Saturday, July 14, 2012—Kayaking the Norfork River

This summer has become a “family” summer for us; let me explain.  Jenny, my daughter, and her husband Brian are expecting their first baby in early August.  We decided early in the year to be here for this auspicious occasion.  This meant no travel for the last couple of weeks of July and the first two of August.  And then, we had the opportunity to babysit our newer grandson, Ridge, in late June while his mommy and daddy spent a week in Cancun.  And, Kay’s sister was able to visit in mid-July, followed by a visit from Ridge and his mommy.  We will get to host our older grandson, Kayden, in this week coming up, with his dad joining late in the week.  Hopefully, Harper Ann will arrive in this world pretty close to schedule, and Ridge and his mommy will be returning on August 10.  So, you see, we have been richly blessed this summer to share June, July, and August with family for the first time in a long time.

It was during Karyn’s visit this weekend that she and I kayaked the Norfork River.120714_Edited-2  Conditions were good since there was enough flow for one generator, translating into too much water for wade fishing, and just enough for kayaking without having to get out and pull over riffles.  It was her first time to kayak, and my first time to kayak the entire Norfork River.  We began at the launching area at Quarry Park just downstream of Norfork Dam, practiced a few strokes, turning the kayak this way and that, then spinning it around, and paddling in reverse.

120714_Edited-3The paddle downstream was uneventful until we reach the top of the Long Hole, when we heard this loud, shrill scream and looked up from where it came and spotted both an adult and an immature bald eagle.

As we continued our float downstream boat traffic and fishing pressure increased.  There were boats and fishers everywhere, and most seemed to have Missouri120714_Edited-4 registration.  It became almost congested from Ace-in-the-Hole until we reached the confluence with the White River.  We “artfully” weaved our way through all this boat traffic to minimize our interference with their fishing.

At Ol’ Charlie’s we observed short-term renters at the Aamodt’s, and the renters said they were renting the place for $220 per night (both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeals has agreed with the city that this is zoned residential and that operating this business violates the city’s ordinance). Sadly, the short-term renters were also catching and keeping fish, and this is in the middle of the Catch-and-Release area, and had been walking up and down the neighborhood road flagging at traffic.

It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to leisurely paddle the Norfork River, and we had a great time.120714_Edited-6

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