There are lots of folks who know the White River in north central Arkansas is famous for its fishing, but did you know that it is also a fun river to kayak??!!
Kayaks can be rented at the boat dock located at Bull Shoals/White River State Park. They can also provide a shuttle service to pick you up at various locations down river, depending on how long you want your kayak trip to be. You can phone the park at 870-445-3629 to inquire about rates, reserve a kayak, and arrange shuttle pickups.
As our group of five was floating down the river recently on Memorial Day, I was thanking God for the opportunity to be enjoying this beautiful area where I live, while at the same time---remembering that on Memorial Day, I am thanking the U.S. Military Veterans, who have fought, so that we can live freely in this great land of opportunity!
My friend Diane took this photo of me, and I am giving it a caption from Psalm 63:4 that says "Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in your name."
The amount of paddling that one has to do on a trip down the White River, depends on how many generators are running at the Bull Shoals Dam. One can phone the park ahead of time to find out this information, although it may fluctuate widely throughout any given period of time.
It was nice to get to include one of the lady's sons on our float trip, who was visiting the area from his home in Mississippi.
On your journey down the White River, you will pass several private docks, private homes, and commercial docks.
One of the things I learned in a kayaking class I took through the state park, was NOT to try to dock your kayak on the upstream side of any floating dock. Such a maneuver can cause an instant capsize, depending on how fast the river is flowing. Rather, our teacher told us to dock our kayak on the downstream side of floating docks, to reduce the chances of the boat filling up with water.
I like to look out at all the folks on the White River, when I am a customer INSIDE the restaurant at Gaston's Resort ( www.Gastons.com ), but it also fun to wave to the diners inside the restaurant when one if floating by OUTSIDE, as well! I like it when they wave back at me!)
There are some bald eagle nests along the river, and this bald eagle was kind enough not to fly off, as I was trying to take its photo. I don't take a really expensive camera with me on the water, hence I did not have a long telephoto lens to get a close-up look, but this is just a reminder to say that you will most likely see eagles, herons, and a variety of other feathered friends on a cruise down the stream.
Our group was fortunate to have enough suitably equipped vehicles, that we did not have to pay for a commercial shuttle service. Diane was able to successfully load three kayaks in the back of her truck, at our take-out spot, called "White Hole".
An important aspect of the loading process is to secure the boats, so they do not fall out, and endanger vehicles following you.
It was nice to have a tall and strong young man to help load the kayaks on top of Susie's RAV4!
Our group was able to work together to get the kayaks secure for the drive back to the Bull Shoals State Park starting point, without any damage to the kayaks, the transporting vehicles, or other vehicles on the highway! Praise the Lord! If you would like to learn more about the myriad of fun activities available at Bull Shoals White River State Park ( or any of the dozens of other Arkansas State Parks!), just log on to www.arkansasstateparks.comI can guarantee that visiting one of these beautiful state parks will bring you "MILES OF SMILES"!! Tricia