Dry Creek(Lower) Report
(SR-73 bridge south of Marianna)

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 6/15/2015 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 20 photos     Map & Directions: View

From SR-73 Bridge in Jackson County for the 10.5 mile trip down to Peacock Bridge. There are a number of downfall that you must go over or under.

My Report:

Kathy N., Gwen and Gary, Frances, James, Jim and John put in at the SR-73 Bridge in Jackson County for the 10.5 mile trip down to Peacock Bridge. We had been told to expect seven pullovers, we were not disappointed that there were fewer than seven. Depending on the boat configuration and the weight of the passenger, there were as few as two and as many as six. There were at least four slide unders, and many bumps on the head.

There were numerous slide overs depending on where you were in the river at this water level. There were many places where oneís paddling skills were tested. This is not a river for beginners, unless you get perverse pleasure out of watching people slam into things and/or turnover. Only one of our experienced crew went for a brisk swim as a result of a misstep on one of the pullovers. If you can make it through the first few miles to the old Iron Bridge Road, you will have made it through eighty percent of the hard stuff. Besides the beauty of Dry Creek, the fact that the tree coverage is almost total makes for a shady paddling trip which is really nice in the summer time. Given that the temperature was three or four degrees warmer that the trip we took on the Chipola two weeks ago, it did not seem as warm as being out in the hot sun for the entire trip.

The river was quite turbid (meaning the farmers upstream were letting a lot of dirt flow into the water), so one could not see the sandy bottom or the limestone rock formations. The water level at the Altha gauge was 10.6 feet and the cfs was 1,370 for the Chipola River. This gives you a rough idea what Dry Creek will be like after you look at the other graph that shows the amount of precipitation in the last couple of weeks. Of course the best indicator is the water level at the unimproved boat ramp by the SR-73 Bridge. If the water is well up in the cut in the bank, then you should be able to float over a lot of logs.

At the put-in, the only flowers I saw were daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus). Plants on Dry Creek: St. Johnís Wort (Hypericum prolificum) and White top (Cacalia) were abundant, with some sable minor in bloom and one or two pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). At the lunch stop there was purple ruellia (Ruellia caroliniensis), pale marsh pink (Sabatia albiflora), leather-flower (Clematis crispa), a very small white flower I have yet to ID. On the Chipola there were white morning glory, button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and lots of yellow St. Johnís Wort (Hypericum prolificum).

This otherwise perfect day was marred by finding that someone had broken a window out of Jamesí truck and stolen his Bluetooth speakers and a camera at the take-out at Peacock Bridge. It took the sheriff approximately 45 minutes to show up and take some pictures.

Five of us got together at Sonnyís in Marianna after the trip and talked about the trip and how we want to do it again in the near future. We had a good time talking about the Rendezvous, other trips and how good it was to be retired.

To get there: From Tallahassee go west on I10 to exit 142 56.5 miles, then turn left on SR71 for .5 mile, then right on Magnolia Rd 2.9 miles, then left on SR73 1.6 miles to the bridge left side. 30.689803, -85.236169

To the Takeout: Turn left (south) on SR73 6 miles turn left on Peacock Bridge Rd (278) for 1.2 miles, make a very hard right onto Fishery Rd (dirt) for 0.3 miles. Dead ends into boat ramp. 30.627503, -85.165155

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 10.5
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from SR-73 bridge south of Marianna:    (Click image to view full size)

Put-in No Comm
On the river1 No Comm
On the river1
Duckunder1 No Comm
Slideover1 No Comm
On the river2 No Comm
On the river2
On the river3 No Comm
On the river3
Duckunder2 No Comm
Pullover1 No Comm

Notice the poison ivy on the log.

On the river4 No Comm
On the river4
Duckunder3 No Comm
Slideover2 No Comm
On the river5 No Comm
On the river5
Lunch at Iron Bridge No Comm
Lunch at Iron Bridge
Butterfly No Comm
On the river6 No Comm
On the river6
On the river7 No Comm
On the river7
Duckunder4 No Comm
Confluence Chipola No Comm
Confluence Chipola
Little rapids No Comm
Little rapids
Takeout No Comm

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThere are several trips on the Chipola and the Florida Caverns State Park is just north of Marianna.

Post Date: 6/17/2015

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Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Florida Sea Kayaking Association and author(s) of individual reports shall not be held liable for any omissions and inaccuracies contained herein. Readers are cautioned to supplement reports with other sources of information when planning a trip.