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New Year's Eve Weekend and Day Paddling and Camping

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  • Don
    The pre New Year s paddle and camping trip went off without rain spoiling the fun at Mossy Log. Saturday morning after the drive to Mossy Log on the Black
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2008
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      The pre New Year's paddle and camping trip went off without rain
      spoiling the fun at Mossy Log. Saturday morning after the drive to
      Mossy Log on the Black River, setting up camp and meeting up with the
      only other campers, Camille Warren of Chapel Hill, formerly of Sampson
      County, and Omer Register, we got the boats ready for the first paddle
      trip from Clear Run down to Mossy Log. Jim Depree joined up and he
      and Omer paddled up river to Clear Run, while Sandy and I and Camille
      drove up to Clear Run to put in. The water was unusually high after
      the summer and fall drought and the gauging station read 8 feet with a
      good current. The bridge has been rebuilt at Clear Run but with the
      permission of the landowner, Amos McLamb, we were able to get through
      his gate and found a suitable put in. When the bridge was rebuilt,
      big rocks were put down each side again and they cleared out the trees
      between Amos's parking lot and the road offering no privacy. They
      should have been made to plant new trees there. Once loaded the three
      of us were off, Sandy and I in a canoe, and Camille in her 17 ft
      kayak. No sign of Jim or Omer. After rounding the first bend, Jim
      and Omer came up behind us as they had paddled up river into Clear Run
      Creek and then a little further up river. The trip was made in one
      hour 14 minutes for 4 miles, thanks to the good current. Thanks to
      Jim for taking Camille and I back up to Clear Run to get our cars.
      That night with the campfire going, and after hors d'ouveres of
      cheese, chips, dip, crackers, summer sausage, we had a catfish fish
      fry, hush puppies, pork Boston butt, potato salad, slaw, soup, baked
      beans, and desserts. I know I am leaving something out as far as
      food. After we got in bed that night is when the rain came, so it did
      not spoil any plans contrary to what some people who did not show up
      thought.

      Sunday the weather looked threatening, and Omer and I drove down to
      the Hwy 41 Bridge on the South River to see if anyone showed up for
      the trip. Since no one was there Omer decided to leave and visit
      family and I went back to camp. The weather was cloudy but no rain, so
      Camille decided to paddle the Black River from Mossy Log on down and
      Danny Baldwin got his pontoon boat out and several of us followed
      Camille down river. After about two miles below the Hwy 41 Bridge, we
      decided to boat back to Mossy Log and Camille, instead of hitching a
      ride on the pontoon boat with her kayak decided to paddle back up.
      The day was nice until about 3:30 pm when the rains came but it was
      time for happy hour anyway. Happy Hour means time for a nap for us
      old folks. It rained hard until around 5 pm and stopped but off and
      on there was some drizzle. In between rain showers, Camille, Sandy
      and I cooked a steak on the grill with the trimmings. That night with
      the campfire still going, we sat around the fire in our rain suits,
      with a light rain drizzle coming down.

      Monday, New Year's Eve, Camille and I with my solo canoe drove to
      Ivanhoe landing to see if anyone was going to show up for this trip,
      which they did not. The weather was real nice and plenty of water.
      We did our own shuttle and when we got back, Danny was backing his
      pontoon boat in with Cleon Lanier, Pat Raynor, Virginia Broadwell,
      Sandy, and Vince and Elaine from Maine. Camille and I set off with a
      nice strong current. A little while later we could hear the pontoon
      boat coming down and they eventually passed us. Other than some bird
      life, the only other animal we encountered was a hunting dog that
      wanted to swim out and get in Camille's kayak. We tried to get the
      dog to flush out some deer for us to see but he was too cold in the
      water and came back on land. He eventually set off back in the woods.
      Several miles later, we came to the South River junction but it did
      not have as much current coming out to the Black. After passing the
      South River, Camille and I found a nice piece of dry ground to stop
      for lunch. While eating lunch the pontoon boat with it crew came back
      up river and joined us. We made it down to Beatty's Bridge and the
      Class III take out under the bridge and headed back to camp. That
      night people showed up for the New Year's Eve party and dinner at the
      campsite. We had deer stew, pork roast, BBQ, black-eyed peas, rice,
      collard greens, sweet potatoes, chili, potato salad, broccoli cheese
      casserole, and cakes, pies, and brownies for dessert. Approximately
      30-40 people attended, most from the Mossy Log community. No rains
      that night as everyone sat around the big campfire. We had some music
      (oldies, what else?) and Danny and I serenaded everyone with some
      songs. Most people left by 9 pm and finally the rest of hit the beds
      and brought in New Years through the back of our eyelids.

      New Year's Day paddle was from Mossy Log down to Wildcat Rd on the
      Black River. Frank Dupin showed up along with Omer. Before Frank,
      Omer and Camille put in their kayaks, Jim DePree came paddling up. He
      had put in at Wildcat and Paddled the 8 miles up river. I bid the
      four of them farewell as they headed down the river and Omer called me
      later and said they enjoyed the trip.

      The weatherman ruins more trips than the weather according to one
      paddler I know, and think some of the poor showing on the paddle trips
      was due to rain forecast. Down in the lower end of Sampson County we
      only had rain Saturday late night, Sunday late afternoon and over
      night, the rest of the time was nice. The river had plenty of water
      in it and good current and there were no trees to impede our paddle or
      the pontoon boat. Thanks to Danny and Juanita Baldwin for hosting the
      campground and other amenities and also for Danny bringing down his
      1956 Ford Fairlane with the fuzzy dice for us to gawk at. I only wish
      he would have let me grease my hair in a ducktail and cruise around
      Clinton singing doo-wop songs. I will post some pictures under the
      album 2008 New Year Camping.
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