Historic Route 66 Bridge over Canadian River
When trying to get as much paddling exercise as possible before the Florida Keys Challenge, I hated to lose yesterday. But, with winds of 47 here, and 58 and 62mph clocked around us, an open lake with no wind break was no place to be. So, this morning I started out on an empty Sunday morning road while counting off the top 50 country tunes of 2011 on the radio. I normally wouldn’t go 185.2 miles round trip for a day paddle, but the Flatwater Paddlers of Oklahoma were doing a New Year’s Day paddle, and I hadn’t had a chance to meet any of the group yet except Scott Richard on our failed Arkansas River trip. I started several hours earlier then they had planned with the idea of meeting them on the river. A look at Google Earth showed missing them would have been nearly impossible, but miss them I did. I met a large group from OKC Kayak, but not a trace of the Flatwater Paddlers.
Canada Geese on the Canadian
This trip was on the Canadian River at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge. This is located in Yukon, a suburb on the west side of Oklahoma City. I went all the way up the river until I was paddling as much sand as water, searched three branches off the river into the wetlands areas, and came about at 2pm. I saw a lot of herons, but they were so skittish I wasn’t able to get close enough for a photo. A few geese and mallards were more attainable after several attempts.
I also didn’t see any beaver, but certainly saw their work with several trees taken down, and dozens girdled. In all, I was on the water five hours and managed 11.1 miles.