US15-501 to Turnpike Road, Saturday 1-11-08
- A small group consisting of Omer Register, Frank Duplin, Jim and Mia
McDermott an me (mitch lloyd) put it at the beginning of the Lumber
River Canoe Trail on US 15-501 south of Aberdeen, leaving the banks
at about 9:45AM on our way downstream. The river had plenty of
water and was running maybe a foot below flood stage so the current
was fast, as it usually is in this section. The air temperature was
in the mid 40s when we started and was in the mid 60's at trip's
end, with brilliant winter sunshine illuminating the water, the
trees and the swamp in dazzling light.
The combination of strong paddlers and fast current caused the 9.4
mile trip to be completed in about 3 hours, including a half hour
for lunch, yet no one over exerted themselves. This section has been
well cleared. We didn't have to do any bump-overs and only one or
two spots required us to manuever around or through some treetops,
very minor challenges. For fun, we bumped through a few shortcuts,
just to liven up the trip.
A pair of duck hunters in creek boats were ahead of us and we heard
shooting several times at the beginning, until we caught and passed
the hunters. We scared up a number of ducks and Omer (being in the
lead as usual) claims to have startled 3 deer on the banks.
The only "casualty" of the trip was Jim and Mia's little dog, Mitzi,
who normally rides the bow of their canoe. Shortly into the trip,
Mitzi tested the waters and had to be recovered. Personally, I
think that after listening to Jim's puns and jokes she jumped.
Three of us took out at Dead Deer Landing, what we are now calling
the access at Turnpike Road due to all the deer carcasses left by
inconsiderate hunters. Omer may have a quest in mind this year and
opted to paddle the next section alone (from Turnpike to US401).
Omer and Frank worked out a shuttle to get Omer's van to US401. By
2:30 most of us were on the way home.
It was a fantastic day for a paddle. Thanks to Omer for doing the