I know you’ve been waiting for this post. The background story of our recent Kayak Adventure down a RIVER (well. a mini river. a creek) this weekend!
We looked up some recommended rivers to kayak – and Minnehaha Creek came up frequently – and being only 20 minutes from our house – we said yes!
We got to the parking lot and saw a bunch of kayaks pulled onto the bank and knew we were in the right spot. EXCEPT. The current seemed fast. Maybe a little too fast to be putting our kids on our lap. So — being the introvert I am — I confidently walked up to strangers wearing lifevests standing by the kayaks and said “so have you done this before? Are we in the right spot?”
Response. “This is the spot you would stop at. Further than this the current gets too fast and you hit the waterfall. So you should go upstream near Edina. Some of the early parts have whitewater, we tipped once, (sending a glance to our kids) but then it calmed down.”
So we talked for a while – kept looking at the current – and figured we’d just drive 1.5miles upstream and drop in there somewhere and then end back here. Not TOO far upstream. We’ll try it, but CAUTIOUSLY. We conveniently had our bikes still on the car from our bike adventure that morning — so Matt locked up his bike DOWNstream — so when we were done he could bike back to the car UPstream and bring it back to me and the kids.
I educate Ethan if we tip, get over to the side by the sandy banks, try not to keep float down the river. And keep calm. He has on a vest and can swim. I wonder briefly if we should do this. But the water looks doable, and not too fast. I myself have NEVER paddled anything other than a lake, so this is a learning curve for me too.
(evy was a more than a little annoyed I interrupted her paddling for this photo)
And you guys. It was so beautiful. Some spots had some mini rapids, several areas of rocks and logs to avoid (not to mention some super low overhanging trees). But mostly it was calm, flowing at a nice pace. The water was only 2-4 feet deep. We never tipped. We stopped at the right spot.
The only struggle was that the kids constantly wanted control of the paddle. Which was okay about half of the time — otherwise with the current we’d slide sideways or backwards or get tangled into overhead branches (that hurt). SO we did our best to let them have as much control as possible, while still being safe. It worked abnormally well!
GoPro Video? Of course. 1.5 miles of kayaking. (and click that HD button up to the highest number for best video results)
It was so perfect, we returned the next day and did the same thing. And we purposely left our phones and cameras at home and did it again distraction free – a relaxed unplugged family day. The kids and adults loved it just as much the second time. A third time in the future? We’ll try to move a little more upstream and see what adventures we can find!!