Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April Niobrara River trip details

Niobrara River
Originally uploaded by jjacobsen1
South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association to host Niobrara River trip April 17-18

VALENTINE, NEB. – SDCKA member Pete Larsen will lead an overnight trip on the Niobrara River on April 17.

Participants will meet at 9:30 a.m. on April 17 near the dam located about 5 miles east of Valentine, Neb. on Highway 12. Paddlers then will shuttle vehicles to Smith Falls State Park, the location of Saturday night’s camping spot.

Pete said he hopes the trip will start at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday. The first day’s travel will take about four hours. Camping is available Friday night, so if anyone wants to meet Pete a night early to prepare for the next day’s travel, feel free to join in and camp near the location before the cruise begins.

Bring your Dutch ovens for a community cookout on Saturday night at the park, if you are an enthusiast of this style of cooking. There is no requirement to do so, but participants must “fend for themselves” when it comes to food on the trip.

On Sunday morning, the vehicles will again be moved down river, this time to Rocky Ford Campground. This will be the site of the trip’s conclusion. Everyone should be back to their vehicles and ready to roll home around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, April 18.

There is no cost to take part in this event, but you must provide your own canoe or kayak, camping gear, food, and water. There’s a $4 fee for camping at Smith Falls and a daily park fee of $4 per vehicle. In the past, river volunteers have collected a $1 fee for paddlers and tubers, but due to the early season nature of this trip, there may not be anyone there to collect it.

To make this cruise event successful, Pete hopes to get confirmed numbers on participants prior to April 15.

Direct any questions you might have about this trip to Pete, who you can call during the day at 605-934-1995 day or in the evenings at 605-934-2338. Or e-mail him at leisuresports@alliancecom.net.

Information on the Niobrara River is available online at these links:

National Park Service Web site on the river

Google photo collection of the area

Valentine, Neb. Web site with river information

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Niobrara River trip set for April 17-18

Niobrara River
Originally uploaded by adventures of eek
An exciting early season paddling cruise is set for Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18, on the Niobrara River, near Valentine, Neb.

SDCKA member Pete Larsen invites paddlers to join him on a two-day, one-night camping trip on this scenic river that is about 4.5 hours drive from Sioux Falls.

The cruise begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday vehicle shuttle and launch about 11 a.m. A four-hour paddle is the plan for the first day.

Individuals and/or groups must provide their own food, but Pete suggested anyone who enjoys dutch oven cooking should bring their gear and recipes for a campsite potluck of sorts.

Sunday's paddle is about 4 hours as well. Participants should be loading up to drive home about 2 p.m. that day.

I'll put a more detailed post about this trip up tomorrow. You can call the toll-free number to the right of this entry to reach Pete and sign on for this cruise. Please confirm your participation before Tax Day, April 15.

We invite members familiar with the area to share their stories here on the blog.

Don't forget the South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association Earth Day cruise is Saturday, April 24, at the powwow grounds north of Flandreau on the Big Sioux River.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

AP: Recreation Allowed Again On Big Sioux River In SD

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Restrictions on boating and other recreation on the Big Sioux River in southeast South Dakota have been lifted.

Gov. Mike Rounds on Thursday signed an order rescinding the restrictions put in place last week.

Local officials had requested the restrictions amid concerns the flooded river wasn't safe. They now say the threat has passed, but caution should be used.

© 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday is officially our next pool session

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Please join us Sunday, March 28, for another YWCA pool session in Sioux Falls. We start at 11 a.m. sharp and need to have left the building before 1 p.m.

A number of members are signed up to take part, so we should have a good crowd of paddlers. It's a good time to sharpen skills, practice rolls, or just wet exit for experience.

If you scroll down the blog you can find more information on the YWCA's location, how to get in the back door, and where to park.

Feel free to write Jarett (jbies0341@hotmail.com) with questions.

See you Sunday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Extra-big Big Sioux

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Several SDCKA members sent in some photos, like this one in the Egan park where the 2009 Earth Day cruise ended, showing the extent of ice movement and flooding along the Big Sioux River.

Photos below include Flandreau, Dell Rapids, and Egan. Thanks to Dave and Judy for sending in some river information.

Dell Rapids park area




Flandreau City Park area



Powwow grounds north of Flandreau


Looking downriver on 13 bridge


All of the photos were taken this week, and conditions are changing rapidly, so this is merely a snapshot of how the river is going through its spring cleaning.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Argus Leader: Overflowing Big Sioux River off-limits for recreational use

The overflowing Big Sioux River is off-limits for recreational use until further notice.

