Yellow River Report
(CR-32 Yellow River Bridge)

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Report By:  Unknown    Date: 5/22/2010 
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The CR-32 Yellow River Bridge is located approximately 22 miles NNE of Florala, AL.

My Report:

Hotline Paddle on Yellow River NW of Florala, AL
AL CR-32 Bridge to Watkins Bridge (AL Hwy 55)

Trip Leader: John Veasey
Gauge near Oak Groove showing 80.6 ft. above sea level

The plan was to meet at the Hwy 55 Watkins Bridge about 10 miles NE of Florala, AL at 9 am, drop a shuttle vehicle and proceed to the put in at the CR 32 Bridge. Arriving at the Watkins Bridge we discovered there were two large deep mud holes about half way down the trail to the traditional launch/take out sandbar. Hoping to find another take out Austen and Dave volunteered to check out a two rut road that looked like it might lead to a take out farther down the river. When they returned it was decided we would take out about ľ mile down river from the traditional launch/take out.

That taken care of we dropped a vehicle and headed up to the put in at the CR-32 Bridge. River access on the SE end of the bridge was a little rough but with 4x4 drives, not a problem. Access from the SW end of the bridge looked much worse. The water in the river had a reddish tint with a good bit of suspended brown silt. There was a moderate current flow that dropped considerably in the wider part of the river but provided a little fun in the narrow sections. The predicted high for the day was 92 degrees with a heat index of 97. There was very little cloud cover but with a lot of the river canopied we stayed relatively cool. A southerly breeze came up around noon but not strong enough to cause a problem.

We launched the boats and began the paddle at 10:08 am. This was a little later than hoped for since we were looking at a 13 to 14 mile paddle with a moderate current flow and unknown obstacles. Eight minutes into the paddle we encountered the first blockage. This was an easy one since we could drag the boats around the logs on river right. This was no a good omen. At the beginning of the paddle I was saving the waypoints for the tougher pullovers and portages but after a while just gave up. John V. said he stopped counting them after the first 10. A few of the blockages required some cutting but mostly we were able to either pull over, power over, duck under, or portage.

The final pullover came with the Watkins Bridge in sight. Clearing the last hurdle we paddled past the bridge and the traditional launch/take out and began looking for the alternate takeout. After a quarter mile down river Susan, Dave, and I decided to paddled back up to the traditional take out and hauled our boats out there. We dragged the boats a little over 250 yards to a location we could reach with the vehicles. As I waited for the others to catch up I discovered my arms and legs were covered with mosquitoes. A quick dousing of repellent drove them away. Austen and John found the alternate takeout father down the river and hauled their boats out there. We retrieved the vehicles from the CR-32 Bridge, got the boats loaded, and headed to Gatorís in Baker. We got there an hour before closing time so everything worked out okay.

We saw numerous turtles and turtle tracks where large turtles had pulled up onto the upper portions of the sand bars and laid their eggs. I saw one hawk, an owl, two deer, a Great Blue Heron, which we followed for about 5 miles down the river, numerous ducks, birds, and one medium size alligator that came charging down from atop a sandbar John and I were passing. It launched into the water right in front of my canoe. John V. was behind me with his dog Charlie perched on the front of his canoe. I heard John telling Charlie to get down in the boat (a wise suggestion). The gator disappeared in a trail of stirred up silt and we did not see it again. The two deer were hidden behind a large pile of sand next to where Austen was pulling his canoe over a log. They ran up a sand embankment into the woods. One stopped for a few moments and watched us; then bolted deeper into the trees and out of sight. By the time I got my camera ready they were gone.

There are quite a few sandbars along the route but many are stained with brown silt from recent flooding. Yellow flies were a nuisance at the beginning of the paddle but if you stayed in the middle of the river they were not too bad. The mosquitoes were not bad until we reached the take out.

Paddle distance to the traditional launch/takeout is 13.0 miles. We were on the water 8 hrs. 17 min. Shuttle distance via CR-20 and CR-32 is slightly less than 12 miles. I would give this a difficulty rating of 4 because of all the pullovers and portages.

Jim Parker

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 13
Fees/Costs $: 0.00

Photos from CR-32 Yellow River Bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Yellow River No Comm
Yellow River

GPS paddle and shuttle tracks

Yellow River No Comm
Yellow River

AL CR-32 Bridge SE launch site.

Post Date: 5/25/2010

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