Sunday, September 24, 2006

09/24/2006 – Dog River Paddle

Launch: Luscher Park, Dog River. Launch Cost: Free. Route: South on Dog River to the entrance of Mobile Bay. Distance: 15.2 miles. Average Speed: 3.5 mph. Time: Approx 4.5 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Sunny and Hot and Cloudy and Rainy, then Sunny and Hot.

(1)(2) Above left and right. On this afternoon, I finally found the real source of the trash problem on Dog River. One week previous, Luscher Park was a zone location for the Coastal Cleanup. Lots of people worked hard to clean up this area and got the trash out of Dog River. One week later, on this day, here is what Luscher Park looked like. Seeing this new trash really irked me. I can confirm this ball park and the related concession stand generate most of the trash that ends up in Dog River. In my humble opinion, Mobile needs to shut down the ball park and close it to the public.

(3) Above left. Not long after getting the kayak in the water and heading down Dog River, thunder started rumbling in the distant. Decisions, decisions, turn around and go back, or continue on? (4) Above right. I continued on and found shelter under covered boat dock that was empty. However, after the winds started blowing almost horizontal, the overhead roof did little to keep me dry.

(5) Above left. After about 15 minutes, the storm was gone and the sun came out. Passed by this nice house on Dog River. (6) Above right. Whoever sculpted this beautiful wooden totem pole with a light house on top, a naked mermaid beneath it, and some dolphin beneath the mermaid is pretty darn good. It was about 20 feet tall and bigger around than a telephone pole.

(7) Above left. This pelican had more than a mouth full - it was losing fish out of its pouch. (8) Above right. There were lots of sailboats reflecting images down near the mouth of Dog River.

(9) Above left. In this marina were several wicked looking boats. The “Spirit of America” looked like a pretty fast sailboat. It had a black sail coming out of a slot in the mast pole. (10) Above right. Also saw an awfully wide catamaran. That is Dog River Bridge in the background. I’m glad I kept going instead of turning due to the thunderstorm – it turned out to be a beautiful day with waters becoming slick. It sure is a shame though, that downstream residents (and kayakers) of Dog River have to put up with the trash flowing down from the Lusher Park, which should be called Pig Park.

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