Friday, May 20, 2022

Clifton Beach

Went down to check out Clifton Beach as a possible entry point for a kayak trip. While the entry looks pretty good the take out is on Lawson Fork Creek just above where it runs into Pacolet River. It looks a bit iffy but there are not really many points where the Pacolet River is close to a road down that way.

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tamed by the Tyger

Well the Victory celebration may have been a little premature.

After Wes reported that they were able to make the passage from Beech Springs entry on Danzler Rd down to Berry's Pond... I wanted to take the whole trip from the from the Cooley Family landing all the way down to Berry's Pond. It's about 1.5 miles on the river from the Cooley Family landing down to the Beech Springs landing at  Danzler Rd and the whole trip is about six miles. We were in a 17 foot Grumman canoe and it was my partners first time on any moving water. While I have done a fair amount of canoeing I had not that much experience on a river. On the previous trip we came upstream to work on clearing some of the log jams. This was mostly to be a recon trip to see what all was in the river as I had never been on that first stretch. 

The river was fairly low and I felt it would be a fairly sedate trip. We were only about 15 minutes into it when we found ourselves in the river. I think it mostly a result of inexperience more than anything. We were both sitting on cushions which put you up even higher than you would normally be. In hindsight it would probably be  smarter to sit on the bottom of the canoe and used kayak paddles. I think a normal paddling position in a canoe would be on your knees but I don't think my keens could take that very long. 

We were going through an opening in some logs in the river it was a bit narrow and the water was moving faster through there plus we had made a few strokes to help shoot through the gap. We were almost through when we hit a submerged log that upset the canoe to the point I thought we were going over so I bailed out hoping my partner could stay in the boat. It was not to be and we both ended up in the river and the canoe full of water. On top of that we had no bailing bucket either... but the river is pretty shallow most places and we pulled it over to the bank and tipped it over to get as much water out as possible and finished it off with a kayak paddle which had a spoon type blade which worked pretty well. We had the chainsaw along as well and it was waterlogged so we would not be cutting any logs.

 All in all though it was a good trip and educational as well.  While there were no impassable blockages there were multiple places where you kind of had to decide where you were gonna go through and there were quite a few places where there was significant obstructions. One stretch in particular where you just clear one obstruction and there is another is right after it.

We are looking forward to doing it again. I would wind up by saying one of the pluses of this passage is the put in and the take out are less than 10 minutes apart by car and that the put in a take out are both very nice.