Sunday, April 22, 2012

South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Events Calendar

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April 28 & 29 - Niobrara River Early Season Paddle
Valentine, Neb
Camping available Friday and Saturday night at Smith Falls State Park in Valentine, Neb. Saturday paddle from Cornell Bridge to Smith Falls and Sunday paddle from Smith Falls to Rocky Ford (25 miles total distance).
For more info, contact Cory
Diedrich at 605-321-6554 or

May 5 - Boy Scout Camp-O-Ree
Lake Lakota (Newton Hills/Canton) 8:30am-4:00pm
Members are encouraged to bring out their kayaks to assist with help introduce kayaking to young Scouts and their Adult leaders. We are expecting a sizable group so the more the
merrier. Lunch will be provided.

May 5 - Annual Missouri River Clean-up
Riverside Park, Yankton, SD
More info:

May 8 - Big Sioux Water Festival
SDSU, Brookings
The Big Sioux Water Festival is a collaboration between East Dakota Water Development District, SDSU and the Brookings County Conservation District. The festival has been serving an
average of 1,000 4th graders every year since 1993. The goal of the festival is to provide a multi-topic, multi-disciplinary, one day water themed event where kids can apply their knowledge of water education they have learned in their classrooms.

SDCKA will have a booth during this event, showcasing recreational opportunities on the Big Sioux River. More info:

May 16 - Adopt-A-Wetland Clean-up
Sioux Falls
SDCKA has formed a partnership with the City of Sioux Falls to adopt-a-wetland along the Big Sioux River within the city limits. On May 16, members will gather at the 26th (& I-229) at canoe launch area at 5:30pm to clean-up the wetlands area just to the north of the parking lot. We hope you can join us!

May 26-27 - South Dakota Kayak Challenge
Yankton to Sioux City
After being forced to cancel in 2011 due to high water, SDKC is back this year ready to challenge the most experience paddlers. Currently, 115 racers from all across the United States will converge on the Missouri River to take part in this challenge. SDCKA has helped out in years past by providing volunteers along the race route at various location.
Visit for more volunteer information and email to sign-up.

June 2 - Annual Paddling Fair
Family Park, Sioux Falls
Our popular paddling fair returns again this year with new partners and a new location. The
fair will be held at Family Park (12th & Tea/Ellis) on the western edge of Sioux Falls. This year,
we've partnered with the Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation Department and Sun 'N Fun Specialty Sports. We encourage you to come out, bring your boat and try out someone elses.
If you've ever wonder what it's like to paddle a sea kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle
board, this is your time!

June 16 - Water Sampling w/ Dakota Water Watch
Lake Alvin, Harrisburg
We will be working with Dakota Water Watch again for our annual 'snapshot in time' water sampling event. Meet at the boat ramp on the southwest corner of the lake at 9am.

57th to 26th on the BSR

Sol Brich, Mary and Dave Finck are planning a Cruise on Monday April 23 at 5:00 P M
from Farm Field Park (on 57th street just west of Western Ave across from the Dairy Queen) to the take out on 26th street. Sol and I will meet earlier around 4:15 P M and move our vehicles to 26th street. We have trailers to bring the kayaks back to Farm Field Park at the end of the cruise. If we can get started earlier, we can get done before dark. The weather forecast is calling for sunny and 70 degrees. If you have any questions you can call Dave at 605-366-6844. You can come at either 4:00 P M if you want to shuttle first or 5:00 P M and we will get you back to 57th street, we will work it out either way.

Anyone wishing to join us is more than welcome.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Day Paddle this Saturday at Flandreau

Join us between 9-10 a.m. Saturday, April 21 for the annual SDCKA Earth Day Paddle. We'll meet at the Powwow Grounds north of Flandreau and paddle the Big Sioux River down to the dam in town. Here's video of the finish line area. Don't worry, we'll stay well clear of that dam, folks:

This paddle is about 2-3 hours. High on Saturday is supposed to be about 55, with some south winds in the neighborhood of 10 mph. Pack a dry bag with spare clothes - better safe than sorry.

