We’ve officially signed up for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge. The team is Andy Clones, Terica Bergin, Danelle and Hogan Haake. We’re borrowing a 4 person aluminum boat from Bernie Arnold and this is our first training run. The plan is to paddle after work from Weldon Springs to Blanchette Landing in St. Charles. We’re fortunate that Terica’s mom, Sharon is providing the shuttle before the paddle starts.
I had heard that Weldon was a bit flooded, but ignored it figuring that it would all work out. The road stopped into water just after the Katy Trail parking. That left us a lot of flooded fields to cross to get to the water. It was decided by the team but pushed by me that we had a boat and could easily get to the river. So we decided to go for it. Sharon would wait 30 minutes in case we changed our minds.
There should be a road here to get to the boat ramp.
Terica is a bit camera shy!
Still camera shy, but I’m working on her 🙂
Getting to the river was a mix of paddling and navigation. Then the flooding ended and a bit of a portage…
Last minute gear check.
And carrying a 150 pound boat on a road.
Will the madness ever end?
Eventually, we got to the river and paddled all the way back without issue. A successful training run with no serious issues. This proved the race was going to be possible and fun!
I asked Bernie in passing if I could borrow his 4 person aluminum boat for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge. He surprised me by saying yes. So I was going to pick up the boat from him with a test float. He agreed to go out with myself and my kids for the test paddle. Of course, we went to the flooded area in Valley Park from the Meramec river.
A selfie from the front. Somehow, Sonora managed to hide.
The river is still up a ton, blocking the road.
Guess this means people wading across the street?
This is a 2 story structure. I didn’t realize it till the waters receded and I saw the rest of the damage.
Since the flooding started, I’ve been wanting to paddle to Simpson Lake and see what it looked like!
Look, the roof of a picnic shelter.
Paddling under the picnic structure. Could have changed a light bulb in the middle without getting out of my canoe seat!
I just missed a perfect photo with the reflection of this tree on the calm water.
In case he forgets his name Bernie wrote it on the back on his PFD.
Looking straight down Marshal Road in Valley Park.
This sign is slightly ironic.
The aluminum battleship on top of my van. I wanted for help before getting it down!
So one day after my last outing on the flooded Meramec river (yesterday) and its risen several feet! I went out with Corvin to check it out. Parking was quite different as the parking lot I was in yesterday is under about 8 feet of water!
We were out about an hour, look at the water on the apartment complex sign, its still coming up!
The Meramec is flooding to record levels again. Here is the first of three outings documenting it. This one is with JoJo, Andy, and myself. Since we parked in a flooded area, we always stayed in site of the cars to make sure we could have a quick exit.
Parking at Greentree where we normally paddle, there is only an island of dry space left.
Probably shouldn’t drive through here, but I’m very familiar with the place as I paddle here every month.
Andy sitting in the front.
A gazebo nearby for reference.
JoJo in her whitewater boat ready for anything (even though we stayed well out of the river and focused on the calm flooded area).
Hogan and Andy standing on the last land here for a week.
The bathroom in the background will go 100% underwater in a few days.
Wonder what she is thinking.
Yep, its time to leave. When I parked here, all of my van tires were (barely) on dry pavement. For the hour we were out it rose several inches.