When the water is calm, and the sun is shining overhead, the Turkey River just begs for someone to float through its’ twists and turns. A group of friends and I had reservations to rent kayaks one weekend, and the weather for the day was perfec; all blue sky and a gentle breeze to keep air moving. We stopped in to Turkey River Outfitters in Elkader to claim our reservation, and the owner, Adam, drove our group to a spot where we could hop into our boats and float down the river. We each got our own kayak, and together we floated down to our destination: The Motor Mill.
As we paddled down the river, I had to take notice of the towering bluffs that framed the Turkey River. Clayton County is well known for its’ beautiful scenic bluffs, so to be able to have them surround us was an enthralling experience. While admiring the bluffs and surrounding area, a sudden ‘quack!’ shook me from my thoughts. I looked to the left of the boat and saw a mother duck with her ducklings swimming between all of our boats. The ducklings all softly quacked together as they followed their mother’s lead, and after I gently pushed and pulled my oar through the water to keep up with my friends, the small wave created by the oar made the ducklings bounce gently to the sudden intrusion of their swim.
The family of ducks swam ahead of us, and we all took a moment to appreciate the beautiful brush with nature. We passed by river bank flowers, and the gentle breeze carried the sweet scent, refreshing my senses. I looked ahead to see how far along we were, and the very corner of The Motor Mill could be seen poking out from the next bend. It was at this point my arms started to feel more like noodles; nevertheless, I persisted until The Motor Mill came into full view, and we cheered as we bumped into the shore. Adam was waiting for us, ready to load the canoes back up to take us to our starting point. We helped each other pull the kayaks out of the water, and hopped into the van ready to go back.
Once we returned to the Turkey River Outfitters, it was time to grab a bite to eat and share our stories about the trip. Our next stop then was The Treats on Bridge Street for coffee treats and lunch. Their special for the day was smoked mozzarella and pesto paninis; naturally, being the cheese-lovers we all were, our whole group got the special to go along with our coffee drinks. The smoky, creamy taste and texture of the cheese was perfectly complimented by the fragrant basil pesto spread, and the crispy, golden toasted bread that held everything together. A delicious way to end a calm day on the Turkey River, our group left Elkader with happy hearts and happy bellies.
Written by Jayna Felder | Photo Credit to Turkey River Outfitters