Some have talked of continuing past Flandreau to Egan's City Park. We can do that, we'd just need to allow time to shuttle those vehicles and we'll plan on deciding at the gathering in the Powwow grounds.

Call Jarett at 605-941-4940 for more information or email him to RSVP!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hey all

Larry Braaten, Mary and Dave Finck will be going to Lake Alvin to do a little Paddling on Saturday, April 14 at 1:00 P M. Anyone wishing to join us is more than welcome. We will meet at the boat dock on the west end of the lake. Hope to see you there. If you have any questions you can call Dave at 605-366-6844.

Larry Dave and Mary

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Canoeing Africa

The following was submitted by Loren Odland, SDCKA member from Sioux Falls.

In March my wife, Sandy, and I were in Cameroon (in western Africa) to visit the Churches, Mission Stations, the Hospital, the Seminary, Bible Schools, Elementary Schools, and the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon. We also helped put a roof on a new church building at Ndokayo (pronounced “doe-ky-oh”). We drove over 1,400 miles on roads that were in a variety of conditions – none of them pristine! J The drive from Meiganga to Garoua Boulai is very rough with major sections under construction. It was dry season so the road surface was mostly rust-red powder and billowed behind our vehicle blocking visibility completely for anyone following us. We stopped for a break at the Lom River near the Cameroon border with Central African Republic. A lone fisherman was checking and resetting his nets using his dug-out canoe. I watched and waited until he came to shore. As I was watching him, he was watching me. Although we had a major language barrier (his language is Gbaya and mine is English) we communicated enough so he knew I was fascinated by him, his canoe, and his paddle. When I asked to take pictures, he quickly let me know it was okay. I “just happened to have” my SDCK sticker with me, so that shows up in a couple pictures. I didn’t know how to ask him if I could fasten the sticker onto his canoe, so I simply set it on the bow. When we parted, I thanked him in his native Gbaya: “Osoko”. We both smiled.

Imagine the setting: the river was very low, the banks were very high, amazing bird songs filled the air, the concrete bridge over the river was missing major sections of guard rail and the decking of the bridge itself was questionable. In spite of the river current, this fisherman handled his canoe with grace and confidence. He made the canoe from a log and used fire to burn out the inside to help make carving the interior easier. I don’t know the species of wood for sure; but mahogany is the native tree that reaches that size and is used for most building. (The church rafters are solid mahogany!) The canoe is extremely heavy and would take more than two men to portage it!

I’m on the pastoral staff of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in southeastern Sioux Falls. Sandy has her own long-arm quilting business --- and the amazing ability to encourage me in my love of boats and water. She joins me on the water when she can – and even went with me to Africa!

Anyone interested in a cruise on the Lom River? It might take some planning; but count me in!

You can reach Loren at

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Upcoming events

Carp, paddling, etc. 079

CORRECTION: Paddling Fair (Family Lake) is June 2 and the Water Sampling Event(Lake Alvin) is JUNE 9.

Apologies for the "dead" nature of this blog - Facebook has really taken front seat in our electronic efforts to keep members connected. The FB link for our group is here and it gets a lot of traffic for cruise announcements and tons of other stuff. Remember, even if FB seems foreign and scary, you can join and use it solely for kayaking, it's up to you. Eight hundred million users make FB a bit of an obvious choice in terms of keeping in touch.

We have added new authors for our blog and the club's renewing its efforts to keep this site active and thriving. Let us know what you want to talk about it and we'll do it here and on Facebook.

We have a number of events upcoming, including a planned April 21 cruise on the Big Sioux River between Flandreau Powwow Grounds and the Flandreau Dam, shown in the photo above.

Jarett Bies
is the contact on that event, and with this amazing spring weather everyone's out paddling, so please join us, invite us and keep paddling!

Our paddling fair is June 2 at Family Lake in Sioux Falls, and we'll need your help at 9 a.m. on June 9 to sample water at Lake Alvin, too.

Keep paddling be safe, pack dry-bags with extra clothes every time out, take lots of photos, and we'll see you on the water!