Please contribute.

This section of the website is an invaluable resource for new and experienced paddlers alike.
Help us by submitting your report to the webmaster.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Flooded Timber on Tensaw Lake
Sunday, April 3, 2005

Bob, Larry, Gary, Jerry, Tom, Matt, Chris and I met at The Stagecoach Cafe in Stockton at 1:00 PM and continued north to Upper Bryant's Landing. As expected, Tensaw Lake was flooded probably 6-8 feet above normal. The road accessing the summer houses along the bank was flooded, leaving them all stranded and accessible only by water. The weather was perfect, with clear skies, no wind and 72 degrees.

We put in and immediately took a couple of group photos next to the road sign on the flooded road. We then proceeded to paddle under some of the houses up on stilts and out into Tensaw Lake. I paddled over someones wrought iron deck furniture as I passed under there house. Once out in the lake, we started west for 0.25 miles and turned north into the cut-through to Douglas Lake. The water level was high enough to allow us to paddle over the underbrush, so we just picked our own paths through the forest.

We came out into Douglas, turned west again and found what normally is a small branch to the north which eventually plays out up in the forest. However, with flooded conditions, there was always enough water to paddle our own course wherever we wanted to. We continued due north, for what turned out to be about 4.5 miles, enjoying the peacefulness under cover of the forest. Along the way, we paddled through three separate clear-cut areas, which made the going a little tougher as we were at the level of the canopy of the younger trees and had to pick our way around some.

We saw Little Blue Herons, Snowy egrets, various water snakes trying to stay dry and turtles sunning themselves.

We attempted to find Proctor Creek and follow it south to Tensaw Lake, but passed it by and eventually came out on Big Beaver Creek, just east of the Canal Island platform. Once we re-grouped, we decided to return by way of Tensaw Lake and stopped at Hubbard's Landing for a snack and to stretch our legs.

We started downriver and continued to see alot of yellow top along the flooded banks. From Hubbard's Landing south, the east bank continues to rise to about 100 feet above the river. All along the bank, we found honeysuckle azalea still in the late stages of bloom, as well as coral honeysuckle in full bloom and mountain laurel, some in full bloom and other areas just ready to pop out. We passed close by a large softshell turtle out sunning, who grudgingly left his log when we got too close for comfort.

With flooded conditions, the cut-through at the Coon Neck bend looked like the normal course of the river, as we bypassed the mouth of Douglas Lake. And all too soon were back to Upper Bryant's, where we paddled in past the raised summer houses and down the campsite road next to the bathhouse.

This was truly a wonderful and different paddle and well worth timing to hit during the narrow window of opportunity in the spring when it is sufficiently flooded.

Upper Bryant's Landing (a week earlier)
by Avan Warner

Bob and I, again visited Bryant's Landing, researching the flower progress. We were two weeks earlier than the previously mentioned trip. The water was high, but not in flood stage, to do the flooded timber route. We did go into the creek to notice that some small caliber trees (2-3 inches) had fallen across the path, so bring a saw for your next flooded timber visit. The lady in the store, said that the water was rising up river, so we might have flooded timber by the weekend. Remember to tell her you have a canoe or kayak and the boat launch charge is only $2.00.
Let me back up a moment to tell you about the yellow wildflowers. Butterweed (Senecio glabellus) were in mass as you drove over the wetland elevated highway just before the Stockton turn off. They were in the ditches, and along the road to Bryant's Landing. They were in the Florida Swamps two weeks ago. They really stand out, this early in the year. I finally got a leaf and found it in a picture book, because I am not eager to key out an Asteraceae.
Back to Bryant's Landing. On the river, there are Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) along the edges, very showy. The color was nice along Douglas Lake. Bright green of the Bald Cypress leaves, yellow catkins with tiny rose colored leaves coming out on some unknown tree. The backdrop of the winter backdrop of tree trunks coming out of the water.
The highlight of this time of year, is the bluff just upriver from the landing. You must go into the creek just upriver from the bluff. It is full of Pink Honeysuckle Azalea (Azalea arborescens). It is prime right now. We missed this two years, one year ago. There is a lot of Pink Honeysuckle Azalea in that little section. We continued to the bluff. We got up close. The Pink Honeysuckle Azalea still have buds, so it still has another week of glory. Then it will trade places with the Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), still in bud, for the glory position. Yellow Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens), Red Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), Blackberry (Rhus sp.), Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum), White Violets (Viola primulifolia) along the bottom of the bluff next to the waterline, Shadbush (Amelanchier arborea), and Sweetleaf (Symplocos tinctoria). Look these up in your flower picture book before you arrive at Bryant's Landing, so you appear to be the botanical genius to your canoe buddies.

by Gary Worob

Eight ...I guess of us paddled through the enchanted forest on Sunday...I guess. Couldn't care less what day or month it was on a perfect day....had to think about how many there were and were not....three hours in the woods, I guess....who cares? What is this about time and white people? Aren't we all on the same journey through space at a 1,000 miles per hour? The pope finally died, and I was thinking the mafia had lots of bets on the exact time.

