Salmon River kayaking

Early Bird Kayaking Paddle by Aneta Nessel

    For those interested in kayaking longer mileage and a larger body of water, an early bird paddle was posted to kayak on Salmon River Reservoir, which tends to be windy and choppy. A sizable group of 8 gathered for an 11 am launch: Hugh, Bob, Tim and Karen, Aneta and Robert, Eric, and Ross. We decided to paddle the length of the reservoir rather than circumnavigate it. The weather was beautiful and the reservoir calm, which some found disappointing. The great thing about the reservoir is that there are plenty of great places to take out, so finding a spot is never an issue. We found a pleasant beach with an impressively large round cairn, and we decided to stop there for lunch. After a nice break we kept on going. When we reached what seemed to be the end of the reservoir, we jack-knifed along the left shore into a large cove by the dam. At the end of the cove there was a beach and a culvert. Having been a little behind the group and inattentive for a minute or two, I looked up to discover the entire group gone. Just as I thought I was losing my mind, a kayaker emerged from inside the culvert. Apparently it wasn't’t the end of the reservoir we were looking at but a causeway. The large culvert ran underneath it and connected the cove to another bay. It was fun going through the culvert as it formed a large, cool, and dark tunnel with delightful echo in case you felt lonely. We all explored the unlikely find and started the journey back. We stopped one more time at another pleasant beach for a stretch and a snack before concluding the paddle in various meandering formations. We met up with the main group by 4 pm. The paddle was 13.6 miles.

    Five of us who didn't’t make it in time for follow the kayakers’ car motorcade drove to the Hayloft to meet the group for dinner because that’s where we were told dinner would be. We found ourselves parked in front of the deserted restaurant wandering where the heck the rest of the group went. With spotty cell phone reception we were lucky to get Kim on the phone. She was still driving. Discouraged at that point by the prospect of starting on a wild goose chase toward Osceola, one paddler went home, and the rest found a place to dine in Redfield.


Salmon River Reservoir kayaking

Late (but On-Time) Bird Kayaking Paddle by Kim Wojnowicz

    The 13 Late kayking Birds: Kevin & Morgan, Ann & Roger, Cindy & Rick, Bill & Ruth, Kim, Jim H, Stan, Phil T, and Bill with his branch.

    Late Birds launched, passed under one bridge, but never made it to the second where we typically turn around. The water level was very low. Jim said his GPS indicated we were paddling on a road. Hmmm. There were no drenching dumps this year, but it was not too boring. 

    Cutest thing we saw - a mother goose took flight and her seven tiny babies paddled furiously on the water trying to follow. They looked like they were walking on water. Adorable. Oops, that was the second cutest. The cutest was Ross with his lovely pink bag.

    We took out for a few minutes to stretch our legs and eat some snacks on an island. Our feet sank into the muck at the edges. That was a chore digging out from under the toe nails. Yuck.

    We made up for the lack of miles on the river by passing by the launch and heading out into the reservoir for a quick sprint. The breeze and increased speed felt good. 

    At the launch was the least cute thing - a snake slinking by my boat just as I was about to put a foot in water to get out. It was a little too fast for the camera; similar to the speedy loon who was playing games with us - popping his head in and out of the water.

    Back on land, the next person looking "cute" was Jim - smiling for a change. He opted for a less serious look in the photo. The healthy, relaxed retirement look suits him. Eric had the "cute??" shirt of the day.  May the force be with you and the Family Guy. 

    We loaded up, then headed off to where Bill made reservations.  ... Or, thought he did. The Hayloft was closed, but we did see a few of those trophy heads around the corner on the walls at Cedar Pine in Osceola, Redfield. It was a neat little restaurant with a splattering of snowmobile decor inside, fountains and a small waterfall outside. The food was delicious and delivered by the waitress and the chef herself.  They did a great job making everyone happy. They even offered to snap our pic. So friendly. Our minds did a bit of churning about whether there was a cedar pine or if it's true a Cedar is a Cedar and a Pine is a Pine. Both different? Do cedar trees have pine cones, or cedar cones. Only the oak elm knows for sure.

    Those who responded to the Early Bird Special invitation on the message board launched hours before the Late Birds. They didn't warm up on the river, but headed directly into the reservoir. 

Images by Kim Wojnowicz, Anne Schofield & Roger Harrod, Jim Hunter, Eric Zhaman, Ross Relyea

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