Friday, March 30, 2012

Paddle Faster I Hear Banjos!

So, here's the story.  I have been trying to do a lot a lot lately.  More specifically a lot that i've been talking about doing for a long time.  I've been making lots of plans and mainly just taking some time to myself to cross some of the things off of life's to do list.  Today I checked another one off.

My friend Jason and I have been talking about getting kayaks for probably a year and a half now.  The key word in that phrase is talking.  We end up texting each other late a night during work talking about how great it would be to be able to go take some paddling trips and what not.  This past week we made the joint decision to stop talking and start accomplishing.  So needless to say, we headed out yesterday with a mission in mind and came home with 2 brand new kayaks!  

What do you do when you get 2 new kayaks?  Well you take them out of course!  We headed out early this morning up to one of my favorite sections of black creek.  We parked my truck at the take out spot and headed upstream to launch.  Looking at the creek at the launch we could tell this might be a quicker trip than normal.  The creek was HIGH and FAST.  The crazy thing was that we could see the water line well above where it was today.  

The creek itself was in pretty rough shape.  All of the high fast water has taken it's toll on the creek. The banks have been eroded back pretty far which led to a lot of trees falling into the creek this year.  It might be a little hairy when the creek gets back down to normal level, but as for now most of the trees were well below us making for an easy run.

Taking a little break at one of the sandbars.  

You can actually see some of the eroded banks of the far shore.

Now, this is the first time i've ever ran this section of creek in anything besides a canoe.  The kayak is going to take a little getting used to, but I think i'll get the hang of it.  I'm so used to just free floating with the current in the creek.  The only problem with that was that the kayak really loves to float........ backwards.  I'm not even going to lie I just let it go.  I did a lot of reverse kayaking today.  I would just turn around and make sure I wasn't about to clobber a big stump or run through a wasp nest hanging out of the lower branches.  

I didn't risk bringing my camera with me on a maiden voyage so all the pictures on here today were taken by Jason on his phone.  There was one thing I wish I would've had an opportunity to photograph.  As we were headed down the creek I heard a bizarre sound.  When I looked up I saw a duck kind of skimming across the surface of the creek.  It was quite peculiar.  It seemed like a bit of a panic.  As we got closer I realized what was happening.  Against the shore I spotted her entire brood.  There must have been around a dozen tiny ducklings furiously paddling in the current and her strange behavior must have been some form of protective measure.  

Working on the reverse float.

Beautiful day on the creek!

I'm pretty sure we set some pretty good time on this stretch today.  We finished the 7 miles in around 4 hours.  I know that doesn't sound that fast, but at barely float speed with breaks that was pretty quick.  It's usually a full day trip for me.  As quick as the trip was, i'm still beat.  The sun will really take the life out of you sometimes, but I sure am glad it time for warm weather fun again.  I'm looking forward to dropping it back in the water again already!

Until Next Time,

Check this machine out!  We saw this down on Biloxi beach yesterday.  
We couldn't resist a closer look.

No comments: