FAST AND FUN KANSAS CITY MISSOURI RIVER KAYAKING TRIP!
On Sunday, May 29, 2016, my wife and I decided to, once again, kayak the Missouri River in the Kansas City area.
We have kayaked from Parkville, Kaw Point and other Kansas City area locations and thought we would give the La Benite Park in Sugar Creek stretch of the river a try.
It had been raining heavily the past week and we wanted to run the river while it was up and running fast.
The morning was beautiful, sunny and warm with no humidity or mosquitoes.
We went down to La Benite Park to park our take out vehicle and noticed that the river was up and fast.
When folks barbecuing along the river noticed our kayaks, they asked You people arent going to float the river today? When we indicated we were, they said You guys are nuts!
We parked the car and moved up river to the Kansas City River Front Park near the Chouteau Trafficway.
To our chagrin, the park was closed due to the recent rains.
We wondered why on Earth the park had to be closed, in light of La Benite Park being open.
Most partners at that point would have said lets just kayak another day when the park is open.
However, my wife, being the trooper she is, stated Lets go further up river to Kaw Point and put in there!
That meant more driving, more kayaking and more time on the river. I was glad to explore this opportunity and up to Kaw Point we went.
When we got to Kaw Point, the river was extremely high and the ramps were completely covered by the elevated Kaw River.
The river was up past the concrete steps down to the river bank at that time.
We parked our truck and put in at Kaw Point, using the water covered stairway as our ramp.
The Kaw River was brisk and running freely into the fast moving Missouri River current.
We entered without incident and almost flew down to the first bridge. Along the way, we noticed various areas of swirling and whirlpools. There were lots of large logs and timber to be navigated around. We were moving extremely fast.
We reached the first bridge in approximately 15 minutes.
We made the Bond Bridge in approximately 30 minutes. We were at River Front Park within an hour.
At ground level, we then saw why the River Front Park had been closed.
Huge trees had been washed on shore, completely obscuring and blocking the ramps egress and ingress.
There would have been no way to safely pull our kayaks out at that point.
On our trip, we saw many turtles, herons, ducks, jumping fish and water snakes.
There were no other folks floating on the river and we had it all to ourselves. It was beautifully quiet and we got to see the casinos, skyscrapers, smoke stacks, alive and dormant, and other landmarks of our community that are taken for granted by those that have not used our backyard natural resource.
Unfortunately, the recent rains had dislodged a lot of litter from the river banks and we noticed more bottles, cans and trash in the water, than we usually would see in calmer waters.
We made La Benite Park in Sugar Creek within 2 hours of putting in at Kaw Point.
This is an extremely fast time compared to paddling on calmer days. Our Perception Carolina Model 14 foot ruddered kayaks navigated the river perfectly. The rudders gave us a straight line to hold through the tide pools. The river was so high that the wing dykes were covered and we were able to glide right over them without incident.
Several years ago, we had the great pleasure of befriending Lynn Lyon, the founder and owner of KC Paddler. Lynn was very kind in guiding us to the appropriate kayaks, life vests, paddles and other kayaking equipment. He sold us only what we needed, nothing we did not need, and was a wonderful man to deal with.
Unfortunately, God took Lynn very early in life recently and we smile and think of him when we take these wonderful trips.
May you rest in peace, my dear friend.
I would recommend this type of trip to anyone who would like to see our city as Lewis and Clark did, from the ground up.
Put in at Kaw Point. Take out at La Benite Park. Directions available on Google Maps.