winterkayak-4After the drought ridden summer and fall, I have been long overdue for a nice kayak trip. So today I decided that just because it’s winter doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy an afternoon on the creek. Especially now that the water levels are finally adequate for floating again.

It was only 18 degrees when I got out of bed, but by the time I was ready to head out it had warmed up to a balmy 24. I decided to start at the house and float downstream to Stones Corner conservation area near the airport, which is about 7 miles.

Kayaking in winter does present a few challenges, mainly staying warm, but it really isn’t all that different than how I would float in the summer. I wore waders in case I needed to get in the water for whatever reason. And multiple layers of everything. About the only thing I wasn’t prepared for would have been a complete capsizing, but so far I have never tipped over in my kayak while on Center Creek except for one time when I was standing up trying to trim a low hanging tree.

I saw a lot more deer than I typically see while floating, so that was kind of cool. I also saw a ton of mallard ducks. Perhaps the most noticeable difference between summer was the quality of the water. It was remarkably clear and blue!
winterkayak-3These bluffs were especially pretty with all the ice coated trees.

winterkayak-2I stopped at this spot for a few minutes to have a snack and to warm up my feet. I thought walking around might increase blood flow and warm them up but the snow I was walking in seemed to offset any gain in heat.

winterkayakSome more cool bluffs near the airport just before I finished up for the day. Initially I was a bit concerned about being cold but aside from some slightly chilly feet I was otherwise very comfortable and had an amazing time exploring this familiar creek in a different way. The only time I got wet was when a small ice-cicle fell out of a tree and somehow went down the back of my shirt – zing!