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It was quite windy with a few white caps on the first couple of bends. The temperature was 70-80 degrees with clouds and a storm threatening to the north that never materialized.
The Des Moines River gets down to a trickle this time of year, this will be the last weekend of the summer that you will be able to paddle it with out a lot of dragging. I came across a half a dozen spots were I hit bottom but was able to push through with out getting out. The flow at Jackson was 442 CFS, Jackson is the closet gage on line at:
There were no fences or trees across the river, just shallow water was the major obstacle I faced. For the most part the river has a sandy/silt bottom with a few rocky spots I had to bump over.
The scenery along the banks changes from cottonwood/willow wooded to open farmland and pasture quite frequently. I saw Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Gold Finches, ducks, Canadian Geese and other animals. On almost ever sand bar there were killdeer walking and calling. I only saw one nice size box turtle. The Carp were out in force and would startle me occasions with their jumps and splashing.
The total paddle was 4.8 river miles and took me an hour and a half.
Classic Freestanding Rack
Recreational Kayak Paddle