Monday, March 19, 2007

Kachinas Have A Sense Of Humor...

"I'll get the bandages."
-Misseswether, on finding me laying on the floor Sunday morning when she and the girls got home from church.


So, Saturday's plan was I get up at 6am, carry Kon Texi down the railroad tracks to Spring Creek, launch by 7:30am, float by the Riley-Fuzzel canoe/kayak landing grand opening just as they opened it, and wave to all the people in their $$$ canoes/kayaks as I went by in my $20 inflatable raft. Yep, mucking about in boats and startling people, two of my four favorite pastimes.

Of course, to pull this off we needed rain. Lots of rain.

So many people prayed for rain. Lots of rain.

Each was answered.

In series.

Saturday morning Spring Creek was flowing at over 4,000 cfs (cubic feet per second). It's considered unsafe to be on it if it's over 400 cfs. So, let's see. It's overflowing by an order of magnitude. What does Merriwether do?

He chickens out.

Logs 18 inches across were being swept downstream. Kon Texi is not designed for that sort of punishment.

flood.jpg
4080 cfs...

Perfection.jpg
Same spot at the normal 25 cfs.

So instead of floating by the Saturday festivities I, Miniwether and Mambowether were one of many members of the crowd at Riley-Fuzzel listening to speakers and looking forlornly at the rushing water. Well, I was watching the water. Mambowether was chewing on my sleeve and Miniwether was running around picking dandelions.

Then a guy came over, shook my hand and said, "You must be Merriwether!". Ah, the cost of being famous... He introduced himself as the owner of the debris shelter I found last week. He grew up along Spring Creek and we talked for an hour about adventures along its banks. He turned out to be a great guy (as I expected from his handiwork).

Eventually, Mambowether finished eating my sleeve and demanded more substantial food. We left the Riley-Fuzzel launch site and returned home.

Of course, my weekend's adventure did not stop there. Having been deprived of my float trip and knowing how sad that made me, Misseswether graciously allowed me to disappear into the borderlands on foot Sunday morning (normally I take over parenting and cooking duties on Saturdays and Sundays so that Misseswether can have a break. In return holidays from work are all mine but I can trade these holidays in for weekends if I desire. It's a great system that keeps everyone happy. But I digress.)

So, Sunday morning 6:30am found Clark and I walking through the dark neighborhood with springs in our steps, knives on our hips, and packs on our backs. Unfortunately, our flashlights were in our packs so we don't know what the big, dark shape that raced away from us into the woods was. All we could see was that it didn't run like a dog and it was over two feet tall at the shoulder. Note to self: keep a flashlight accesible!

After the big shadow the only other tricky part was sneaking past the bum living under the I-45 bridge. Luckily he was asleep/passed out. When he's awake he throws empty cans of Foster's Lager at us. His "home" is littered with dozens of empty Foster's oilcans. I'm talking beeramids several feet tall! Apparently panhandling pays well. But I digress.

Once into the woods things quickly settled down as the sun came up. Our goal was the sandbar I found several weeks ago. We took a roundabout way to get there and in the process startled the biggest deer I've ever seen in the wild. It's too early in the year for him to have antlers but just his height and breadth put him in the monster-buck class. He was beautiful. My mouth watered just looking at him.

The path lead us past some abandoned oil wells which someone had put to good use years ago. Now the feeder was just a rusted pile of junk. More interesting was the hole in the concret slab below the feeder. Water was seeping out of it's top and a long stick pushed down into it hit mush but no actual bottom. Freaky!

Eventually we made it to the sandbar and set up camp. A fire was built, food was cooked, Clark put up his hammock for a nap and I threw sticks into Spring Creek and watched them race downstream. It was wonderful.

fire.jpg
Clark displays his amazing pyrokentic powers!

food.jpg
Food ala freezer-bag cooking in my new Swedish Mess Kit.

After a few hours it was time to go back. The fire was doused and buried, the area was policed and then off we went. On the way back we detoured past my favorite swamps.

funky.jpg
Obligatory beautiful swamp photo.

Discovered fresh dropping of some sort...
fresh.jpg
Anyone ID this?

And managed to sneak up on two small deer as they grazed.
What, no photo? Oh sorry. Okay, on with the story..

It was good hiking weather, cool and partially sunny. A slight breeze and no mosquitos. The bum under the bridge was just waking up and half-heartedly just rolled one empty beer can at us as we passed. The bad part was the ground was still very wet from the rains (see earlier part of this post) and my feet got soaked early on. I could feel my wet boot/sock rubbing against my heel but it didn't feel overly bad.

So I was a little suprised when I got home, took off my sock and a large chunk of skin came with it. And then the pain hit bigtime. ye flippin' Gods it smarted. Note to self: moleskin and two pairs of socks!!!

Luckily, Missewether got home a few minutes later and quickly bandaged it. She's the best!

Adventure! Excitment! Change of Plans!

1 comment:

Lee said...

Raccoon I think.