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Float Report, Black River, 7/5

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  • jimmiamcd
    Low, low, low; that s the level of the Black River now, but it didn t stop twelve intrepid paddlers in three canoes and six kayaks from running about eight
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2008
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      Low, low, low; that's the level of the Black River now, but it
      didn't stop twelve intrepid paddlers in three canoes and six kayaks
      from running about eight miles of it yesterday. Mia and I (Jim
      McDermott) and our dogs, and Steve and Coleen Walker caravanned out
      of Fayetteville to meet with Omer Register and Frank Dupin at the
      intersection of highways 210 and 41 in Bladen County. From there we
      found Don and Sandi Meece, Robert Von Hagel, Clark Strickland, Joel
      Rose and Anita Boothe waiting for us on Dr. Kerr Road at the entrance
      to a private drive down to the river where we unloaded our gear and
      shuttled the vehicles to the boat ramp at Ivanhoe (thanks to Robert
      for the shuttle). I began to get nervous when Mia and I got stuck in
      the mud pushing off the bank at the put-in, but after we made it
      without trouble past the big house on Bug Bluff about a mile
      downstream, my fears waned. For most of the way there was little
      current to help us along; the only time the current was evident was
      over the many sand bars, a few of which required exiting boats to
      pull across the shallows. We encountered downed trees, but for the
      most part we were able to squeeze around or through them -- only
      twice did we have to portage over trees. We stopped shortly after
      noon for lunch and a swim in a deep pool off a sandy beach on a bend
      in the river. A water fight started when somebody objected to my
      spraying them with my water cannon. The group got strung out when we
      resumed paddling, with Robert and Clark lagging well behind to view
      snakes and an otter. A final swim break was taken about a mile and
      half from the take-out. Threatening storms never materialized, and
      we all enjoyed a cookout of hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans, chips
      and dips, deviled eggs, and banana nut cake in the shade of the
      overhanging trees at the boat ramp following the float. In addition
      to the snakes and otter, we captured a mud turtle and saw
      Kingfishers, Turkey Vultures, a Tricolor Heron, and a Great Blue
      Heron on this run which lasted four hours including breaks.
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