Kayaking Firesteel Creek

There’s no recreational activity I like better than kayaking. The first time I hit the water in a kayak about six years ago, I was in love. The smooth glide of the boat, the ability to go where motorized boats can’t, the knowing that I’m moving by my own force and am not polluting the environment, the freedom to go up and down a river without restraint … in my mind, it’s a perfect activity.

My busy life doesn’t allow me to get out in my kayak as much as I’d like, but Saturday I got out for the first time this summer. The weather was perfect — only a light breeze, and temperatures rising from the 50s in the early morning into the 70s during the afternoon. I spent five hours in my kayak, and I paddled Firesteel Creek upstream from Lake Mitchell until the creek was too shallow to paddle anymore. It was about 11 miles round-trip.

I’m no videographer or video editor, but I made a video of my journey. If you turn up the sound in the first couple of clips and listen, that will tell you as much as anything about why I love to kayak. In the last clip, the little splashes you’ll see are fish jumping out of the water.

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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