Winter on the Water

It’s been cold, but thanks to drysuits and neoprene and excellent long johns, we’ve been paddling anyway. Late in January, we were invited to join a small group to paddle on the quiet water of Bayou DeView, from Hickson Lake to Apple Lake. It was a gray day and my mood matched the weather, but it was still good to be outside. We ate lunch on Whiskey Island, and Debo ‘adopted’ a too-thin, sad little snake, packing it carefully in a dry box for the trip back to the truck. (Note: A month later, the little snake’s eating goldfish like they’re going out of style. He’s fat and healthy now and he’ll go back home to Whiskey Island sometime in the spring.)

Blog Swamp Painting

The more we thought about creek paddling, the more Bryan and I thought we should get Crash a helmet with more face protection. She’s never had the least little problem with wearing helmets, and agreed that she’d appreciate headgear that might help her keep all her teeth and jawbones in the same place. We asked around and did a little research, and just when we’d decided on a ShredReady, and Bryan found one on sale. The new helmet arrived on our doorstep right beside a nice big rainstorm that brought the creeks up. But Mandy’s grades weren’t great, and we wouldn’t let her skip school. She was stuck at home, wearing her new helmet in the kitchen, watching videos, while her friends paddled Richland Creek. Continue reading “Winter on the Water”

Little Maumelle River


We borrowed boats from our friends over at Arkansas Outside to try out a stretch of the Little Maumelle River. There are so many things I love about central Arkansas. Imagine being able to paddle a kayak for eight plus miles down a river, within the city limits of the largest city in your state. We began at Pinnacle Mountain State Park and floated through a forest of cypress trees, ending our trip just past Two Rivers park, at the boat launch at the bottom of River Mountain Road.

Ivydog was nearly perfect. Hayduke was terrible. He and I ended up in a single kayak, hanging back out of sight of the rest of the group. When he can’t see anyone else, he’s a lot calmer about being in the boat.

I wish I’d had a camera, because he was extremely excited today about lily pads. We floated through big stretches of water that’s so still and shallow that lilies grow in big ‘fields.’ Hayduke thought it was great fun to hang his big head out of the boat and try to snatch the flat leaves in his mouth. Once he grabbed a lily bud and pulled it up, four foot stalk and all. He looked at me as if to say “well, I caught it, but now I don’t know what to do with it.” We left a trail of leaves with bites taken out of them.

Hayduke is a nightmare on the water but he has so much fun it’d be sad to leave him at home.