Sand Creek Page 303. That's about as easy as it gets. Written instructions on how to play outside.
Go to the book store. Ask an associate where the "Minnesota" section is. If its a good store you'll have your choice between history and recreation. Most of the books are going to be day hikes. These are worth a cursory scan but mostly will be 'trade routes' that are overrun with tourist and families. It's common for the "best" routes to be popular routes and have nothing to do with quality. The "best" hike/routes have ice cream shops, lots of parking, super easy navigation and so short you can almost see your car the entire time.
Page 303 of Paddling Minnesota was going to be easy. We planned on it being easy because Josh and I went after work on a Wednesday. If your going to play on a school night, you want to be able to get home at a reasonable hour. Adventure mid week is like a free weekend but only if it doesn't go epic. I banked on the "trade route" being a sure thing and it was, almost.
We cross this train track several times. I wanted to take better
whitewater pictures but my new all-weather camera didn't arrive before
the trip so I made due with my cell phone, again! But for the last time!
bridge, but you can't really tell. We are having a really great time.
The water is low so we hit a lot of rocks but it's flowing fast enough
that our boat skills are challenged and we lose some competition with
The train crossings gave us a gauge of how far along we are because the water fall is just after the 5th crossing.
So I'm up Sand Creek without a paddle. This was not on page 304, I looked.
The trade route just gave us trouble but I have my Swiss Army.
Below: Josh cuts a mandrel for my paddle while I document the human drama.
Funny thing is about 10 minutes before this we talked about getting cheap paddles so we don't wreck our good flat water gear.
The patched paddle makes it but I have to rudder steer more and that turns out to be more effective in the whitewater and had I ruddered more and paddled less I may not have broken it in the first place.
We return, scoop up the kayaks and run off to our respective houses so we can go to work in the morning. I get home about 9:20pm so the entire trip took about 4 hours.