After 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!
These bluffs were especially pretty with all the ice coated trees.
I 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.
Some 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!