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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

West Fork River 6/22/13                       Miles Traveled 12.6, Total 102.3
West Fork River to Red River to Cumberland, 7:30-12:30, Sunny, 75 to 85 degrees
w/ Friends of the Blueway and Blueway Access Adventures
w/ Scotty, Julie, Dottie about 24 total

We had to start early as Blueway Adventures was shuttling and Scotty needed to be at McGregor Park. He rode a school bus up and we put in at Billy Dunlop Park.  While he was gone, I discovered that one of the paddles was almost cracked at the end.  I put it together with the other half and duct taped it together, it seemed strong as it wasn't all the way cracked.  It was a beautiful day and we were rewarded immediately with a shot of sunshine coming down through the trees.  Very soon, I also saw cows standing in the river.  As more kayaks came through, all of the cows headed up to the bank.  I hadn't intended to take the lead, but the other kayaks were putting in very slowly.  So a group of 7 of us traveled most of the way down together down the river.   We also saw a deer standing extremely quiet on the shore.  Scotty and Dottie had seen it long before I had!  I also saw a river otter pop it's head out of the water to see what was coming through.  Later, a few of us saw a river otter scampering on the bank.   At one point in our trip, several items dropped from the trees just in front of our kayaks.  This took us totally by surprise.  When we looked up, we saw lots of herons' nests.  Then as we traveled on, something else dropped out of the trees just between Dottie's boat and another woman's boat.  We think that as the heron's flew out of their nests, they dropped fish heads.  We never were really sure what dropped, but it certainly was a surprise!  This was an interesting paddle.  We felt like we were going so very, very slow and the other kayakers never did catch up to us.  We're thinking that they were on a float and we were on a paddle.  A funny thing happened at the end when Dottie and I walked into the restaurant from the back on Cumberland Drive.  We looked and looked and looked on the Wendy's menu for Frosties!  We finally realized that we were NOT in Wendys, and settled for Burger King vanilla ice cream cones.  Scotty and I had earlier decided that after every 100 miles, we'd reward ourselves with a milkshake.  These weren't milkshakes, but they certainly were a delicious end to a great day.

Leaf Chronicle Article - Tour de Clarksville

I hereby give this rock the name 'sandwich rock'.

Breaktime where little West Fork comes into the West Fork River.  There are not any places to really stop along this river.

Can you find the heron?

"Look Ma, no hands!"

This is the bridge at Billy Dunlop Park.

This picture alone shows why I love to kayak!  Thanks God for a lovely view!!

Percy Priest 6/18/13                           Miles Traveled 4, Total 89.7
From Hamilton Marina to Goose Island
w/ Paddle Adventures Unlimited group, Julie, Ethan, Beatrix, Alicia

Ethan and I were in Nashville this day at the Apple store, then Cheesecake Factory so we decided we'd try this paddle.  We drove with the kayaks atop the Highlander.  We had them strapped onto the 2 2x4's.  They seemed secure until we picked up speed, then the green one on the passenger side tended to bounce up and down at the tip.  So we drove down on the old Clarksville Highway.

We thought we'd be late, but got there just at 5:45.  Others were very late so we didn't put in until much later.  There were probably about 22 paddlers, 5 of us were from Clarksville.  Beatrix and her daughter Alicia were there.  It was fun seeing Beatrix paddle with her little dog Sammie along for the ride.  The lake was very calm.  It was an easy paddle out (and back).  Within the group there was also a stand up paddler and also a gentlemen trying out a very small kayak that he kept rolling.  When we got to the island, we hung out for awhile.   Most people had a snack or a drink with them.  The best part of this paddle was heading back to the marina.  We all put lights on our boat and the moon was just starting to come out.  It's always beautiful out on the water, but tonight was extra nice watching the lit-up kayaks glide across the moonlit lake!  I'd love to do another moonlight paddle, but this paddle is only 4 miles and I'm not sure it's worth driving over an hour to get there.  But, I'm glad I got to do it with Ethan.  He's a great companion!

Red River  6/16/13                              Miles Traveled 8 miles, Total 85.7
Adams to Port Royal, 1:50-4:15
Scotty, Julie, Amanda, Ethan

It was a great Father's Day, minus Rachel who had to work :(  This is a very wide river and has a good flow.  We saw lots of people out on this river, maybe because it was Father's Day or maybe it's just a busier river.  There was a tree down soon after we got onto the river.  Scotty and Ethan cut off many of the big branches.  I broke off some branches by hand.  We managed to clear a path to the left of the river making it easier for others to get through.  While we were working on it, a husband and wife came through and seemed appreciative of our work.  I saw lots and lots of turtles on this paddle.  But, as hard as I tried to get a picture of a turtle, I never succeeded.  We saw the cave that the Davis family told us about.  But, they had just been in it yesterday and saw two large raccoons at the very end of it.  That and the fact that you have to belly crawl into this cave was not at all enticing to me.  Ethan and I merely looked into the entrance.
On this trip, Dick was kind enough to let us borrow his 2 kayaks.  He has a 10 foot Pyranha that treks really well down the river.  I learned how important the skeg was when Ethan quietly pulled it up on me at one point.  My boat started to go in circles!  The one, huge drawback to this boat is that it has a very narrow opening and I found it very hard to get in and out.  I'm reassured that my kayak is the perfect boat for me!