Monday, August 6, 2012

Kayaking the Chena River, Take II

Those of you long-time followers may remember my fiasco of an attempt to paddle upstream on the Chena River over a year ago. If not, take a peek and read it here. It's classic Heather; what can I say.

I've been told by numerous people this summer that you can most certainly paddle upstream on the Chena. Especially this time of year when the river has slowed down a bit. Well, why the heck not, I thought. Now that I have my fancy Necky Eskia, I should be able to do this.

And I did.

There were moments of hard paddling, but for the most part it was fine. Although I still wouldn't classify the Chena as slow. If I took my paddle out of the water I immediately lost ground and began floating downstream. But, I made it. It took me an hour and 50 minutes to paddle upstream and 40 minutes for the return trip. I'll never make it to the Olympics.

It was pretty quiet on the river. I saw two other kayaks, two canoes and 2 jet skis. Oh and there were the beavers. They scared the heck out of me. They were slapping their tales on the water and I don't know enough about beaver behavior to know if that was a sign of warning and aggression, or just what beavers do. Regardless, I didn't hang around the beaver den.

Downtown Fairbanks looked lovely.

Hard to believe this is the same river that I stood on in -20 degrees to watch the start of the Yukon Quest this past February.

When back at my take-out spot, I didn't feel like slogging through the mud to pull my boat out of the river. There was a dock, although the road didn't go to the dock. I took care of that! Technically, this was a walking path that I backed my car down.

Oh well. I was tired and getting cold. No one else was around. At least this time I did it purposefully. I knew it was a walking path -- I didn't say, "oh let's drive down this road" only to discover that the "road" was a bike path. And that I had driven over a bridge built for bikes, not cars. Yes, I really did do that several years ago.   

I'll leave you with some river scenery:

Oh, and can I just say how much I love my boat. I really do. Everyone should have a boat.