Black Creek From Hinckley Reservoir
June 11, 2017

Two groups headed out on Hinckley Reservoir on this windy, 88 degree day. Group 1: Bob, Ray and Hugh, launched early from the free spot near the power plant and headed around the reservoir expecting to meet up with Group 2 on Black Creek at some point. Group 2: Dave L, Fish, Amy, Bill E., Kim, Eric, Howard, Bill G. and Ruth went down Southside Rd, to Stormy Hill Rd, to the DEC Hinckley Day Use Park about 2.5 miles across from Group 1. There was no one at the entrance so we thought we got lucky. Fat chance. They found us and collected $10 each – no senior discount either. It was a nice sandy launch and not too far from the parking lot. Group 2 looked at the white caps out in the middle of the reservoir and thought that $10 was well worth it. It looked like a rough ride across the reservoir, which we were sure Group 1 enjoyed. Group 2 launched into those waves, took a left, and around the bend in Black Creek the water was calm (1/3 miles). Well, all but 1, who decided he would give it a try with a different boat next time. Good effort, though. There were very few houses or boats on Black Creek after the first half hour. It was a peaceful, beautiful paddle with nature scenes all around. Bill G paddled his hand crafted F1 boat and was pleased with how it handled the waves ahead of him at launch. The waves pounded from behind after rounding the corner on the way back to the beach. That was a challenge for everyone, but the wind and water spray were refreshing. Group 2 logged 7.7 miles. Group 1 covered a lot of miles on the reservoir and West Canada Creek. They did seem to enjoy the choppy water. They did not make it to Black Creek, but logged an admirable 20 miles on their journey.

Nine kayakers (from both groups) gathered together at Van’s in Barneveld for their famous burgers. The restaurant had just reopened, so nothing was on tap. The bottles and cans of cold beer tasted good anyway, even though a couple bottles of Octoberfest had expired. Burgers were very big and very good, and the laid-back atmosphere was strictly small town friendly. Everyone was a darlin’ or something similar to our cheery waitress-in-training.

Images & Report by Kim Wojnowicz, Images by Eric Zhaman

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