Lower Mt. Fork River






























Photo by FreeWine
Kayak Photography - Light Paddling by Thomas Jones
Dripping Springs Lake






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The Kiamichi River near Antlers, Oklahoma.
Scenic Kayaking on The Kiamichi River in Southeastern Oklahoma.



















A Babe Paddling a Sit-On-Top Kayak down Presbyterian Falls on the Mt Fork River in Broken Bow, OK
Kayaking Over Presbyterian Falls on the Mt. Fork River in SE Oklahoma 


















River Quotes for Canoe & Kayak Paddlers

Kayaks on the Kiamichi River near Antlers, Oklahoma.I'm a bit of an over-the-top canoe & kayak paddling enthusiast.  Weekends are when I try to obsess on kayaking, just enough to drown out the tedious reality of Monday through Friday. Sometimes, I need a kayaking motto or cool paddling quote for a profile page on Facebook or some other social networking site.

This list of canoe & kayak quotes includes my favorite paddler sayings and even a couple quotations from me.  They span a wide range kayaking and water related themes including: ecology quotes, whitewater kayaker quotes, outdoor living quotes and many quotes that just celebrate the magic of water be it in a river, a pond or the Sea.  Got a favorite canoe and kayak paddling quote you want to share?  Drop me a comment on our Oklahoma paddling blog.

Need some cool kayaking pictures?  You can find about one thousand of my paddling photos available on Flickr under Creative Commons license.  That means you can legally use them non-commercially without paying, if you attribute the work to me: Thomas P. Jones. I would love to hear from you, if you remix my photos in some kind of cool way.  I'm into that. Drop me a comment on our Oklahoma kayaking blog, send me Flickr mail, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Quora, etc. (@FreeWine).

Canoe and Kayak Paddling Quotations

The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are. -- Lynn Noel

A man of wisdom delights in water. -- Confucius

ORIGINALITY is unexplored territory.
You get there by carrying a canoe...you can't take a taxi.
-- Alan Alda
(His whitewater movie, White Mile was excellent!)

The world turns softly
Not to spill its lakes and rivers.

The water is held in its arms
And the sky is held in the water.

What is water, That pours silver,
And can hold the sky?
Hilda Conkling, Poems for a Little Girl, 1920

Recreational kayaking takes us into the golden dawn mists where peace is born.Although kayaking tends to draw a younger demographic, it is still a lifelong sport that anyone can get into. It's a sport anyone can enjoy, because it's not about strength, it's about technique. -- Katherine Carr

Men may dam it and say that they have made a lake, but it will still be a river. It will keep its nature and bide its time, like a caged animal alert for the slightest opening. In time, it will have its way; the dam, like the ancient cliffs, will be carried away piecemeal in the currents. -- Wendell Berry

Rivers are magnets for the imagination, for conscious pondering and subconscious dreams, thrills, fears. People stare into the moving water, captivated, as they are when gazing into a fire. What is it that draws and holds us? The rivers' reflections of our lives and experiences are endless. - Ed Fite, Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Administrator and Save the Illinois River, Inc. Vice President.

The river Called. The call is the thundering rumble of distant rapids, the intimate roar of white waterÖa primeval summons to primordial values. -- John J. Craighead

If there's a place, Canoe there. -- Brent Kelly

The cure for anything is salt water -- sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. - Joseph Campbell

There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats. -- Jeff Rennicke, River Days: Travel on Western Rivers


What, pray tell, would I buy? There is nothing out here that is not free for the asking. Can you buy a sunrise? Is there a price to the exhilaration we feel from the thunderstorm that rages outside? Nature is the truest democracy, and not the richest man in the world is served a grander sunset than the beggar. -- Michael Furtman

Kayaking at sunset on Caddo Lake in Texas

I learned that the richness of life is found in adventure. . . . It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security. -- William Orville Douglas

There is nothing that is so aesthetically pleasing and yet so functional and versatile as the canoe. -- Bill Mason

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature. -- Pierre Elliott Trudeau

To have some parts flowing free again...with deer grazing on its banks... ducks and geese raising their young in the backwaters...eddies and twists and turns for canoeists...and fishing opportunities such as Lewis and Clark enjoyed... would be the finest possible tribute to the men of the Expedition, and a priceless gift for our children. -- Undaunted Courage by Historian Stephen Ambrose

You donít drown by falling into water. You drown by staying there. -- Robert Allen

A man of wisdom delights in water.-- Confucius

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. -- Loren Eiseley

Those who would find solitude must not be afraid to stand alone. -- William Deresiewicz

The problem with a canoe is that itís got a big hole on top that lets in the water and limits the paddlerís ability to avoid sinking. -- FreeWine

Life's a river kid...ya gotta go where it takes you. -- Doug Rich (from: The Riches Television Series)

Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -- Henry David Thoreau

Never tell someone that a kayak is so stable you can stand on your head in it. They will insist that you prove this!!! -- Dave Lindo of OKC Kayak

Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.  -- Bob Marshall

The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go.

