Saturday, August 14, 2010

The water that runs, a year later

I'm starting to fall seriously behind on blogging, as other things (including the aftermath of a flooded basement) have taken priority, but will try to post every now and again. This is from about two weeks ago, when we once again kayaked the Niobrara River. [Link to last year's post.] With the obvious exception of Mike (who was, however, present in spirit and in a few small vials of ashes), we paddled with pretty much the same crew, and this time completed the standard 25.3 miles from Cornell Launch to Sunnybrook Camp. Rather than post repeat pictures of the same waterfalls, I'll concentrate this time on sights from the lower half of the river:

The obligatory shot of Ellie in her kayak. She's really starting to hate the sight of me with a camera pointed in her direction, but at least she's smiling in this one...

Big Cedar Falls. This is cold water. Really, really cold. I wish I was there now. (The heat index in Lincoln lately has been anywhere from 105 to 115.)

Another falls, farther up Big Cedar Creek.

An unnamed falls. Or, more likely, a falls which has a name, but I don't know it.

We laugh in the face of danger...and then we do what the sign says.

Lower part of Staircase Falls, where it empties into the river.

Middle Staircase Falls reminded me for some reason of Ocho Rios in Jamaica, only here there's no one hustling you for tips.

Upper Staircase Falls.

One of several dragonflies to make a temporary perch of my paddle. (Lots of dragons on the river this year, so I may soon have another dragonfly post.)

Another small, "unnamed" falls, except that this one really might be, since it's all of about three feet high. I propose the name Three Feet Falls.

Last year I lamented not having photographed Deb's keeshond, Queso. I had no intention of making the same mistake twice. (Actually, I do that all the time...but this is not an example of that phenomenon.) Deb swears that Queso is a high-energy, even hyperactive dog at home. But put her on the water and everything is groovy.

We reached Sunnybrook just ahead of a thunderstorm, but the worst of it was back in Valentine. Half the town lost power, there were several fires started by lightning, and once again the streets were flooded (if this keeps up, the Chamber of Commerce may ask us not to come back), but we didn't lose any vehicles this time around. Susie's Forester (yes, she's also in a Subaru now) did just fine; no need to pull the kayaks back off the roof. She came along primarily to babysit; next year I hope to get her in a boat so she can see the river for herself.

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