Thursday, May 10, 2012

05/10/2012 - Demopolis Vacation (1 of 3)

Vacation Paddle Trip - 3 days/2 nights in Demopolis, AL
Camp and Launch: Foscue Creek Park (US Army Corps of Engineers)
Destination Day 1: Foscue Creek and the lakes on the other side of Tombigbee River across from Foscue Creek Park.
Distance: 10.5 Miles
Weather: Sunny, no wind, 80s during the day, 50s at night. Perfect!
Caution Note: Currents are negligible. Wind can be a factor on the open waters of the Tombigbee River. The real concern is the Submerged Dam downstream and the 40+ foot drop. Avoid it!
GPS Trip Track: To see or download the track of this trip, Click Here.

I found out about Foscue Creek Park through Alabama Scenic River Trail which is using this park as base camp for their upcoming Demopolis-Black Warrior Nature Paddle on May 19-20. Perfect weather prompted me to explore the waters in the Demopolis area, which is about a 3 hour drive from Mobile. Why did I wait so long to kayak in this area?

Header Image is a field of beautiful wildflowers at Foscue Creek Park. The US Army Corps of Engineers deserve two thumbs up for this Park.

Foscue Creek Park is circled in Magenta. I had no idea there were so many backwater areas in the Demopolis area to kayak.

Foscue Creek Park is one beautiful US Army Corps of Engineers Park. I'll be going back! On many of the camp sites you can drag your kayak down a few feet to the water and launch. Nice!

I did not have one of those creek side campsites so I launched at the Foscue Creek Park boat ramp on the grassy shoreline. I understand that paddlers in the ASRT event will get to kayak through the Demopolis Lock and Dam which will lower the kayakers about 44 feet. If you haven't yet gone through a lock and dam in a kayak, sign up soon!

When turtles wave hello it is usually a good sign of friendly wildlife.

I saw more wildlife in this area in one day than I saw in the upper Mobile-Tensaw River Delta all last year. A nutria swims along the water while four great egrets forage for insects on the shoreline vegetation.

A baby nutria runs circles around Mom.

This reminded me a bit of Bayou Jessamine in Baldwin County, except on the banks of this waterway, wildlife foot prints are everywhere.

One cypress tree with an amazing root system.

Demopolis Lakes are teeming with wildlife.

The wildlife is noisy when bolts off across the water.

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies were all over the plentiful Water-willow flowers (Justicia americana) that lined many of the shorelines.

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies were all over the plentiful Water-willow flowers (Justicia americana) that lined many of the shorelines.

Water-willow close-up.

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias perennis).

Take time to observe and you will see who is watching you as you paddle along the waterways. Deer have very flexible necks and this one keenly watches my every move even though its body is facing the other way.

A baby duck surfaced next to the kayak and then froze when it saw me. The funny placement of the large duckweed makes it look like a girl duck.

Big movement about a kayak length away on the bank of the narrow creek caught my eye. We surprised the hell out of each other. This large Bobcat was staring me down and crouched like it was ready to leap my way. It was a tense situation which I diffused by splashing water on the Bobcat with the paddle causing it to leap twice to get up the 15 foot high bank and disappear. Whew!

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