With hope, I share this photo taken while kayaking on Lake Shawnee.  I hope we all believe there is light at the end of the tunnel: of the most painful times of our personal traumas and struggles, of the global COVID-19 pandemic, of the hatred in our country and elsewhere.  And I hope we all experience some beauty even while we’re still in that tunnel.

A life lesson from the pandemic: In this time, doing the things that are self-care-for-you is essential.  For my husband Kyle and me, kayaking is the thing.  We live in Lawrence, Kansas which has a bunch of lovely lakes within an hour or so.  And with daylight until about 9:00pm, we kayak a couple of times weekly, weather and work schedules cooperating, which means most weeks.

Some Kayaking Suggestions for a new Kayak Kansas Family
Adaptable for other areas 🙂

Have a clear waterproof case with cord (to wear around neck) for at least one person’s cell phone: for camera and for helpful location apps

Have water and life jacket for each person.  Even though it’s much cooler on the water than on land, especially if it’s a hot day with few clouds, you need plenty of water.

Wind speed: affects ability to control direction of kayak, and whether waves may splash a lot of water into your kayak. 

“Generally, any wind under 10 knots (about 11.5 mph) offers safe kayaking regardless of wind direction.”   Our phones have a weather app that includes windspeed info.

Current advisories about Kansas lakes with the dangerous algae issue:

Perry Lake kayak ramp close to Ozawkie, KS
A basic map http://perry.uslakes.info/Maps/ shows that “Old Town Ramp” which is across the dam from Ozawkie is closest to Ozawkie.  But last week when we went there, there was so much wood debris in the cove of the boat ramp that we didn’t try going in there.  “Longview Boat Ramp” is the one that we used.  If you use that one, pay attention to the fact that it starts in a cove that’s a bit tucked in from the main body of water.  We mention this because when we were trying to end our last kayaking there, we did not recognize the area, and then kayaked another mile past it before looking at our app and figuring out what we had done.  Oops.  No harm, just more kayaking than planned.  As a friend once said, “We weren’t lost.  We knew where we were.  We just didn’t want to be there.”

Perry Lake boat ramps basic info 

App that maps your travel on the water, which is helpful to get you back to your starting point 🙂
We use the iPhone Paddle Logger app to give us a map of and log of our trips.

Some other recommendations for android or iPhone

Find your car app on phone is helpful for finding your entry point on a lake, if your car is parked near there 🙂