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Chipola River Report
(Yancey Bridge)

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Report By:  paddlesolo    Date: 9/27/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 7 photos     Map & Directions: View

A paddle upstream on the Chipola River from Yancey Bridge to Florida Caverns State Park.

My Report:

I had been housebound by a family celebration and an infected knee injury caused by a fall on a boat ramp at Hightower Springs two weeks ago. Since the knee is nearly healed, and the weather was just perfect for a paddle, I decided to cover the knee with waterproof band-aids and take a short paddle.

The put-in is less than a half mile from our house, so my husband put the canoe in the back of the truck using a T extension to hold the back of it. Since I knew the paddle would be two hours, I didn't pack a lot of things I take on longer paddles. Since I was paddling alone, I wore my life jacket, and going upstream made using a double-bladed paddle important.

The water level was low, which I thought would make the current less swift, but just upstream from the boat ramp the limestone karst rises close to the surface, and this created fast moving water. I paddled hard, wondering if the entire upstream trip would be that difficult. Fortunately it wasn't, and the rest of the paddle had a more normal water depth for the Chipola.

There were several major downfalls in the river, but I was successful in working my way around to find every available opening to squeeze through. I took pictures of three ibis which actually stayed around long enough for me to line up and get good shots. I missed the shot of the Great Blue Heron, because my vision was distracted by a large alligator slithering into the river.

I continuted upstream past the state park boundary sign, until I came to two trees that had fallen from opposite banks, creating an x and blocking passage. It would have been possible to trim and saw, or one could do a pull-over, but since I had already paddled an hour and five minutes, I called it quits and began the lovely drift downstream.

There were a couple spots where it was more difficult going downstream than up. One spot I got stuck on a log, and had to skootch over, and my canoe was tilted a little, but I finally made it. When I reached the shoals, my canoe scrapped bottom because it was more difficult to see the deeper water. I began to hear road traffic, a sure sign that I was close to the landing.

When I got back, my husband had a Bach Violin Sonata playing on the radio, and we loaded the canoe to that beautiful music, and the sound of cannon from the Civil War re-enactment celebrating the 144 anniversary of the Battle of Marianna.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Canoe
Fees/Costs $: free

Photos from Yancey Bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Downfall No Comm

Here is an example of a tree blocking the river. I actually found an opening on the right just past the leaves.

Ibis hidden by tree No Comm
Ibis hidden by tree

This is what my pictures usually look like.

A Little Blurry No Comm
A Little Blurry

I have them in better range, but the photo is a little blurry.

Success No Comm

These birds flew to a limb of a tree and posed.

Best Ibis Pic No Comm
Best Ibis Pic

I think the birds are discussing how long to stick around.

Hawk No Comm

This hawk flew ahead of me, and I tried to get a good picture, but the lighting was behind him.

Park Sign No Comm
Park Sign

A picture from the river of the Park Boundary Sign

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsFlorida Caverns State Park with camping, and cave tours. Paddling downstream from Yancey Bridge on the Chipola River Paddling Trail

Post Date: 9/27/2008

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