MARCH CALENDAR OF EVENTS
March 6, Wednesday, Maple Creek
Time: 1 p.m.
Meeting place: public boat ramp next to Texaco Station on the Causeway
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: As of this writing, this paddle has already taken place. The goal of this paddle is an area of red maples up in the Delta that are bright red this time of year — you've doubtless noticed the red maples on area roadsides. They were not quite at peak when we paddled up there yesterday. We recommend that this paddle be repeated in a week's time to catch the peak.
March 17, Sunday, St. Patrick's Day Paddle
Contact: Harriet King firstname.lastname@example.org 928-4568
Comments: Harriet has not yet decided where she will lead this paddle -- quite possibly Maple Creek again. Wear green.
March 27, Wednesday, Boiling Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: A club favorite, on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. You must have a CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin for this paddle.
March 29-31, Friday through Sunday, Okatoma River
Contact: Mark, 458-7574
Comments: This is near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about a two-hour drive from here. You can camp in the campground by the put-in/take-out, or you can show up by 9 a.m. each morning to join the daily paddles. This is a "pool and drop" paddle, with safe opportunities to play on the drops.
AND IN COMING MONTHS . . .
April 7, Sunday, Party and Paddle at Frank's on Upper Fish River
Frank Laraway will host a picnic and barbecue at his home on Fish River. Paddling (including slalom races) will begin at 2 p.m., and dinner will follow. Contact Frank at 945-5504, email@example.com for further information and if you plan to attend.
April 13, Saturday, Party for the Platforms
The Sierra Club, the Audubon Club, and the MBCAKC will join together to paddle, eat, and raise money for the platforms in the Delta. Two or three guided and unguided paddles will be held during the course of the day, and boat rentals will be available. This will be easy paddling for the whole family on Hurricane Creek and Six Bits Creek. In the evening, we will each donate $10 and have dinner at the Bream Club, including potluck, so bring a covered dish. For further information, call Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144.
Approx. April 29 - May 1, Paddling and Camping in Bankhead Forest on the Sipsey River
Date: Last week of April. Dates can be adjusted to participant needs, depending on who wants to go. Date and time will be finalized as time approaches so keep in touch.
Contact: Frank Laraway at 945-5504, firstname.lastname@example.org
Place: put in at Thompson Creek, enter Sipsey, take out at next bridge, 34 miles down river at the park. Specifics will be given later.
Duration: two nights, two days.
Cost: A $3/night parking fee is required for each car.
Comments: These creeks are down in a rocky valley with high cliffs on either side. We will take rest stops to eat and climb cliffs. Flowers and trees should be in bloom and bud. Tanagers should be in residence along with many other birds and wildlife. Black bears are around so storing food high should be prepared for. The creek is very shallow but pretty unless recent rain has occurred. Plan to disembark many times to pull your boat over shoals. Bow and stern lines are required for pulling and for tying up at night. There are many rapids but only one is of any consequence, with large boulders requiring agile maneuvers. There are overhanging walls, cliffs and large rock. Side paths through the forest are clear. Good camping spots with fire rings occur all along the river. This is an easy paddle but camping w/strangers is a learning experience. It is not bad, everyone gets to know each other very quickly.
Required Gear: Kayak or canoe with bow and stern lines, storage space, usual safety gear (water is mostly very shallow), tent (or waterproof bag), sleeping bag, compact mattress, waterproof bags for deck items, eating utensils, water (in half gallon plastic jugs and/or small plastic bottles), igniter or matches, food (suggest several bottles of trail mix, premade sandwiches, canned beans, hot dogs, buns, bread, soup, wine, cheese, crackers, fruit), thin rolled tissue, rain coat, jacket, towel, toothpaste, etc. HOWEVER, note that space is limited so make everything in compact form. Perhaps one person can bring a gas burner for those who want coffee and soup first class. Bring cell phones, satellite locators, mini radios, maps (trip leader will have maps too). We will have campfires at night. (Finding fire wood can be a challenge.)
Plan: meet at first I-65 rest stop (near Brewton) at 10:00 a.m. (about 3 hours out). It is absolutely mandatory that you to notify the trip leader, Frank, that you are coming and will be at the rest stop on time. Travel in convoy to Clinton rest stop. Exit at Clump and have late lunch at Ryan's buffet there. Travel west in convoy to turn at Rabbit Town, turning north. (Leave one vehicle at take out on side road bridge and public park.) Follow road into Bankhead forest. Stop at waterfall on way. On to Thompson Creek bridge. (Water level at this bridge is available on line.) Make camp at put-in. Get off next morning down river. Cross one bad log jam. Each shoal is a challenge of choice as to which passage to take. Watch the paddler ahead for best passage. Camp down river one night. Take out at bridge and park. Take paddlers back to their cars at original put-in to return to boats at bridge. Leave for home late in the afternoon, returning via Hwy 43 to avoid required detour on southbound Birmingham I-65. Expect to be home in about four or five hours.
Please call Frank and/or confer at the monthly meeting so as to ascertain interest, number of people, meeting places, dates, times, and schedules. If uncertain as to gear, etc. contact trip leader. Come at your own risk.