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Little River Trip Report - 2/9/02

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  • jimdepree
    Scraping frost off the windshield did not deter seven of us from getting up Saturday morning and meeting at Waffle house in Spring Lake for a scouting trip on
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2002
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      Scraping frost off the windshield did not deter
      seven of us from getting up Saturday morning and
      meeting at Waffle house in Spring Lake for a scouting
      trip on a new(to us) section of the Little. We set out
      at 9 for the put in on the (Lower) Little River
      about a mile away from Vass on Hwy 2023. <br><br>We got
      moving at 10 o'clock and immediately encountered
      strainers, mostly, as Charles had predicted, "going through
      the branches", of treefall, as well as some trees
      that hadn't quite fallen. Water was high (Lillington
      at 4.0 was the closest gage I know of). A swift
      current moved us quickly but this was a double-edged
      sword, making strainers more difficult to avoid and
      negotiate. We each had a saw and clippers or pruners so we
      did alot of clearing, but I would not depend on it
      for a lower level. There were only a few actual
      pullovers or portages at this level. Nonetheless, 4 of our
      7 took unscheduled and very cold baths. The air
      temperature was near 70 but with 30 degree lows last night,
      the water was barely thawed. <br> <br>We made many
      cut throughs. These often involved clipping briars
      which, together with the fact that many of the strainers
      were holly, left us with some scratches at trips end.
      Often the current was rushing through a briar patch and
      we saw wisdom in following the relatively still
      meander.<br><br>Take out was at hwy 2023. Trip distance on my GPS was
      just under 7 miles, probably a little low considering
      cut throughs which would not be there at lower water.
      Time was 6 hours with only one break for lunch and a
      couple brief haituses to allow people to get out of wet
      clothes and dump out boats. Much of the rest of the time
      was spent sawing and clipping with a little climbing.
      <br><br>Charles reported a beaver. I saw two otters swimming
      together who simultaneously stopped, poked their heads up
      to look at me, and promptly disappeared under water
      not to be seen again. I heard some deer with their
      distinctive splashing but couldn't spy them through the thick
      underbrush. <br><br>Lunch was on some of the rare high ground
      2.5 miles downstream river right. A better spot with
      a picnic table and stairs (underwater at this
      level) came up at about 3.4 miles, again river right.
      <br><br>Paddlers included myself, Charles West, Frank Dupin, and
      Jim, Mia, and Jameson McDermott as well as Jameson's
      fiance, Janice Chapman. Thanks to Frank for the shuttle.
      Clearly not a trip for the faint hearted or novice
      paddler. I had a good time but was clearly exhausted at
      day's end.
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