Sunday, November 08, 2009

11/08/2009 - ASRT Ghost Paddle

Launch: Isaac Creek Campground River Bank
Event: ASRT Ghost Paddle

1) Sunrise on our last day.

2) Superb cloud work. Little did we know a storm was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.

3) Fog on the Alabama River burnt off quickly.

4) Jacquemontia densely absorbed the morning dew.

5) Everything was wet with dew including this rattlebox wildflower.

6) Golden rod seeds with the damp kayaks in the background.

7) Cleanup after the breakfast. What is missing from these photos are the meals and entertainment both of which were good. I was too busy eating the good food to take photos.

8) Kayakers were beginning to launch and were ready to experience today's dam paddle.

9) The park manager in his power boat cautiously led everyone toward the Claiborne Lock and Dam.

10) Approaching the Claiborne Lock entrance.

11) Entering the lock via the large open doors. Note the waterline color on the wall.

12) Gathering for a group photo. Waters started to recede quickly.

13) The exit doors open inward. Note the water line level now. For perspective, one of the dam workers can be seen on the upper right part of the structure. 

14) The last of the kayaks were exiting the lock.

15) Now on the downside of the dam looking up, you can see the water flowing over the submerged dam on the left.

16) Once past the dam, there were occasional sandbars but for the most part, the banks were very silty mud.

17) Unlike the Alabama Port where dock bumpers are relatively low, docks on the Alabama River in this area must tall to accommodate all the different river levels.

18) It is amazing where plants will try to grow.

19) Underwater pipe flow coming from a local paper mill left the water smelling like exactly like a paper mill. (Phew)

20) The US Hwy 84 bridge over Alabama River. It is also the location of the Claiborne Boat Launch which was our exit point and sadly the end of our journey.

21) On the top of the Claiborne boat launch.

So, what was the deal with the Ghost Paddle? If you weren't there, you missed hunting for the Ghost of Nancy on Haines Mountain with real paranormal investigators and yes, we had unexplainable occurrences that were not fabricated.

This three day paddle up around Claiborne Lake on the Alabama River is not really part of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta so it is a bit off topic from the theme of this blog. It is actually part of the Alabama Coosa Tallapoosa Basin. The area is quite remote and beautiful, only about a two hour drive from Mobile and well worth taking a weekend camping trip to explore. For more about this basin, read this PDF by clicking here.

Video from the Ghost Paddle

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