Thursday, July 19, 2012

07/19/2012 - Chickasaw Creek

Header image is a photo of the shoreline covered with Saint John's Wort.

Yellow Pond lilies in Chickasaw Creek. This species has elongated leaves instead of the regular round variety.

St. John's Wort adorning the shoreline.

A little over a week ago I found boom in 14 locations on Chickasaw Creek, sent out some emails, and found out who was responsible for the boom. Six days ago a representative with ALDOT emailed me to say a contractor had removed 14 sections of boom. Being the pessimist I am, today I again paddled up Chickasaw Creek to see if the boom had been removed. I hadn't gone far and guess what I saw? Yup, boom. I guess there was a communication error. There is a difference between 14 sections of boom and 14 locations of boom. They missed 4 locations. I had given them all the gps locations.

How could the contractor have gone downstream and missed seeing this very visible boom? Oh well. The good news is thanks to ALDOT, the contractor did spend 3 days removing the majority of the escapee boom from Chickasaw Creek and the creek looks much better. Not many boaters go upstream in Chickasaw Creek so it is up to kayakers and canoeists to be the eyes and caretakers of this precious waterway. If you see things that don't belong in creeks, report it!

We've had a lot of rain recently and the mushrooms are sure liking it.

Swamp azalea blooming in the middle of summer. Not sure of the species.

I had planned to paddle up to Kali Oka Road today to see if I could find any launch sites between there and Chickasabogue Park. Current was strong due to yesterday's rain so the upstream progress was slow.

By about 10-11 am, it started raining hard. Upper Chickasaw Creek is subject to flash flooding and in heavy rains the creek level can rise as much as 15 feet above normal. When the lightning started flashing nearby, I turned around. Based on today's GPS track, I was 3 miles short of reaching Kali Oka Road. It rained the whole way back so it was a good decision to turn around. The umbrella kept most of the rain off me but I still ended up getting soaked.

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