Gov. Mike Rounds took the advice of the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department and signed a declaration that closes the river starting today, according to Capt. Jim Hoekman.

“Because of the high water, it's not safe,” Hoekman said.

Signs will be posted at the two canoe launch zones in Sioux Falls - in Yankton Trail and Rotary parks - and throughout the county at high-traffic intersections, according to Regan Smith with the city's Office of Risk and Emergency Management.

The last time the river was closed for recreation during the spring thaw was 1997, he said.

A violation of the temporary rule is a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both.

-John Hult/Argus Leader

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 14 pool session successful: Should we plan another pool day?

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Here's a sweet video of Pete Larson rolling his kayak, notice he doesn't even need a spray skirt in this one!

About a dozen members turned up for the March 14 pool training session. Here's a few videos of the work done. We'd be willing to rent the pool at least one more time.

Please e-mail Jarett (jbies0341@hotmail.com) or Steven (dahlmeis@hotmail.com) or call either one of them, to secure a spot.

If we fill it up, we'll make it happen. Write asap, please, so we can make this move.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday will be chillier than usual

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
Howdy, all.

Just a quick note to let you know a few facts about Sunday's 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. pool session at the YWCA in Sioux Falls.

1) The pool's boiler broke down this week, so the water is not as warm as usual.

2) The event is still a go.

3) YWCA members are still swimming laps in the 70-degree water, so it's not like a Lake Superior simulator. But not as warm as past events, either.

4) The YWCA whirlpool/hot tub is still working, so it could provide relief for us if people get down-right chilled.

Hope to see you there tomorrow - currently about 10 folks are planning to be at the session. Just wanted to let everyone know about the colder-than-usual conditions we'll face.

Friday, March 12, 2010

You can help log S.D. ice-outs

Originally uploaded by jayalbionheath
A gentleman from Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal change has invited us to contribute information about ice-out dates in South Dakota. It's a good way to count down the days until full-on paddling season is here!

To contribute, all you have to do is keep an eye on a waterway you see often. Let's say you drive by Lake Vermillion regularly. Watch as the ice recedes, and when it appears the lake has reach complete ice-out, write Jarett @ jbies0341@hotmail.com and he'll submit your information.

If you would rather submit your ice-out report directly to Journey North, you can do so at this link, which you will have to copy and paste into your browser:


Or Google "Journey North" and click on the "Report Sightings" choice.

If you send your information to me, include the date, lake or river, and a bit of information, like this:

"Lake Poinsett is ice free on March 25. Several days of warm, southerly winds have done their job and we're ready to paddle the lake!"

It's an easy, spam-free way to share information about our waters with the rest of world, and it helps Journey North, which seems like a good outfit.

Plus it shows the world we are avid paddlers champing at the bit to get on the water. (Thanks to Jay Heath for this photo of ice and kayaking.)

Questions? Write Jarett.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Next pool session set for March 14

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
We'll host a second pool session at the YWCA in SIoux Falls on March 14.

The event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (REMINDER: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS) and free for members; small surcharge for non-members to cover the $50-per-hour pool rental.

Pool work can help you develop skills you won't get in open water. Plus it's warm and clean. Your boat must be clean, too, to use it in the pool.

Write Jarett at jbies0341@hotmail.com for more information or to confirm a spot. We aim to keep the number of paddlers around a dozen. If we have enough interest we might seek to add additional pool sessions in March or April.

The YWCA is located on 11th Street and Dakota Avenue in beautiful downtown Sioux Falls.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 14th Pool Session

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association will host a YWCA pool training session starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2010.

The event takes place at the YWCA, 300 W. 11th St. in Sioux Falls.

Paddlers should bring their own clean boats for pool work. Members will do their best to loan boats to those without, but the session ends at 1pm.

Life jackets/PFDs are required in the pool. We would like to have a head count soon, so if you are planning to attend, e-mail Jarett Bies at jbies0341@hotmail.com.


If you're coming, don't forget to bring spray skirts, dive masks or goggles, or any other gear you might use in a self-rescue or to keep water out of your nose during rolling practice.

There's a door just off Dakota Avenue (on the east side of the Y) that goes directly into the pool area. Please plan to take kayaks in and out there, and bring extra towels to wipe down your boats afterwards, to keep the water from freezing.

See you on the 14th!

Unloading & parking directions