Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Spring Break planning is always a bit tricky, never knowing how the playground conditions will turn out. This year lots of options were discussed, but with the weather not shaping up to be super cooperative, we decided this would be the perfect time to head to South Dakota to pick up 'Ol Blue Belle.
'Ol Blue Belle
We originally thought we could bring our cross country skis and check out the black hills, but a last minute call to my dad to find out there was no snow left us thinking we should bring our boats and see what we could find. Twenty hours of driving later I was REALLY determined to find some water.

My dad offered to take us exploring and drive our shuttle, so we packed up the truck and headed out. (Laughing about our kayaks hanging out the back of a South Dakota truck) After a quick assessment, we headed to the only creek we found that we knew enough water (barely), Spearfish Creek. We put in at a park in town, winding through neighborhoods, ducking bridges, and giggling the whole way down. There wasn't much whitewater, but we did have a very entertaining day of splashes and giggles.
Anyone need a snack??
On our way to dinner that night, while driving through downtown Spearfish, we spotted two cars with whitewater boats on them. We stopped and ran into Base Camp, where they were hanging out. The local boaters were super helpful, letting us know that we were correct in our assessment that Spearfish Creek was our best bet for current water levels, but that we could get a little more excitement in the upper canyon. We left, having made new friends and a new plan.

The upper canyon of Spearfish Creek exceeded our expectations. It was fairly steep and continuous with beautiful scenery. With the Upper East Fork of the Hood River in Oregon being one of my favorites, I was all smiles with this smaller, lower volume, South Dakotan version.
Our little adventures left me intrigued....I may just have to return when there is more water. I'm willing to bet there are some gems hidden in the hills.


Dani Wagner said...

I LOVE it! Glad you guys had fun, you'll definately have to come out again!

InDreamsAwake said...

I'm glad you two stopped in! It was nice to meet you. It looks like you and Nick had a fun time exploring Spearfish Canyon. Hopefully we can take you up on that offer to paddle the Northwest soon! Great post and great people. Nice to meet you Kate and Nick. Safe travels!