So it has been a few weeks since my latest contribution to the blogosphere, and I attribute most of the blame to losing my phone and associated pictures while kayaking on the Saline River. I definitely learned that lesson the hard way… never go kayaking with electronic devices or valuables which are not secure in a waterproof container. Honestly, I was probably fortunate to escape this trip without bodily harm as I flipped due to a willow strainer and was fairly close to getting pinning under a downed tree… But no worries, some local good ole’ boys helped me extract my swamped kayak from the tree, and I was good to go… Now I understand why liability forms are always signed when renting kayak equipment.
After securing a replacement phone/camera I took a trip to Petit Jean State Park. Named after a French girl who disguised herself as a boy to come to America with French settlers, this park has several hiking trails and points of interest. I think I hiked the Seven Hollows Trail; nothing too special but nature usually has a way of putting things in perspective. I then made my way to the popular waterfall which was probably the main attraction of the area. I wanted to try some Petit Jean ham before I left, but I discovered this product is not actually associated with the state park.
After my struggles on the Saline River, I figured I should probably seek some advice regarding paddlesports, so I headed for a meeting of the Central Chapter of the Arkansas Canoe Club. I must have been encouraged by my experience at this meeting as I actually bought a fishing kayak a few weeks later at an auction. I probably won’t be tackling Class IV rapids with this vessel, but I think it should work as place to start.
My first chance to use the new kayak was on the Caddo River. I hoped the ninety minute drive would be worth it, and this float did not disappoint. I joined a dozen other people for a fun time meandering down this river. I think we managed to turn a three hour trip into six hours due to the frequency and length of breaks.