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Someone should care, maybe not you....

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

30 May 2006

Memorial day fun

Yesterday, for Memorial day I decided to do something that I have been meaning to do for the last year more or less. I pulled my kayak out from underneath the guesthouse and took it down to the Canoochee River. The Canoochee river is a small river in south east Georgia. It runs for about 100 miles more or less before it joins the Ogeechee River shortly before the Ogeechee hits the ocean. The Canoochee is a blackwater river. That means the water is dark. Not from pollution as many non local think but from Tannic acid leached into the water from the oak and cypress trees. It also has a bit so a sulfur dioxide smell (rotten eggs) again, not from man made pollution but "sulfur water" is a naturally occurring condition down here. Many springs and wells bring up perfectly drinkable but vile tasting water. (for a great horror, imagine strong grape koolaide with salt added to it made from sulfur water. That was what filled the coolers at football camp when I was young)
The river is shallow, very shallow now that it is summer and we are down on rain.

In this pic you can see the brown tint to the water as it flows over the sand in a shallow spot near a bend in the river.

The trees along the bank grow up to arch over the river in many places. So it is sort of like paddling in a tunnel. At times the top is open allowing the sun through, at other times it is all shade. The current is so slow in most places that the water is glass like and it is like floating on a mirror.



The river is full of life. I passed several fisherman on my way although they didn't go up as far as I did due to the vast numbers of fallen trees blocking parts of the channel. YOU can catch, bass, bream, catfish, redfin pike and more on the river. The biggest fish you are likely to see are the gar, long nosed, toothy, pre-historic looking monsters that are pretty much inedible unless you are REALLY REALLY hungry. MUdfish can also be found which are almost as ugly as the gar. The down side to those trees arching over the river is snakes. Snakes, including Cottonmouths, will climb up into the trees to sun themselves and drop back into the river if disturbed. Now if they happen to be disturbed by some human in a boat when they drop they may land in said boat causing no small degree of excitement to both the snake and the human(s). On this trip I did not see any snakes but I have in the past. I didn't see any alligators either but I know they live in the area. A friend of mine almost had one dive into his kayak from a high bank as the gator dashed to the water. He said he didn't know who was more terrified, him when he saw the gator coming through the air at him or the gator when it saw him in the landing zone. He did say it was rather funny afterwards when he thought back the gator trying desperately to backpedal in mid air to get away.
I did see fish, frogs, squirrels, ducks, a crane, and fresh water clams. These last are a good sign because they are very sensitive to pollution so the fact that there are a bunch of them in the river means the water is still pretty good. On a good note I was very pleasantly surprised by how little trash I saw out along the river.

One last photo, my trusty kayak sitting on a sandbank while I took a short break. I was actually carrying the boat over this bank because despite the deep water in the pic at eh head of the bank there was a tree lying across the river and at the end of it was a stretch of water about 3 inches deep. Portaging is fun.

5 Comments:

Anonymous opit said...

Nice shots. It was 5 years ago my brother and I went down the Kangaroo River in New South Wales, Australia : we could tip the canoe over the rock ledges. Here in Alberta, rattlesnakes will slither into a boat at certain times of the year. I haven't canoed here.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous phred said...

very nice pics.

"Portaging is fun"

Keep telling your self that and you might believe it after a few years.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Mental Meanderings said...

Sounds and looks like it was a great day.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Very cool pics - looks like fun.

Ben O.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Pictures are lovely. As I get older I find myself taking the camera, but forgetting to take the pictures, thnking about them only after I am home.

8:35 PM  

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