Busse Woods/Salt Creek Paddling Trip Sunday Aug 19, 2007

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Busse Woods/Salt Creek Paddling Trip Sunday Aug 19, 2007

Postby rich on Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:14 pm

This was my first trip with "Float Your Boat -Chicago Area Kayak Meetup" which I had just joined.

It was pouring rain as I loaded my kayak onto the mini-van. I thought for sure that I would be the only paddler to show up for this event.

As I arrived at the put-in, I was shocked to see 3 other members already there. As we waited in the rain, 3 more members joined us. By the time we were finished unloading our kayaks and ready to put-in the monsoon had subsided. In all we had 3 rec kayaks one frame-on-skin and a beautiful wooden triple kayak.
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Ed's Wooden Triple Kayak


We started off paddling west towards the dam, and then headed north towards the Higgins bridge. It was overcast and the sun was buried behind a gray sky. We had yet to see anyone on the water.
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Heading out!


As we approached the bridge we finally found others on the lake -three middle-aged fishermen that were in a small motorized fishing boat. They were headed in the opposite direction right towards us. Apparently we startled one of the fishermen who was sitting in a lawn chair. As he looked towards us he lost his balance and flipped backwards off the boat landing headfirst and backwards into the water. It was quite an amazing site! I've never seen anything so funny from my kayak (or otherwise). I paddled over and helped get his chair out of the water -risking catching my kayak on the prop, as the fishermen pulled their friend out of the water and back into the boat. A bottle of beer was left floating where he fell in leaving no question as to why he fell in. I thought about recovering the beer and giving it back to him but decided against this.

As we parted ways, the humor of the situation kicked in and I could hardly contain my laughter. After a few minutes I regained my composure and we headed up to the mouth of the salt creek channel. Spotting at least one heron on the way there.

We decided to continue up the channel a bit before heading back to meet up with 2 more members that were to be joining us. Due to all the rain, the creek had a strong current and was fairly difficult to paddle. We set our goal to reach some fallen branches a short ways upstream. After reaching the branches we then headed back downstream.
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Mark in the Salt Creek Channel


As we approached the put-in I took a short 10 minute diversion to the island of the Double Crested Cormorants to get some pictures. They were sitting high in the trees and did not fly away as I approached. I took pictures of them, located almost directly underneath them. They were a motley crew of creatures all in different poses and doing different things. A few had their wings spread out to dry. I was able to capture a couple photos this.
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Cormorants!


Finally, I headed back to the put-in where the rest of the group was. We chatted for a while as the beginners tried out some of our boats to help them figure out what they liked/disliked in a boat.

More photos of this trip can be found on the Float Your Boat site at:
http://kayaking.meetup.com/163/photos/?photoAlbumId=203553
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rich
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