Distance: Approx 14.8 miles.
Route: Paddle up Briar Lake to the Dead Lake platforms, then to Bayou Tallapoosa to Tensaw River and back.
Pace: Hard to Moderate against moderate currents, then Easy on the way back.
Average Speed: 1.6 mph.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 60-70 degrees, a few gusts of wind but mostly calm winds. The waters were high from upstream flooding. Current varied from 1-3 mph.
|1) Rice Creek parking lot was under water.|
|2) Was only able to manage paddling about 2.0 mph upstream against the current.|
|3) Saw my first bear in the Delta.|
|4) Went to the Dead Lake platforms to take a stretch break. Strong currents subsided after leaving Tensaw Lake.|
|5) A couple of locals checking their trout line - no bites.|
|6) Entering Bayou Tallapoosa.|
|7) Old burnt out bald cypress tree.|
|8) Must be the latest in piercing – chain insertion. You never know what you’ll see on a kayaking adventure.|
|9) A few impressive red maple trees.|
|10) The usual towering butterweed now only 2-3 foot tall was abundant in some areas and quite beautiful.|
|12) Little Piggy|
|13) Did you ever get the feeling that the trees were watching you?|
|14) While blazing my own trail through the woods (off river), I stumbled upon the biggest rookery of Great Blue Herons I’ve ever seen.|
|15) Wish I could have explored the woods more. Ibis were also nesting in the rookery.|
|16) I noticed orange on several trees from a distance and figured it to be survey paint. Happened to pass by orange markings and looked more closely. It is orange and gooey and it isn’t paint. Ewwww!|
|17) You gotta pay attention to your surroundings.|
|19) The cabin at Bayou Tallapoosa and the Tensaw River was swarming with carpenter bees.|
20) Spent 9 hours on the water today and I didn’t want it to end. This was one enjoyable trip.
Note about paddling in flooded conditions: You have to be careful getting off the main streams and kayaking along your own trail. Big Spiders will jump from the water onto your kayak – it happened to me today. Snakes waiting in the trees for the water to slow down could easily fall into your kayak if you aren’t paying attention. Most everything you brush against has critters on it. Fire Ant colonies can be found clinging to the sides of anything. Wasp nests that are usually high overhead are now at face level during floods and easily bumped with the paddle during all the tricky maneuvering necessary to go around trees. While it is nice to enjoy the scenery, you must constantly be watching your surroundings. Take a GPS, and a compass so you know how to get back to the river.