Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Crazy Weather always = Great Paddling

Over the weekend of Feb 27 -march 1 we had some incredible weather. Predictions from the week prior showed BIG rain coming so we all had high hopes of paddling something sweet. The rain started falling and it was falling hard, and after making and dropping different plans(just to make the story short) i was set to leave for the Little River Canyon Saturday morning, but tornadoes on the prowl soon changed those plans too. With several tornadoes actually spotted here in Auburn, i knew the local stuff was bound to go off, little did i know how much water we actually did get. On the drive to checking some local creeks i was amazed to see roads under water, and lots of limbs and debris all around town.
I faced an odd predicament. Most of my paddling friends had already left town before the "bad" weather came through, and others were still sleeping and not answering the phone. But it was all to my advantage, i had really been wanting to run all the local stuff again with ambitions of posting new river wright ups for Lee county. I had high hopes of hucking Chewacla State park falls and the proceeding falls as well, but couldn't find anyone to go out there with me. But, with all other excuses aside this is what i did manage to pull off in the hours later in the day.

First I headed over to a smaller "drainage"of Auburn, Town/Wrights Mill Creek, seeing as how we were in the midst of flash floods. And it was out of the banks, but that's what we were hoping for. In all my runs on Town creek, I've always wanted more water, and in most cases never get the rain, or typically leave town for steeper creeks when it does. But this time my wish had come true.
Town/Wrights Mill creek starts off mellow but as soon as you reach Chewacla state park property, the creeks gradient soon starts to show. Here are some photos of me on the left line of Town creek falls "Pass or Fail." I wore a helmet camera for the run so I'll post some footage soon.
After several exciting BIG water laps on Town creek, we headed off to the Saugahatchee. There we had several options; there is always the collapsed dam or Saugahatchee falls, it gets real meaty, but sweet at high flows. And at high enough flows, 2000-3000 and up a play hole comes in directly below the CR188 bridge. Here are a couple of shots from there I took of Zach.Its a big volume shallow playhole with chance of trees floating at you due to high flood stage.... so its really not the best feature, but when your hard up you'll take it.

While we were there another local paddler Dr. Jim Miller pulled up to the bridge, and told me of a gem of a play feature down by the take out... so we were off. And what a Gem it was! Here are some of the good photos from the day.

All this time i was in shorts!!! It was awesome weather out, and somehow we were supposed to have snow the next day??!!

And we did! i woke up to several inches and i only got better throughout the morning. Being a southern boy, i don't see it to often so i opted to go play in da snow!!!! I built a nice jump on a hill and broke out the knee board after being inspired by fellow ShredReady Team members The SledHeads. I had a good time, even with the lack of real hills. Also did a little snow sledding in the project52, thanks Wavesport!

Til next time,

-charlie simmons-

Wavesport Kayaks, Shredready Helmets, Skirtworks, Ophion Paddles, Bomber Gear

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