Drought Makes It Tough For New Year's Tradition

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year’s Day tradition was stuck thanks to drought conditions. Brave paddlers made their annual trip down the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita Tuesday, but they battled not only the cold, but also the shallow waters.

The snowy banks of the Arkansas made for a picture perfect background. Twelve brave kayakers, led by Vince Marshall, took to the river for the annual Arkansas River Coalition Float on New Year’s Day.

"Gets people out, not sitting at home enjoying warmth of the home, but it's just for a brief period of time," Marshall said.

The float down the Ark was more of a challenge this year. Paddlers hit sandbars and at times had to actually get out and walk the river because it was simply too shallow.

"It was good,” said Janice Lind. “Good to be out in the sun and the air; don't care if floating or walking a river.”

The group focused on keeping the river clean and its wildlife safe. But a good two-year drought has left the Arkansas dry, but not dry enough to keep the diehards from welcoming in 2013 in style.

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