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We launched at the bridge on Phelps Rd. at 8:00 am. Left one vehicle at the Potter FD. It was a decent November day 50 Degrees outside water temp 40 Degrees. I was in a Old Town Kayak that was 9'6". So was another and the other had a Pelican pursuit 100 I think! We docked in the water and headed north down the creek.
We paddled about 100 yards in a quiet stream till we came to our first log jam. One of us had to pull up on shore to break part of the log so the others could get through. While I was cutting, I looked off into the woods and saw 3 white tail dear vegetating. Made it past that log jam and others. Got to a part where it got real swampy and had to get out and drag our kayaks 50 yds to re-dock. Made it about 50 yds in the water. Had to pull up to a log jam and position our yaks against it while one person pulled up to the side to hold their yak so the person could get out on the log and get on shore to pull us out to go around it.
dock back in paddled about 1/4 mi. saw 5 major log jams. And a swampy area that looked like the bayous in Orleans. Trees all over standing up with water a foot up them. seen a spot angled just enough to fit the triangular shape of our yaks to fit through to get in there.
Got into the swamp and it was the best place I have ever yaked!!! Fitting my kayak between trees watching beavers swim around and watching hawks and birds fly among us. We spent a good hour and a half in there making our way down stream but at a steady pace.
We came upon a beaver dam. The beaver dam was about 3 ft incline. no water was flowing over it. We positioned our yaks length ways to find a good trail to go over it. (When we are doing this we are pre-planning a spot where water can flow through the sticks without sticks sticking up to make the trip down the dam harsh. Its like looking down a snow covered hill trying to find the best and safest spot to sled.) We found a spot. Backed off made a run for it keeping in mind that I only want my front half of my yak hanging over but not to go over the dam yet. While sitting on top of the dam I sat there for a good 2 minutes to make water flow like a little water fall. backed off and did it 2 more times. Till I had a good heavy water flow like a water fall. Parked up against it looking beyond the dam to make sure that I would have a safe landing zone. (safe landing zone would consist of: deep enough water at least 6ft, good recovery space to paddle thru, and no objects in the way to injure us.). Than when I checked and made sure I had a safe landing zone, I paddle backwards about 30 ft. Made a Run for it over the top of the dam; I went my front end inclined up about 5 degrees came down. When it came down I immediately leaned back as I saw the Front end of the yak become submerged so I could bring the yak back up to even surface.
After we made it over we cleared out more debris for more water flow. Continued down the creek which was more still nicer waters. This part of the creek would be great for beginners. Docked along shore had a sandwich and took in the beautiful views. We dock and went for a good half mile before coming to another beaver dam about 5ft in depth. We did the same as the last one but when I went over this one water submerged up to the cockpit of my yak and I leaned back and brought it back to the surface sat in the sun for about 5 mins to warm back up but it was a great rush. We ended up getting out about 1/4 miles later.
This trip was my fav so far I have kayaked for about 5 years. I usually kayak small streams and lakes. I love the challenges that streams bring, the twist and turns and the manuvering of the kayaks and the beautiful scenery. I love getting into places you just cant get into with anything other than a kayak. THIS TRIP SHOULD ONLY BE MADE WITH A KAYAK NOTHING ELSE STANDS A CHANCE!!!!!!
If you plan on this trip plan on being in the water for 8 hrs. bring plenty of water and goodies. Be prepared for log jams and going over logs and beaver dams. Be safe. Try to get experience in creeks and rivers that make a challenge before attempting. Learn how to turn your kayak quickly. be prepared to get in and out of your kayak at least 10 times. but you will enjoy it its well worth it! I call this the best undiscovered trail yet!!
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YakCatcher Rod Holder