APRIL CALENDAR OF EVENTS
April 5, Friday: Hollinger Creek
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Meeting place: One block north of I-10 Loxley (Highway 59) Exit off I-10, in filling station parking lot across from the Flying K Truck Stop. Frank will lead us to the put-in at Steelwood Road and Hollinger Creek bridge.
Contact: Frank Laraway, 945-5504
Comments: Hollinger Creek is a shallow, swift-flowing stream with numerous rock outcroppings in the creek, and these same rocks on the high cliffs that border the creek. It is one of the most scenic areas of the county. Bring lunch. Shorter kayaks and canoes are better on this creek than touring kayaks.
Special directions for those coming from Pensacola and other points east: Travel west on I-10 to Wilcox Road exit north and drive north six miles to dirt road on left. Head west on this dirt road three miles to bridge put-in. Rendezvous at about 11:45 there, to paddle upstream.
April 5-7, Friday through Sunday: "La Louisianne" free-style canoeing clinic
Place: Mandeville, Louisiana
Contact: Gary may be able to give you more information about this, 473-1819
April 6-20: Hummingbird Banding on Dauphin Island
Place: check in at the Old Horse Stable at Fort Morgan
Contact: Matt Darring W: 341-1712, H: 343-1196 firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments: This is your opportunity to participate personally in banding migratory hummingbirds.
April 13, Saturday: Party for the Platforms
Time: Paddling from 1:00 p.m., dinner from 5:00-7:00
Place: Hurricane Landing. Take Highway 225 north from Spanish Fort to the four-way stop, turn left, travel one mile to the fork, turn right, travel to dead end at landing.
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-414; Aven 473-1819
Comments: This is a benefit for the Bartram Canoe Trail platforms in the Delta. The MBCAKC is taking the lead in this fundraiser, and it is important that we have a good turn-out to cover costs and contribute to the Sierra Club's improvements of the platforms that are being built with state-funded grants. There will be easy, guided paddles at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., with boats available for rental if you reserve one in advance. Or, bring your own boat and paddle whenever you want. There is a $3 launch fee. We have reserved the Bream Club for a potluck. Red beans and rice will be served for a $10 donation, and you are also asked to bring "potluck." Aven can advise as to what side dishes, snacks, etc., you can contribute if you are undecided. Please RSVP.
April 17 and 24, Wednesdays: Bob's Surprise Paddles
Bob will plan these trips for maximum enjoyment of the spring wildflowers. One of these trips will be to Boiling Creek. You need a current recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base to paddle Boiling Creek. The information on how to get such a permit is re-printed below, for your convenience of reference.
April 19-21: Alabama Ornithological Society, 50th Anniversary Celebration
Place: Dauphin Island
Contact: Matt Darring W: 341-1712, H: 343-1196 email@example.com
Comments: Lectures and events. Matt advises that Dauphin Island during this third weekend in April is one of the TOP TEN migratory birdwatching venues in the entire nation. And there is some fine paddling to be done around the Island while you're birdwatching.
May 1, Wednesday: Sipsey River overnight
Meeting places and times: (1) Highway 287 and I-65 (exit 37) ramp NE of Bay Minette at 9:30 a.m., with additional rendezvous as follows: (2) Evergreen northbound rest stop just past Lenox @ 11:00 a.m. (3) Clanton rest stop above Montgomery on I-65 at 2 p.m. (4) Cullman Exit 308 to Highway 287 filling station east of expressway, north side of road at 3:15 pm.
Contact: Frank Laraway 945-5504
Put-in: Thompson Creek Bridge
Take-out: Road 60 bridge park
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 paddle about 34 miles. 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.
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.)
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.
Fritz' After-Work Flash Paddles
Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, so Fritz will be leading more after-work paddles. Stay tuned to this website for further details.
Regarding our e-mail list:
Our e-mail list is extremely large and keeps Gene on his toes. Lots of e-mails are bouncing back with invalid addresses. If you change e-mail addresses and still want to get the newsletter, please e-mail Gene and tell him what your old address was (so he can delete it) and what your new address will be. If you aren't getting the e-mail newsletter, please re-send your e-mail address to Gene -- the problem could be something as simple as a typo. Contact Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org
Permit for Boiling Creek
A current permit is required to paddle Boiling Creek in Eglin Air Force Base. The permits are good from 1 October to 30 September. They cost $5.00. You get a map along with the permit that is worth more than the fee.
Permits may be obtained from the Jackson Guard Office (Natural Resources Branch), located at Highway 85 North, Niceville FL (850) 882-4164. The mailing address is:
Eglin Natural Resources Branch
107 Highway 85 North
Niceville, FL 32578
Request a "Recreational Permit," which is the one for paddling. For each permit requested, send a photocopy of either a driver's license or identification card which contains full name, current address (including zip code), current phone number, and date of birth. Specify the type of permit (recreational) desired. Be prepared to wait three weeks for delivery (though recent turn-arounds have been only a few days). Payments can be by personal check, money order, or cashiers check made payable to DFAS-LI Eglin AFB. Cash is not accepted.