Monday, November 16, 2009

11/16/2009 - Bilbo Creek

Launch: Bates Lake
Route: Down Bates Lake to the Tombigbee, up the Tombigbee to Bilbo Creek and back.

Header Image

1) I've never been to Bates Lake. While river levels were up, I wanted to explore Bilbo Creek. This is the Bates Lake launch site and those trees behind the kayak are not usually in the water.

2) This man didn't seem concerned about his cars that were close to being flooded and the road to drive out on was under water. There are a lot of camps in the Bates Lake area. Despite the camps, Bilbo Creek is one of the most quiet areas I've ever paddled. No cars, no industry, no boats (weekday trip). About the only thing I heard was a plane.

3) Saw some sort of tree growing along the banks with big leaves, a type tree not seen in the lower delta. I think it's catawpa trees.

4) The life of this camp called, "Cotton Mouth" near the entrance to Bilbo Creek is definitely slithering away.

5) There were some beautiful moss draped trees along Bilbo Creek.

6) Despite the high waters, the creek was pretty easy to follow until it got close to the end. The only high ground was at the entrance at Tombigbee and near Laurel Shandy Landing. Saw some turkey and many ducks. There are a ton of "No Hunting" signs along the creek. This might be a good thing for kayakers.

7) This shot was taken near the Laurel Shanty landing which doesn't appear to be a pubic landing.

8) Near the end of Bilbo Creek were several areas of cypress trees in their prime foliage state. It was beautiful. Time ran out before I could finish exploring this creek.

9) When there are flooding conditions, the main river current is usually swift. Today it was running 3.5 mph. It took a while to go upstream at 1.5 mph. The return trip was a breeze at 7 mph.

10) Sunset on Bates Lake.

If you are ever looking for someplace new to kayak, consider Bates Lake which is about 45 minutes north of Mobile. There is a lot to explore up in this area. Within 2 miles of Bates Lake, there is Bilbo Creek, Bates Creek, Poll Bayou, Doctor Lake, Jim Burr Lake, Hals Lake and more. When the water level is normal, there are sandbars on the Tombigbee to camp on. Today, there were no sandbars.

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