I haven’t posted in awhile, but it’s not because I haven’t been doing anything. In fact, it’s probably because I’ve been doing so much that I haven’t really been at my computer much aside from work!

One thing I’ve done quite a bit of this spring so far is kayak. Since last year was so dry, I didn’t get to kayak nearly as much as I would have liked and I’ve been trying to make up for that. I started out with an Easter float with dad and Emma, which was a lot of fun.

Later that week I noticed the water was still up nice and high, but had settled to where it was also quite clear. So I talked Jason and Grant into doing an early morning ‘yak trip.

We met before sunrise at my house and loaded up. Grant wanted to try out my tandem kayak so I rode along with him in it.

The nice thing about the tandem is that it’s easy to have a conversation. It also makes it easy to get distracted…and not notice an obstacle you are about to run into. So we dumped ourselves into the 50 degree water by running into a tree root. Definitely had not planned on getting wet that morning!

Here is Jason getting a laugh at our expense. Note the root sticking up behind him – that was what we ran into. Naturally this happened only 1/4 mile in, so we still had about 5 miles to go in wet clothes on a windy 58 degree morning.

spring13-4There is a spring that flows out of a rock bluff that I always enjoy. This particular day I was dismayed to find that someone had dumped a microwave into the spring. Since I was already wet, and was in my larger kayak, I decided it was a good opportunity to remove it. Ugh, rednecks…

spring13-5Here is another kayak trip, also with Emma and also on Center Creek. This time however the water was far from clear because it had recently rained a lot. It did make for a very fast float down to the conservation area near the airport.

spring13-6After I took Emma’s picture she wanted to take mine, with Papa in the background. At 7.3 miles, this was Emma’s longest float yet!

spring13-7Just this past weekend I took Eily-beth to go for a hike at Joplin’s Wildcat Glades nature park with my mom. We had a great time hiking along the rocky chert cliffs and boulders and Shoal Creek.

spring13-8This is a really neat spot I didn’t know about. I’d like to go back sometime with the proper equipment and take some more photos. Apparently, chert glades are one of the rarest ecosystems in the world. In fact this is the only area where it can be found.