Monday, November 12, 2012

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Saturday morning, I got up before sunrise and drove to Stockton Lake for some kayaking. Originally, I was going to camp out the night before, by myself, but I was pretty tired after finishing my first week at my new job.

An old country church in the middle of nowhere

Wayward calf

I got up to Stockton and the side of the lake I picked to put in at had white caps and a roaring onshore wind. Not willing to put myself under that much danger and exertion, I opted to drive another 15 minutes to a more sheltered area.

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

I put in at the Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge. The lake, being very low, was little more than a tree stump choked river channel on this arm. I paddled about three and a half miles, out and back, until I gave up struggling to keep myself from holing the boat. I had several "Oh, s--t!" moments of high centering on a log or stump. The water was just too cold to risk going into and I called it early.

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

I did see the remnants of an old bridge and a lot of birds, herons, great egrets, Canada geese, coots, a few hawks, gulls and a bunch of other waterfowl I couldn't identify. Also saw some raccoon prints in the mud.

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Raccoon tracks - Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge, Stockton Lake, Missouri

It's a neat area, I look forward to checking it out again when the water is higher or the breeze is low enough to easily dodge dead trees in the water.

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