent. Dianne and I had a blast paddling our yaks and we even enjoyed a midnight swim. Also, this was the Maiden Voyage of our new Kayak Trailer!Our New Kayak Trailer
Ok, we didn't up the $700 plus for an actual kayak trailer. I was feeling kind of cheap after investing almost $300 in getting a hitch installed frum U-Haul. However, We needed a utility trailer for some light hauling and carrying the kayaks on our small cars was becoming a pain.


A farm supplies franchise store who shall remain nameless, due to poor customer service and...well...I can't spell their name, sold us this trailer for around $400. It made the trip from Okmulgee to Grand Lake with no problems. Once we learn to back the trailer up, without removing it from the car, we should be in good shape!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Grand Lake Paddling

I think we may take a short camping trip to the Grand Lake area soon. We are considering the Pelican Landing area. Lake paddling isn't as fun as running rivers, but early in the morning and just at dusk, lake paddling offers a serene escape for the rat race.
What the office takes away, the river gives back.

Happy Paddling!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Recreational Kayaks Brings Paddling To The Masses

Kayaking As A Not So Extreme Sport

If your idea of paddling is floating around the local lakes or ponds, photography or wildlife watching on slow rivers, then you may be a recreational kayaker.

Recreational kayaks make an ideal introduction to the sport of paddling. If you don't have the time to commit to paddling, but still want to get on the water, a recreational kayak is ideal. Owning a Rec Kayak can be great excercise, a fun fishing platform and immediate gratification for the inexperienced paddler.

Kayaks designed for recreational use have become a favorite among paddlers interested in a more functional kayak for everyday use. These kayaks are cheaper than whitewater kayaks, easier to transport than canoes and offer plenty of room in the cockpit area to enable freedom of movement without worrying about tipping over.

My wife and I enjoyed renting rec kayaks so much that we bought a couple for ourselves. We picked up a Heritage FeatherLite Angler at Academy Sports in Tulsa and a Perception Swifty from OKC's Bass Pro Shop. Each boat is about nine and one half feet long and cost around $400. Judging from the amount of money we spent renting boats from outfitters, we should be saving big money already!

Sadly, the purchase of these two boats have created within us a strong desire to buy a kayak trailer to haul them on...and fishing gear...and an RV...and a kayak GPS.

Canoe Rental for North Canadian River Float Trips

River Adventures Now Offers Weekend Canoe Rentals on the North Canadian River

Weekends only $25.00 per canoe for 8 mi trip.
Shuttle service runs from Highway 81 to Foreman Road at the river bridge.

Call for more information: 405-262-6857

PaddleTales - Canoeing, Kayaking In and Around Oklahoma

Treasure on the Kiamichi River Near Antlers, OK

Treasure Hunting in Southeastern Oklahoma Oct. 21- 22!

October 21, 22 is the World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers (WWATS) annual meeting at the K River Campground on Oklahoma's Kiamichi River.

They hide valuable treasures and allow anyone to hunt for and keep all they find. No charge for the hunt. A $2 day use fee will be charged to enter the park for this event. And of course you will want to stay at K River Campground while attending this event. For more information visit: www.wwats.org.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Oklahoma River - Regulations

OKC Paddlers and the Oklahoma River

Regulations for use of the Oklahoma River (used to be the North Canadian River) were recently adopted by the Oklahoma City Council and took effect May 4th, 2005. The rules governing fishing, boating and trail use were developed to 'make the river recreation area convenient and safe'.

Read the whole ordinance here: OKC Paddling Law

New Whitewater Kayak School in Oklahoma

New Whitewater Kayak School Opens in Tahlequah

Learn Kayak 101 on the Illinois River. Half-day classes are held every Saturday on the Illinois River.

Here's where you sign up: http://www.kayak101.com/

Brand New Blog... Gonna Make It Great!

Oklahoma Wildlife Expo 2005 - Aug 27 & 28

It is only natural that the inaugural posting for this new blog on Oklahoma Paddle Sports be an announcement for the big Oklahoma Wildlife Expo 2005 kicking off at the end of August.

This event to be held at the Lazy E Arena just north of OKC is going to be huge! Here are just a few of the cool attractions I am looking forward to:

Canoeing and kayaking with the OKC Outdoor Network!

The OKC Outdoor Network will provide canoes and kayaks and instruction for those wanting to try their hands at this exciting water sport. This Network of outdoor enthusiasts gives people who camp, hike, rock climb, canoe, kayak, cycle, mountain bike, and walk a way to make new like-minded friends. The event will include canoe/kayak instruction, safety lessons, and a chance to try out a choice of equipment to paddle around a shallow water course inside the arena.

Learn about the Oklahoma City University / Chesapeake Boat House

The OKC University/Chesapeake Boathouse group will have a booth and inform Expoer's about rowing events upcoming on the Oklahoma River in OKC.

Visitors will also be able to try out the rowing technique in a rowing ergometer and see a rowing shell.

Fly Fishing For Bass!

Former Wildlife Commissioner and noted fly fishing expert Mark Patton will demonstrate fly fishing techniques with a special emphasis on tactics and equipment for catching bass in ponds and lakes.

Falconry, Archery & Atlatl Demonstrations

The Oklahoma Falconer’s Association will feature these unique and interesting birds of prey. Learn about the ancient sport of hunting with falcons. Martin Nature Park Nature Center’s Neil Garrison and Norma Pinney, who will also demonstrate primitive archery and the use of an atlatl.

Big Ol' Prizes!

You could also win a lifetime combination license just for pre-registering and attending the Expo!

Register, attend the Expo on Sat. Aug 27, or Sun., Aug 28, and check-in, you will automatically be put in a drawing for a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license. Hunting and fishing licenses aren't the only door prizes and giveaways at the Expo. Participants will be eligible to win many more fabulous prizes, including John Deere's new Buck 500 4WD Auto ATV from P&K Equipment.

Oklahoma Wildlife Expo 2005
August 27 & 28, 2005
Saturday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/wildlifeexpoattractions.htm