So I’ve wrapped up my travels for 2023. I just finished a month of day hiking in the mountains of Mexico. Not a paddling trip but still a good adventure.
Right now I’m trying to decide on my paddling options for 2024. I have 10 more states to paddle in, to reach my goal of paddling in all 50 states. I try to do a couple of new to me states every year.
This past year I focused on Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas. I also did some personal first descents (pfds) in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, Illiniois even though I have already paddled other streams in those states. I don’t take my goals too seriously and am never in a hurry. So it is not surprising I often revisit states enroute to my new state paddling destinations.
I tend to like moving water more than flat water but each year my flatwater destinations increase. The bulk of my paddling is day trips (camping in the rv) but I will overnight on the water some. I’m somewhat flexible on craft type. I will canoe but no kneeling for me. Mostly I’m in my long ww kayak (12’) and kind of use it as a go anywhere boat.
States I have left to do: North Dakota- been looking at this one a lot- thinking about 100 miles on the little missouri in the national park grasslands, best shot at water is probably toward the end of april or first few weeks in may, Pembina gorge looks interesting as well
Alaska- putting this on hold, would like to give this state an entire summer, will wait another year or two until travel budget recovers and I can do it up right
Montana- possibly a missouri breaks historical trip (Lewis and Clark) or class II, III whitewater on the Flathead, and Gallatin Rivers
California- still like the idea of the smith river even though it had dropped out when I was there to paddle it once before, I could catch the upper sections of the truckee in the Spring coming out of tahoe.
Nevada- considering truckee river, black canyon of the colorado
Arizona- thinking about putting in for a lottery pick for the seasonal upper salt river, or do a commercial trip or will wait on the Colorado (Grand Canyon) until the trip budget increases
Minnesota- looking at Voyaguers Natl. Park- like the idea of easy permits, no portages, more budget friendly due to my lack of a Kevlar canoe, some day trips into boundary water to see some highlights
Vermont and New Hampshire- like the idea of paddling ponds in the Fall (I hiked part of the Long Trail then), or could do Northern Forest Canoe Trail Sections, or some class II or III releases
Rhode Island, just go paddling with Eck of course
I’m open to suggestions and paddling partners- every year for the past few years I’ve been getting on some rivers and lakes that others have suggested, thank you Pat, Pete, Marty, Rich, Tom, and Doug and all the other pnetters (or pcomers) who have turned me on to great places to paddle.
SYOTR (see you on the river), Tony.