A Few Days of Fun in the Sun

Paddling the Buffalo River

I have to apologize to OWN readers for neglecting the local wine events lately. Dianne and I took the Faithful Son on a family vacation last week. Since i'm out of wine events to tell you about, I'll bore you with our vacation details. Hey, it could be worse...if you were family you would have to sit through the whole slide show.
Dianne and I are recently converted to the wonderful outdoor sport of Paddling.

Be it canoe or kayak, we like nothing better than sliding across the water on 'our own steam'. How can something this much fun actually be good exercise? To introduce Faithful Son to this healthful and enjoyable sport, we planned a float trip via canoe on a small part of The Buffalo River in Arkansas.

The Buffalo River is a beautiful river of crystal clear waters surrounded by high limestone bluffs of purple and orange. In 1972, it was designated by Congress as America's first National River, on the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Yellowstone as our first National Park. It is also just across the border from Oklahoma, only a few hours from Tulsa. The Buffalo is the last major undammed river in Arkansas and is wonderfully pristine, yet well complimented with canoe and kayak outfitters. Float it soon!

Here's a link to a good river map: Buffalo River Map

Sadly, I'm afraid the Buffalo River float trip failed to convert Faithful Son from XBox to paddle junkie as it rained steadily for the majority of our float. Dianne and I were paddling away on the river, so we found the rain to be a cool and refreshing crowd control device, but Dylan darn near froze in the middle of the canoe! Oh well, better luck next time, eh?

Paddling the Illinois River

Of course, no discussion of floating Okies would be complete without mentioning the introduction to paddling given to almost every Oklahoma boy...the Illinois River. We floated it twice this weekend via Falcon Floats and All American Floats. Both outfitters are right on the river, but the take out point for Falcon Floats is a little tough to find due to some fallen timber. In fact, we paddled right past it!

The folks at the next take out (All American) were real nice and helpful and had such a well marked take out point, we took another short float via their Sit-On-Top Kayaks. It was our first time on any kind of kayak and we found them to be great fun. They are supposed to be faster than canoes, but since Dianne and I tandem canoe, the one man kayaks didn't seem much faster. We were passing loads of canoes and rafts, but that isn't unusual. We are certainly eager to try out a tandem kayak next time.

No comments: