Kayak Canoe Alabama

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Magnolia River

Sunday, March 12, 2005 brint.adams@us.army.mil

Larry, Gary, Mark and I met at the Exxon on Hwy. 98 and Magnolia Springs Road, and drove the short distance down to Jesse’s Restaurant, turned right and then left on Rock Street, to the public county access to the Magnolia River. Upon entering the high water, we found the southwest wind blowing strongly, pushing us upriver. Otherwise, the weather was gorgeous with sunny skies and 78 degrees.

We decided to start out upriver, and after we made the turn to the right, and crossing under the bridge, found the river protected from the wind, making the paddle very quiet and enjoyable. With the water so high, we were able to make our way much farther upstream, than I had ever been before. I brought along my saw, which helped in a few spots, as we made our way around and under a lot of downed trees, left in the aftermath of Ivan. We followed a lone heron for a while and later a lone cormorant swimming along ahead of us.

On the return, we turned into the branch where the springs originate, and as we ducked under the walking bridge, a cormorant decided to try and fly out just over our heads. He did not gain enough altitude in time, as he hit the railing. He stumbled around for a second and flew on, apparently not injured. The water was very clear, as we passed blooming azaleas along the bank. Upon exiting, we turned downriver and paddled into the wind, past all of the beautiful flower gardens along the way.

About halfway out to Weeks Bay, we decided to take a left into Weeks Creek, which none of us had explored previously. The creek meandered for quite away back into the woods, until we finally came to a fallen tree, narrow passage and shallow water. Again, we were out of the wind, making this side trip very enjoyable.

Once we came out of Weeks Creek, we decided to head back to Rock Street. The return trip was a quick one, with the wind to our backs. The 5 mile paddle took us about 2 hours. All in all, we had a great leisurely time on a sunny, spring afternoon on a beautiful river. We could not have asked for anything more.


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