An early fall afternoon kayak trip on Firesteel Creek

I’ve been incredibly busy this summer and didn’t get my kayak out until yesterday, but it was worth the wait. With sunshine, only a light breeze and a temperature in the upper 60s, it was an absolutely perfect day. I put in near the west end of Lake Mitchell and kayaked upstream on Firesteel Creek for nearly two hours before turning around.

I love getting out on my kayak because it always reminds me that, no matter how busy my life is, somewhere there’s a serene place undisturbed by man. Yesterday, that place included wild flowers, water that was glassy and beautiful when the wind died down, birds that let me glide up close to them, fish that surprised me when they jumped up near me, and the kind of quiet that I’ve only found while alone on a waterbody in nature.

Here are some photos I shot with my Blackberry.

Just to the left of the view seen here, there is an electric cattle fence over the creek. It served as a natural turnaround point after paddling two hours upstream.

When the wind dies away, the water on the creek is like glass. It makes for some cool reflective images.

This old, dead tree trunk was in a pasture near my turnaround point.

I don't do very well at identifying types of plants, so I don't know what these flowers are. Wild sunflowers, maybe?

An island in the middle of the creek.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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