Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ancient Forest Near Tulsa Area Lake

This may be the year I address the flood of email requests I get for Tulsa area paddling spots. Other than a brief paddling trip to Lake Bixhoma, Dianne and I haven't tried much kayaking near Tulsa. Normally, we avoid paddling near metro areas, as the required permits and regulations can be a pain to chase down.

However, I recently learned that Sand Springs, Oklahoma is home to Keystone Lake and the eastern shoreline of Lake Keystone is home to the Keystone Ancient Forest. I personally did not know that Oklahoma offered hiking through a 1,300-acre old-growth forest.

Now that I know about the old-growth forest...I would like to see it for myself. The confluence of the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers is said to be visible from the high ground on the nature preserve...but you can't go there alone. To protect the park, hikes through the Keystone Ancient Forest are only allowed for groups of ten or more.

Since the lake looks like a good one for paddling, I've decided to move Keystone Lake up to the top of my Priority Paddling List. If only there were some group of local kayakers that I could team up with, maybe we could get a reservation to visit the Keystone Ancient Forest and paddle the lake on the same day.

Anyone out there ever checked out the old-growth forest on Keystone Lake? Can you paddle to it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Texas Water Adventures in May and June

Southwestern Kayaking Get Ready for Canoe Racing Season

The Texas Water Safari (June 13-17, 2009) is a long, hot, tough, nonstop, marathon canoe racing adventure for teams. The course traverses 260 miles of challenging rivers and bays! Teams may not receive any assistance of any kind except verbal, so you must pack in everything you will need. You must be prepared to travel day and night, nonstop to be competitive, but teams who occasionally stop for sleep have been able to reach mandatory checkpoint cutoff times and cross the finish line by the 100 hour deadline.

Sound too tough? I agree! There is no way I would attempt to endure the Texas Water Safari without trying my team's luck at the preliminary race, Texas Water Marathon, first. The season is cooler, the water levels are likely to be higher and the distance is much shorter. If you do plan to paddle the Safari, wear your PFD. There is a new PFD rule this year, so watch yourself, know your rescue techniques and wear a lifejacket.

Texas River Marathon at 9am on Saturday May 2, 2009

The Texas River Marathon is a 45-mile race from Cuero Highway 236 to Victoria City Park. This is the preliminary race of the Texas Water Safari. Location: Cuero, Tx - Hwy 236 (Under Bridge) Fee: $25/person if registered by April 24, 2009 or $35/person race day registration.

More paddling in Texas

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