Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Trip Destination

Ok.  New plan, new river.

Since we're going to miss out on observing the 10-year anniversary of The Pavilion, we will instead mark the 15-year anniversary of our first organized RRCC trip by going back to the Buffalo River.

Back in the year 2000, when Josh looked like this.

The Big Daddy was on its very first trip.

 And Tim was still chopping like Sisyphus,
trying to work his way up in the kitchen.

As promised, we will spend Friday night on dry, BBQ-smoker-accessible land.  Vernon wanted to pull it up to the Drone Bar, and I'm sure Hippie would have let us.  But we need to be riverside, at a put-in, so we can run the shuttle Friday afternoon and shove off without driving anywhere Saturday.   Otherwise we won't be on the river until after lunch again (see Piney River last fall).

So Friday night (and Saturday morning launch) will be at "Buffalo Canoe and Camp" at River Mile 88.

Our 2000 inaugural trip started a bridge or two downstream from there (Mile 73 to Mile 63).  The Spring 2010 trip that started at David Fox's place took out at Mile 93.  This trip will be right between them.

Buffalo Canoe and Camp is a commercial campground, so we might not be alone which is fine. There are campsites on the river bank, but when I asked the owner if we could set up on the gravel bar proper instead of the designated campground he said that would be ok "If you can get down there."

He obviously doesn't know what we can and will do to get down to a gravel bar.

For the river trip, there are two major access points within range downstream.  Topsy Bridge is 8 miles from the put-in (from Friday night camp) and Bell Bridge/Hwy 13 is 15 miles.  Click on the map.

We could do either of those, but in my view 8 miles is a little short for an overnighter.  And 15 miles will make for either a potentially long day on Saturday or a long morning and late return on Sunday.

I noticed on the map that there is another bridge two miles up from Bell Bridge (see unmarked arrow).   A 13 mile total trip would be perfect:  10 mile paddle on Saturday, 3 mile paddle on Sunday. I'm not familiar with the bridge, though, so don't know if it's a viable access.   So what we'll do is just drive to the unknown bridge on the shuttle, and if we can't take out there go on to Bell Bridge and do the long trip.

Hopefully we can, though, because I've got my eye on this good looking island right under Pine Bluff which happens to appear at exactly the 10 mile mark on Saturday...

If you look real close you can see where the Irish Oven goes.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Breaking News

Our Friday plans, and probably our destination, have suddenly changed.  In a weird circle-of-life type coincidence, Mrs. Cooper's farm was sold at an estate auction just last week.   So almost exactly 10 years to the day after the famous Pavilion trip, the property has changed hands and is no longer owned by the Coopers for the first time in almost a century.   End of an era.

Wish we had known about the auction sooner.  The RRCC would liked to have owned some of the riverside tracts, or at least brought home some souvenirs.  Like Newt's pocket knives, lanterns and shotguns.  Or some Confederate money, or British Caribbean silver coins, or an 1895 Jack Daniel's bottle or a 1933 $1 bill from the First National Bank of Shelbyville, and a fingerprinting kit.   Here's the auction flyer:

According to my notes, in 1998 Newt Cooper told me he had lived on the river for 76 years (so 1922) and had never been farther upstream or downstream than the next bend.

So we will reassess our trip.  Our goal is to choose a new river section (or a new river) with the goal of still spending Friday at a put-in and by the smoker.   Time to hit the maps.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Trip

Here's the current roster for the Spring trip.  All positively confirmed through rumor, hearsay and innuendo.

Jim Mullowney
Jim Myers
Mike Cronin
Rob H.

Friday, April 10 will be car camping which means people can arrive at any time that day.  And by car camping we mean standing around Myers' pull-behind smoker all day.

If we hook this up to the back of the blue canoe trailer we can make a Trailer Centipede.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wait, did we set the clocks ahead one month for Daylight Savings Time?   Can't believe the trip is two weeks from Friday.   Here are the rest of the fall trip pictures, and then we'll get serious about the spring trip.