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 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 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.

2nd Floor
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. - 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 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!