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Blackwater River Report


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Report By:  slashpine    Date: 5/25/2008 
Rating:n/a     Photos: See 6 photos     Map & Directions: View


About a 6 mile trip from Chesser Bridge to Kennedy Bridge.

My Report:

Newbie report. Forgive the intro. Long ago, Sandspur and I imagined a trip from the beginning of the Blackwater to its end. Trips north of Chesser bridge were completed in 2004 and in 2005 . The next leg was Chesser to Kennedy Bridge.


Put-in is easy on the southwest side of Chesser Bridge. Small logs are plentiful and frequent--about once every 100 to 200 yards. Sliding kayaks over logs is easiest if there's no way under, and often a way under can be found if the creek is low, as it was on this day. Most likely, a higher creek would have made passage very difficult.

However, prior to the Boggy Holler merger with the Blackwater, we had already encountered three major log jams. None required portage, but lifting kayaks over the downed logs was tedious work.

Past Boggy Holler the logjams worsened. Between times, we witnessed flights of blue heron, which always managed to stay a bank of ahead of us, and an occasional duck beat wings just beyond us. During the calm times, the canopy shielded against the sun perfectly and calmy, making for a very pleasant trip during these short intervals.

We needed to portage the kayaks on three occasions, after determining at each stage no possible way straight over the fallen timbers. Wild blueberry along the banks made portage a little more tolerable, but yellow flies and horseflies irritated at least one of use (Sandspur) during this trip.

We new "the big one" was coming. This logjam can be seen from space very easily. We reckoned it held 30 logs, raised 15 feet high, and clearly a hundred feet long over the Blackwater. The western bank offered the only portage, and getting up the bank was a bit tricky because the bank was so steep here. But once up on the bank, we the understory was sparse and we easily found a passage past the jam.

In all the trip took 8 hours, about 2 hours longer than we'd planned. We probably crossed 30 or so log jams. But the work involved in getting past these were balanced with some very nice woodlands to float past, woodpecker thrumming, and general quietude on this stretch of the Blackwater.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Difficult
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: 0


Photos from Blackwater River:    (Click image to view full size)

easygoing No Comm
easygoing

easy part of the trip, gentle rolling water.

serenity No Comm
serenity

some parts require little paddling, just good floating

ponder No Comm
ponder

Long time trying to get through nearly impassible jam. But we portaged only 3 of about 30.

the over method No Comm
the over method

One method for getting over the jams.

The under method No Comm
The under method

Another way of getting through jams. More fun, as well...

The big one No Comm
The big one

This is the front of the jam that can be seen from space.

 


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsRed clay cliffs seen about 4 miles into the trip and some "rapids" also.



Post Date: 6/2/2008

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