Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quiet Kayaking on Dripping Springs Lake

A Deer Moment on Dripping Springs Lake Saturday afternoon's sunset was a bit of a disappointment, but the clouds made the lake cool off earlier. The wind laid and the lake water became increasingly glassy as Scott and I paddled our kayaks up Salt Creek on Dripping Springs Lake. I took Dianne's new 13 foot kayak out, but still had to work pretty hard to keep up with Scott's 17 foot Pygmy Coho plywood kayak.

The day had been blisteringly hot when we launched our boats from the fishing dock at Clovis Point. Once we reached the point where the lake began to slim-down into Salt Creek (and I began to wonder if one bottle of water was going to be sufficient) blessed shade happened. When Scott offered to bring his fancy new kit kayak to Okmulgee, I got pretty excited. Since I started reading about building kayaks lately, I was familiar with stitch and glue boat building. However, I had never seen one up close. It was just the boat the slide across the lake and sneak up on some wildlife.

Although the Clovis Point campground had been crowded with RV's, we saw only two fishing boats on our trip up to Salt Creek. The seclusion was conducive to wildlife watching, as was Scott's super-sleek Coho kayak, it cuts through flat water like a scalpel, leaving barely a ripple in its wake. We slipped up on this lovely whitetail doe foraging on the lake shore. Before returning, to the fishing dock we saw several more deer and a few beavers.

Because I had allowed the hour to get a bit late, paddling back to Clovis Point provided a bit of a workout (much eased by in the cool of the evening). On the way back Scott and I met up with Ron, another local kayaker. Ron paddles an Old Town Loon. It is a Sit-Inside fishing kayak, much like Dianne's new Vapor 12. Ron is a swell guy (with a used whitewater kayak for sale, ping me if you want) and he lives not too far from my house. Mark has paddled this part of Oklahoma for decades; I hope to learn from him some more trips to share on this kayaking blog.

I hear some of the Oklahoma Flatwater Paddlers visited Lawton for some scenic paddling. Anybody else make the most out of this somewhat wet weekend in Oklahoma? Drop me a comment or fine me on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc.

Happy Paddling!
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Jeff Bach said...

reads like a great paddle! You might check out CLC Boats if you haven't already. They have oodles of boat kits and plans. I just started building a Kaholo Standup paddleboard from them.

Thomas said...

I've just started reading about Stand-Up-Paddle Boards and SUP Surfing. It looks quite exciting. As an Okie, I have often watched surfing on TV and wished that an easy way to learn existed. This looks like it fits the ticket!

Let me know how your SUP board kit goes, Jeff!

Isaac in Norman said...

Just got my first kayak- a mild recreational model (Pelican Pursuit) and am ready to get out on some super calm water... baby steps at first.

I have life vest, waterproof carry sack, cargo straps, etc... thinking Lake Thunderbird first.

Anonymous said...

A quick question-

Is the N. Canadian (OK River) paddlable down river of the last dam?

That is- can you put it somewhere in east OKC (Douglas and 63rd or one of the many mile roads), and then take out down river, maybe Shawnee?

Are there enough gauges? Are there overhead hazards or other problems aside from potential low water portages?

Thomas said...

In the past I have paddled the North Canadian River from Weleetka to Wetumpka and from Pierce Oklahoma to the Frisbee Boat Ramp on Lake Eufaula. However, I have not paddled the river close to OKC.

I can tell you that the Oklahoma Flatwater Paddlers group kayaks the North Canadian River near OKC regularly. You might try asking for help from that group at:

bilge pump said...

do i really need to install a bilge pump on my kayak?.. this is my first time to own one and i'm not sure if i need to install something like this..

Thomas said...

Sea kayakers have more need for bilge pumps than Okie paddlers. However, they are a handy way to ge the water out of your boat. Dianne's new Vapor 12 kayak has no drain plug, so we picked up a cheap three dollar bilge pump for her.