Lumber River August 3 Report
- A large group of 19 paddlers and 14 boats (6 canoes, 8 kayaks) met
at the Lumber River State Park on Sunday morning for the trip down
to Fair Bluff. The state park information board lists this as 11.7
miles and Tom Pawlicki's gps recorded 11.9 miles. Everyone was on
time for a 9:30 shuttle and we were all launched by 10:15.
The Lumber is a broad river in it's lower reaches and in most places
it was eazy to paddle two abreast and even three. We had a
gregarious group and many people took advantage of the width to
paddle and talk. This is a beautiful section of river with almost
no signs of people along its bank and no build up of trash along the
shores or in the water.
The river was at 4.5 feet at the Boardman gauge and rose during the
day so we had plenty of water. Ferguson reports that this section
has little fall so I anticipated that the current would be weak but
the Lumber did not let me down. We had an excellent current all the
way down, making our paddling easy and quick. In fact, it took
about 4 1/2 hours to make the 11.7 miles, including three breaks for
eating and swimming that consumed over an hour of our travel time.
Therefore, actually paddling time was about 3 1/2 hours, a good fast
It didn't rain. There were downfalls but they didn't cause any
difficulties. It wasn't unbearably hot or humid on the river.
Nobody got lost. I didn't hear any reports of snakes or aligators.
We didn't find any horrible mud or impossible banks to climb.
Pontoon, lesser god of the Lumber River, third cousin twice removed
of Neptune King of the Sea, did introduce himself a couple of times
to the same canoe. Jim McDermott thinks that he and I got our trips
out of sync, this is so unlike what I usually get into. I apologize
to those who were expecting an epic adventure, even I make an
occasional mistake. Next time I will bring an AK-47 in case it gets
Omer Register and his current paddling friend Ronald Blasini put in
at Boardman at about 7AM and met us at Princess Ann just before our
shuttle of 9:30, doing something more than 8 miles in that time.
Omer reports that he is now at about 930 miles, so we need to plan
for his victory trip.
I heard a report from the other paddlers of seeing a deer and some
turtles and of course the occasional great blue heron. I did find a
baby turtle in the edge of the water at the put in. My wife Pam
later identified it as an Eastern Spiny Softshell and her field
guide indicates that our find is outside the normal expected range.
Paddlers on this trip were Marshall Thompson with guests and family
David Morrison, Lizzy and William Johnson; Jim and Mia McDermott
with their dogs; Beth Hogan; Steve and Colleen Walker; Omer Register
and his guest Ronald Blasini. Tom Godwin and his guest Christine
Bashore joined us from Chapel Hill; Karen Grimm and Tom Pawlicki
joined us from Brunswick County. I brought my wife Pam, my daughter
Jennifer Lloyd and here boyfriend David Fisher. Those of you who
didn't come missed a very nice trip.
See you on the river!