Monday, May 28, 2012

Drag Racing Spring Creek

It's been almost two years since I had Firefly in the water. After a hard week (plus one easy but LOUD night) I finally decided enough was enough and put Firefly back in the water.

Approximately 4" of water.

The flow rate was only 59 cfs but I was hoping that was enough to paddle in. It wasn't, except in very rare occasions. Basically, I'd have to rate this as my WORTST ADVENTURE EVER! I'm currently sunburned, my back is a mess, and my legs keep cramping up. Towing my kayak through 11 miles of sand and mud really did a number on me. Most of the time I was in a panic because I had to get to the takeout at Jesse H. Jones before 4:30pm otherwise I'd have to carry Firefly a half-mile down an asphalt trail to get her to the parking lot. Running through quicksand trying to beat the clock while dragging a boat is not fun. Things seemed okay at the launch point at Riley-Fuzzel road. SpringCreek1 Misseswether and the Wethergirls dropped me off and hung out a bit while I secured everything. Misseswether even came down to the water's edge...while wearing her usual high heels! There's an underwater "gully" here that was misleadingly easy to paddle, so it seemed like it'd be a good adventure. Less than 50 yards downstream I hit the first sandbar that I had to drag the kayak over. After that it was paddle one minute, drag three minutes, repeat for 11 miles. A few shots from times I could paddle: SpringCreek2 SpringCreek3 SpringCreek4 Normally it's only an hour's paddle from Riley-Fuzzel to the takeout at Pundt park, but it took me almost two hours of slogging to get to this point. I almost called the girls to come get me but I kept hoping it'd get better. I'm pretty dumb that way. PundtParkLaunch One cool thing that did occur was finding some dodder plant (Cuscuta californica). This parasitic vines is actually edible and it's high beta-carotene content gives it an orange color and makes it taste like carrots. Dodder I also saw this dragon, which was cool. SpringCreekDragon As far as wildlife goes, I found one snapping turtle, assorted other red-ear slider turtles, a bunch of alligator gar, plenty of tadpoles...and had to beat away one water moccasin with my paddle. That freaked me out. It kept coming at the kayak! Eventually I made it to the intersection of Cypress Creek and Spring Creek. For years a huge, white tree trunk stood sentinel at this point. I was afraid hurricane Ike had brought it down like that storm had so many other trees along Spring Creek. I was right, it was gone. This made me sad. No sentinel. SpringCreekCypressCreek Once Cypress creek joins Spring creek the water finally was deep enough to paddle. However I was stiff, sore and late so I couldn't enjoy it. I had to paddle-paddle-paddle as hard as I could to get to the takeout before closing. Paddle-paddle-paddle! SpringCreek5 I made it. As usual there was a family fishing right at the base of the takeout point so I had to try and get between all their fishing lines to land Firefly. They were annoyed with me, I was mad at them. It's not a fishing spot, folks!! Rather than deal with them I dragged the kayak up the hill and waited for the Wethergirls to arrive. Misseswether doesn't like driving my truck, especially not down a tiny trail filled with hikers and bikers. Rescue! The adventure from hell was over! SpringCreek7 For those of you who'd like to copy this trip: SpringCreek6 Adventure! Excitement! Hell!

1 comment:

The Florida Steampunker said...

I feel for you. First time I took my kayak out...nearly got stuck in the middle of a very below normal level lake. Which was a bit alarming since the bed of the lake would've sucked me down into the depths of Hades if I got out of the kayak.