Thursday, May 31, 2007

Paddling the Flood Waters

Gateway to Eufaula
Originally uploaded by FreeWine
The road trips have been mighty scarce around our house since we got the lot on the North Canadian River.

Although we have been paddling the river quite a bit, we have been doing some lake paddling as well. Our lot is near several Eufaula Lake access points and this year's plentiful rains in Oklahoma have brought the lake and river levels both to above normal.

Dianne and I spent a week watching a constant parade of trees, ice chests, oil bottles and appliances floating down the flooded North Canadian River. The river current was a bit strong for our brand of paddling, so we paddled backwater river tributaries. Then, we visited the Jack Frisbee Boat Ramp and paddled the flood water and debris that accumlated in Eufaula Lake. Three hours of paddling provided us with a pretty surreal scene.

Slipping through what used to be riverside trees and trails, we counted four floating freezers in the piles of drift. Clearly, freezers are the forgotten victims of Oklahoma flooding. As we paddled close to the flooded trees, insects that had been trapped by the water scurried onto our kayaks. We saw numerous juglines hopelessly tangled in oily, brush piles of driftwood, plastic bottles and styrofoam.

Just about this time, I got an email from Al in OKC. He had just returned from paddling Puerto Rico and was kind enough to send me a few pictures from his trip. They have cool jungle paddling trips and night paddling adventures through waters teaming with glow-in-the-dark critters.

I would go to Puerto Rico too, but I am totally committed to Oklahoma road trips. Now, if I can just get Dianne to let me go one one...

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