Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10/21/2009 - Black Creek (MS)

Launch: Shingle Mill Landing

Header Image

1) Here is the Escatawpa River just downstream of the launch site. I know this isn't really in the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, buy hey, it's closer to me than the Causeway and some of you might be interested in trying out new places not too far away from Mobile.

2) What is nice about this river are occasional sandy spots where one can get out to stretch the legs. Up in the Mobile Delta you can paddle all day long in some places and never see a nice place to get out without struggling or getting muddy.

3) Today's plan was to go explore a tributary off the Escatawpa River on the downstream side of Shingle Mill Landing that I've never been on. The locals indicated it is called, "Black Creek." The (MS) in the title means it is in Mississippi - there is also a Black Creek in Alabama that I enjoy kayaking. The first thing noticeable on Black Creek (MS) is the sheer number of Osprey Eagle nests. There was usually one nest visible at all times, sometimes three or four. Didn't see many occupants though. That is the I-10 bridge in the background.

4) Not too much seen flowering in this area, but there were a lot of different plants in seed. From the Escatawpa River to the I-10 bridge was pretty desolate of apparent life except for the occasional turtle. It was rather boring.

5) North of the I-10 bridge however, Black Creek narrowed down, got more interesting and changed plant communities. With all the turns, it might be challenging for a 19' kayak. There weren't many signs of man along this creek - there were only about a half dozen houses, usually way off the river, and this one junkyard (definitely visible from Bing Maps).

6) Black Creek just kept going, and going. Most creeks usually narrow down quickly or get clogged with log jams, but not this one. I actually ran out of time and had to turn around in order to get back at sunset. You will lose tidal influence at some point and will then be going upstream against a gentle but steady current. Saw one good sized alligator and a turtle that boggled my mind. Thought I saw the hood of a Volkswagen Beetle and then it slide into the water leaving a wake. Wow. Gotta get up this creek more often!

7) This was a berry good trip.

8) Sunset on the Escatawpa. Note the rainbow reflection in the sky on the left side of the photo.

9) Another sunset photo from the Escatawpa.

10) Shingle Mill Landing in sight with one of those skies that make you wish it could last forever.

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