And, who cares when you are in such a place? Gas prices soaring ...who cares anymore? Just let me put the blade in one more time and experience this bit of solitude and solace. Rummaging through the mind for nothing to say and ...who cares? Eight of us telling lies in the middle of truth....building a cabin in this pristine wilderness and then Bob says, "Wait till you see the next house boat, one hundred feet long, twenty four feet wide with wrap around porch"...and a for sale sign...oh my! Have to go back and put up or shut up. Where would I put this and would it be the new club house or do I buy a tug boat and just cruise on down?.....see you on the return trip.

Thinking for a bit that I am in Pennsylvania with all the mountain laurel in bloom and wild azaleas screaming those colors and smells. All of us smiling and thinking, who cares and what day is it? Bob collecting lots of points for this trip. Paddling through an underwater village. Is this Asia? 17 inches of rain is obvious when you are paddling under someone's house and hope the electricity is shut off and don't grab any wires. Stop for a break and buy a candy bar and sit on the bank, looking at a perfect day and not caring about the twenty or so houses only attainable by boat and we are paddling through time warps and realities gone crazy. Glad the storm is well over and lets go on, these people chose this life style and no pump in the world could bail this flooded plain.

More azaleas and steep banks covered with mountain laurel and more wonderful smells one needing to talk, just be awed at the rites of spring...take this picture in your mind...greens, reds, yellow asters and pinks and wafting of plumage of god. I think I see the pope smiling, saying "I see all this too, now that I am at peace". Martha Stewart standing on the side, with her paint brush and denim shirt, smiling....the cover of her new edition, all the time in prison thinking this is the reality we need to get back to....put your hands in the good earth and smell the richness....

And then, the finish of this great trip and we load up the boats and remember that it is Sunday and tomorrow someone will be working......gas prices soaring...When is the next paddle? Not soon enough.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Each date in the following list is a hypertext link to the referenced trip report. Just click on it, and it will take you to that trip report in this website's archives. Please contact Ian at if you find any bad links.

In particular, please take note of the last link -- distances and directions to put-ins. It's a very useful compilation of information.

