Thursday, January 15, 2009

January Sunsets on the Deep Fork River

Deep Fork River Paddling at Sunset
I hope many of you got out on the local lakes and rivers for some winter paddling during the recent warm spell. It is snowing at my house today, but I'm willing to bet there are going to be a few more 60+ degree days before Spring arrives. Taking advantage of Oklahoma's occasionally warm winter days are one of the best advantages that come from buying a kayak or living near an outfitter.

I recently got out on the Deep Fork River for paddling with my friend Yakker, from Checotah. He tried his luck at kayak fishing, while I tried to grab some pictures. We launched from the wonderfully handy Deep Fork River boat ramp on at the bridges on Highway 266 between Dewar and Grayson. The water is deeper than most parts of the river, so you can paddle this portion of the river in the dryest of seasons. The high muddy banks provide good protection from the winter winds. There was little to no current running, we could sure use some rain around here. I brought paddling gloves, and an extra set of dry clothes just in case the weather changed unexpectedly.

The scenery may look lame early in the day on Deep Fork, but as you near sundown the sunken trees start to take on a surreal look. Don't leave your digital camera at home, winter provides some stunning sunsets that truly light up the Deep Fork River. Remeber to prepare for the water and the weather...cold kills and camera film gets brittle when the temps fall. That being said, flatwater paddling on Oklahoma lakes and low current rivers can really spice up your winter.

Got a local lake you like to savor the sunset on? Drop us a comment!
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Friday, January 02, 2009

Cold Season Kayaking is Common in Oklahoma

Kayaker Sunset on Okmulgee Lake
My son Dylan and I slipped out last week for a few hours of sunset paddling. It was his first time paddling in the winter, so I hooked him up with some paddling gloves and a spray skirt. Okmulgee Lake was calm and beautiful from our warm and bright 3:30pm launch until our chilly 6pm return. Despite the unseasonably warm 72 degree weather, we saw more Osprey than fishermen!

This Saturday's forecast calls for more 70 degree temps and you know what that means...more winter kayaking! Since there are also likely to be gusty winds, river kayaking is preferable to lake kayaking.

Some of the Oklahoma Flatwater Paddlers are planning on doing some kayaking around OKC.

Dianne and I have been discussing kayaking on the Deep Fork River just off Highway 266 between Dewar and Grayson, Oklahoma. I don't expect any current, but this part of the Deep Fork River is deep enough to maintain a decent level for kayaking even during dry seasons. This spot also offers great parking and easy access to the water via boat ramp!

I hope all of my paddling friends out there got some cool kayaking gear for Christmas. I got a black kayaking t-shirt and some neoprene cold water paddling pants, shirt and even kayaking socks! Having the right gear certainly makes winter paddling more fun.

I'm trying to talk Dianne into a trip to Caddo Lake in February for some Texas paddling. I foolishly choose Valentines Day for our wedding, so now I can rarely get reservations to take her out to celebrate it. I figure Texas is likely to be a bit warmer in February and if not... we can always go bowling!

Dianne thinks we should probably stay closer to home in Tulsa or OKC, just in case the weather gets icy. Planning winter road trips can be risky if you have to make reservations. Got any tips?


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