For those unfamiliar with central Iowa, Gray’s Lake is not a large lake. It’s in the middle of Des Moines near downtown, and in previous incarnations it was part of the Raccoon River and a gravel quarry. After the epic floods of 1993 destroyed the fancy Holiday Inn that dominated its south shore it was kind of a nasty run down eyesore for years. In 2001 it was re-born; a 2 mile paved trail runs all the way around it including over a pedestrian bridge, a playground and a small marina were built, and the 167-acre park quickly became a favorite of Des Moines residents. It is haven for outdoor activity with kayaks, canoes and paddleboats as well as the trails and reclaimed prairie. The water is still dirty (it is Iowa after all) but the overall effect is pleasing and people flock to it year round, walking their dogs, riding their bikes and circling the shore rain or shine.
This is where our first sailing experience takes place. Continue reading