Apalachee River - July 10, 2001
Bartram Canoe Trail from Rice Creek Landing - April 16-18, 2004
Bartram Canoe Trail - February 11, 2005
The Basin - April 19, 2003
Bay Minette Basin - August 13, 2004
Bay Minette Basin - March 10, 2004
Bay Minette Basin - June 09, 2003
Bay Minette Basin - May 19, 2003
Bay Minette Basin - May 17, 2001
Bay Minette Basin - August 31, 2001
Bay Minette Basin - April & May 2004
Bay Minette Basin - December 19, 2004
Bay Minette Bay - June 22, 2003
Bay Minette Creek - September 23, 2002
Bay Minette Creek from Bromley Bridge - April 14, 2003
Bay Minette Creek to the Cut-Off - December 12, 2002
Bay Minette Basin to Blakely State ParkThursday - June 17, 2004
Bay Minette Creek - April 17, 2004
Bayfront Park to Battleship Alabama - April 15, 2002
Bayfront Park to Fort Morgan - October 23, 2000
Bayou Cumbest, the Rigolets Islands, Crooked Bayou - November 8, 2003
Bayou Heron (driving directions) - September 08, 2001
Bayou Heron, Mississippi - August 14, 2004
Bayou La Batre - July 16, 2001
Bayou Tallapoosa - August 22, 2001
Bayou Tallapoosa - January 15, 2006
Big Briar Creek - October 29, 2005
Bob Andrews Memorial Adventure Event - December 11, 2004
Boiling Creek - September 22, 2002
Boiling Creek - April 24, 2004
Boiling Creek - June 20, 2004
Boundary Waters in Minnesota, Tofte Area of National Forest Campground - October 6, 2002
Bryants Landing through flooded timber - May 27, 2003
Byrnes Lake / Gravine Island - November 08, 2003
Byrnes Lake - October 19, 2003
Byrnes Lake - October 4, 2004
Byrnes Lake to and around Gravine Island - December 17, 2002
Byrnes Lake to Gravine Island - April 14, 2001
Canal Island Platform - January 16, 2005
Chassahowitzka River, Florida - January 08, 2003
Chickasabogue Creek - August 03, 2003
Chickasabogue Creek - November 26, 2002
Clear Creek & Smith Lake - October 31, 2004
Cloverleaf Landing - May 16, 2004
Cowpen Creek to Fish River - April 14, 2003
Dauphin Island Bird Watch - April 23, 2001
Dauphin Island-Ft. Morgan-Sand Island - June 12, 2004
Dauphin Island-west end - November 21, 2004
Delta Campsites - November 26, 2002
D'Olive Creek - April 06, 2004
D'Olive Creek - September 26, 2002
Douglas Lake - June 13, 2004
Econfina Creek - February 26, 2005
Econfina Creek - November 5, 2005
Eight-Mile Creek and Chickasaw Creek - August 08, 2001
Escambia River - June 25, 2002
Escatawpa River Paddle - October 25, 2003
Escatawpa River and I.P.Cooling Water Canal - February 21, 2003
Fargo, GA, A travelogue - December 31, 2004
Fish River (Upper) - March 15, 2004
Fish River - July 08, 2003
Fish River - August 23, 2002
Fisher Lake and the Platforms - July 18, 2004
Flooded Timber on Tensaw Lake - April 3, 2005
Flooded Timber on the Tensaw River - April 14, 2001
Fly Creek - February 06, 2004
Fowl River (West) - May 11, 2003
French's Lake - March 27, 2003
French's Lake/Majors Creek - February 17, 2003
Grand Bay Wildlife Refuge - September 13, 2001
Grassy Point/Boiling Creek - May 7, 2005
Horn Island - September 09, 2003
Horn Island - June 25, 2005
Horn Island - Fall, 2005
Hurricane Bayou - June 12, 2004
Ingrams Bayou - May 14, 2003
Ingrams Bayou - September 19, 2001
Johnson Beach - September 22, 2002
Jug Lake Platform - August 2004
Juniper Creek - August 7, 2004
Juniper Creek - July 2, 2005
Lake Guntersville State Park - January 21, 2006
Little Bateau-Big Bateau Loop - November 24, 2003
Little Lagoon - April 26, 2001
Little River - September 25, 2003
Magnolia River - March 28, 2004
Magnolia River / Weeks Bay - November 22, 2003
Magnolia River - May 07, 2001
Maple Creek - March 07, 2002
Maple Slough - March 29, 2004
Maple Slough - March 6, 2005
McVays Lake from Cloverleaf Landing - May 3, 2003
McVoys Lake from Cloverleaf Landing - October 23, 2004
Middle Bay Lighthouse - June 22, 2003
Middle Bay Lighthouse - June 15, 2005
Mobile Bay Crossing - October 05, 2003
Mudhole Creek - December 4, 2004
Ocean Springs Area - June 24, 2003
One Mile Bayou - September 25, 2003
Palmetto Creek - January 12, 2003
Pelican Island and Sand Island Lighthouse - August 11, 2003
Pelican and Sand Islands from Dauphin Island - March 06, 2003
Pelican Pointe to Magnolia River - September 15, 2001
Perdido Beach Put-ins - September 23, 2001
Perdido Pass - July 17, 2001
Perdido River - August 03, 2003
Phatwater Kayak Challenge, Natchez, MS - October 9, 2004
Rice Creek to the Bottle Creek Indian Mounds - September 15, 2003
Rice Creek to the Bottle Creek Indian Mounds - August 14, 2004
Rice Creek to Jug Lake platform - November 7, 2004
Rice Creek to Jug Lake platform - March 19, 2005
Rice Creek to Big Cypress to Jug Lake platform - March 5, 2005
Robinson Bayou - Club Party - November 13, 2004
Sand Island Light & Dixey Bar - July 13, 2002
Shelby Lake, Middle Lake and Little Lake - April 26, 2001
Sipsie River - May 26, 2002
Six Bits Creek and Hurricane Bayou - August 08, 2001
Soldier Creek - August 25, 2003
St. Joseph Bay - March 19, 2002
Styx & Perdido Rivers (camping directions) - July 19, 2002
Styx River (Lower End) - November 01, 2003
Styx River Rapids - April 17, 2003
Styx River (Middle) - April 14, 2003
Styx River - May 22, 2004
Tensaw River - Adventure Paddle 1 - December 31, 2004
Two Rivers Point/Mound Island - February 26, 2005
Tyler Bend/Buffalo River National Park in Arkansas - October 06, 2002
Wacissa River, Florida - October 2004
Weeks Bay - September 01, 2001
Whiskey Ditch - March 26, 2004
Whiskey Ditch - February 12, 2004
Whiskey Ditch - April 21, 2001
Whiskey Ditch - May 07, 2001
Whiskey Ditch - May 20, 2004
Whiskey Ditch - September 28, 2004
Whiskey Ditch - October 16, 2004