Our true work is this voyage, this adventure. --from Illusions by Richard Bach

Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life and thought--a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing. -- John M. Kauffmann

The marsh, to him who enters it in a receptive mood, holds, besides mosquitoes and stagnation, melody, the mystery of unknown waters, and the sweetness of Nature undisturbed by man. -- Charles William Beebe (1906)

Kayak Oklahoma Blog logo Link The drive to and from the river is your most deadly obstacle on a paddling trip.
Watch out for road fatigue, poorly secured loads, bad roads and deer!
Thomas P. Jones

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. -- From The Complete Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson


The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the Universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction. -- from the amazing eco-classic Silent Spring by Rachel Carson


Caddo Lake is an ancient flooded forest of Bald Cypress trees in East Texas.
The huge water-trees are 'curtained' with thick garlands of Spanish Moss.
The tea colored waters are teaming with unusually large Catfish, Bass and Crappie. Caddo Lake is paradise for a shade-tree kayaker like me.
Thomas P. Jones 


A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The two best reasons to buy a kayak rather than just renting are sunsets and sunrises. -- Thomas P. Jones on Buying vs. Renting Kayaks

I have need of the sky, I have business with the grass; I will up and get me away where the hawk is wheeling lone and high, And the slow clouds go by. I will get me away to the waters that glass the clouds as they pass. I will get me away to the woods.
-- Richard Hovey

I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again. I was fascinated by how it sped by and yet was always there; its roar shook both the earth and me. -- Wallace Stegner

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing. -- Daniel J. Boorstin

Okmulgee Lake


If you learn a sweep stroke in a whitewater kayak, that sweep stroke's going to do the same thing in a sea kayak. -- Bill Merrick

Peace comes from within the souls of men when they realize their oneness with the universe. --  Black Elk

Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come,
they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy
ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.
from The Hidden Canyon, A River Journey by Edward Abbey, noted American author and environmental advocate.


I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water . . . has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river. -- Roderick Haig-Brown

Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper's principle: 'The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.' -- Eric Sevareid (author of Canoeing with the Cree)


I limb-line for my catfish, that is why I am working my landing net from my kayak, while most fishermen are just sitting there gripping their rod -- Dianne M. Jones on Kayak Fishing. 

Canoeing with the CreeThomas Jones - I just finished Canoeing with the Cree.  Still, a brilliant book after being in print since the 1930's!  More about this canoe trip book on our Kayak Oklahoma blog.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your element in each moment. -- Henry David Thoreau

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. -- Kenneth Grahame
(From The Wind in the Willows )

All the water that ever has been or ever will be is here now. It sits, it runs, it rises as mist. It evaporates and falls again as rain or snow. You cannot pollute a drop of water anywhere without eventually poisoning some distant place. -- Michael Furtman

Without love of the land, conservation lacks meaning or purpose, for only in a deep and inherent feeling for the land can their be dedication in preserving it. -- Sigurd F. Olson

The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. -- John Muir

You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet. -- Hal Borland 

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. -- Michael Caine

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. -- Marcus Aurelius

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. -- Winnie the Pooh

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests. -- Pablo Neruda

What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! -- Mark Twain

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end. -- Ursula K. LeGuin

Commonly we stride through the out-of-doors too swiftly to see more than the most obvious and prominent things. For observing nature, the best pace is a snailís pace. -- Edwin Way Teale

...Oklahoma Float Trip Outfitters List


Canoeing & Kayaking Sayings From Unknown Authors

You know you are a kayaker when you can't go over a bridge without looking for water under it.

Love many, trust a few, but always paddle your own canoe.

Kayakers roll over and do it again ... swimmers just shrink.

Dam Politicians, not Rivers!

Follow me to the put-in.

"Up a mountain...Down a beer"

I remember when kayaking was dangerous and sex was safe

Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing.

Why? Because canoes have a greater beer capacity than kayaks.

I work so that I may boat!

Who cares? I scheduled this trip with the wife and we're going somewhere rain or shine!

10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish

Here... hold my beer, and watch this. (famous last words)

You have to fish them where they live...and be present to win.

A nature lover is someone who, when treed by a bear, enjoys the view.

Paddle solo, sleep tandem.

Like swift water, an active mind never stagnates.


With this kayak in a bag, no roof racks are needed!

Two Kayaking Jokes

Saturday morning I got up early, put on my long johns, dressed quietly, and slipped quietly into the garage to put the kayak on the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour.

There was snow mixed with the rain, and the wind was blowing 50 mph. I turned on the radio and discovered that the weather would be bad throughout the day. I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. There I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation,
and whispered, "The weather out there is terrible."

My loving wife of twenty years replied, "Can you believe that idiot husband of mine is out kayaking in that shit?"


On day an Eskimo sitting in his kayak got chilly; but when he lit a fire in the craft, it sank,
proving that you can't have your kayak... and heat it too.

Class I clear water!
The Elk River in Southern Missouri - perfect paddling from Pineville to Noel.

The Elk River at Noel, Missouri - Rafting, canoe and kayak trips just 3 and half hours from Tulsa.
Grave Creek Access to Lake Eufaula offers nice flatwater paddling near Hitchita, OK.
Flatwater Kayaking from Grave Creek to Lake Eufaula near Hitchita, OK.


Deep Fork River Bridge at NuyakaThe muddy old Deep Fork River is so crooked that a kayak fisherman can always find some shade. Expect some trouble from Gar fish and turtles and steer clear of the snakes as snags and your reward will be some of the biggest catfish in the state!
Deep Fork River

Find a Spray Skirt for Your Kayak.


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