Everything about the section of the Duck we were going to do was based on a late fall, low-water, dry-weather trip. Especially the second night campsite which was going to be quite scenic but on a low, flat gravel bar. The river has gradually been coming down from the big rains we had a week ago but is not all the way there:
Then there is the weather forecast for Friday.
We are not fair weather canoeists, and we sure aren't engineered for patio living, but there's no good reason to rush to get out on the river in the middle of a storm that is supposed to pass in the afternoon. Plus I really don't know what it will do to the water level that is already a little high. Theoretically it will take a couple of days for the water to rise that far downstream. But theory isn't worth much when you're standing ankle deep by the place your campfire used to be as any veteran of Big Swan Creek can tell you.
We are going to change both rivers and strategies. We will go to the Buffalo, which should be fine with a little extra water, and we will camp right at the put-in instead of paddling on Friday. We'll do this at the Highway 13 access on the big gravel bar under the bridge where Crazy Horse Canoe Rental is located.
Here it is from street view:
Here it is from street view:
Kind of nice, isn't it, considering it's by a highway? And we have permission from Crazy Horse to be there which is also a nice feeling (see Big Swan Creek, supra). We could even use the bridge for shelter if we needed to which might make for a memorable party.
If you trust GPS in Wayne County the address is 2505 Waynesboro Hwy. Otherwise take I-40 West to exit 143, and take Hwy 13 south 40 miles to the bridge. The Natchez Trace is also an option for everyone except Mullowney who doesn't like the federal jurisdiction there.
The benefits of camping at the put-in are:
- We can take our time arriving while the storms pass
- No paddling in the rain
- No jon boat travel in the dark (and the rain)
- Possible one-nighter options for people with conflicts on Friday or Saturday night
- Still get to camp on a gravel bar
Other things that will change now:
- We will probably not go to the trout farm in the rain either. The cooks are already mobilizing for this contingency.
- We will not take the jon boat. Kirk, Ian and Bob will just come straight to our homeless encampment under the bridge. I'll figure out the canoe situation.
- We will relax our departure time from Nashville. Rob will pick Pete up at the airport at 8:00 am but they can now finish grocery shopping and packing together. Let's plan to leave from my house at 10:00 am. It's two hours to the Buffalo/Hwy 13 bridge by the way.
- Pete: no need to change the muffaleta plan unless you want to. RRCCers: assume a late lunch will be served on site Friday unless you hear otherwise.
- All kinds of new car camping options on Friday as well: good guitars, glass bottles, etc. Josh we may need to bring more than just the token mini-kegs. They don't even have to be mini for that matter...