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40 mile solo trip

 
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Zehner



Joined: 01 Jun 2010
Posts: 14
Location: South of Crawfordsville

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: 40 mile solo trip Reply with quote

I finished a 40-mile solo trip from Lafayette to Covington, on the 17th and 18th of June.

The river was in flood (over 11 feet at the Lafayette gage) and I was moving between 3 and 4 mph. All I really needed to do was keep a paddle in the water to hold the canoe straight with the current and I made good progress with little effort. I went about 20 miles the first day, then a similar distance in a similar time the second.

The only hazard n the river was a bridge near Attica, which is congested with driftwood so that only about a third of the width of the river is open. I must admit that going solo on a river moving that fast leaves little room for error. The river will sweep you downstream relentlessly, so you have to watch well ahead to recognize snags or hazards or, most importantly, spots where you want to get off the river.

I saw bunches of eagles (say 15-16). Most of them were juveniles. I saw more herons than I could count. (Which doesn't say much for my math skills, I guess, since the number was probably in the 35-50 range and anybody ought to be able to count that high!) There was no other wildlife, but I think that is because the river is so far outside its banks right now that a deer or fox coming to drink would be getting that drink at the edge of the water, which was far from where I could see it. What surprised me was the number of fish that were leaping out of the water near my canoe. And I'm talking about BIG fish. Is there some reason why they want to leap out of the water near a canoe? Do they recognize the hull or the shadow of it as a predator or something?

The bummer of this trip was not finding any sort of a decent campsite. Any nice sandbars on the islands in the river were all under water, so I had to settle for a merely damp spot on the north bank at what are known as the Fulton Islands.

One last thing: I saw only one piece of trash in the water the whole two days. That was just an empty water bottle, which I cleared. There was the usual sorts of junk along the banks up to the highwater mark. But the water was clean.
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