2009-12-22 Trent River Trenton to Oak Grove Rd Jones County NC
The Quaker Neck Country Club golf course has a ramp they let us use as we pick up trash and litter as we paddle the river.
We appreciate this very much.. We desperately need more access points like this so we can do a better job.
We passed several private ramps along the river. If we could have access to them we could shorten our planned trip and
clean up “strainers” which we had to pass up due to time restriction on this trip.
Any landowners who have access to the Trent that we could use we would love to hear from you.
Also, Jones County owns several parcels of land along the river. Please, send us maps of these so we may explore them
for possible access points. We do not even need a ramp. We just need to be able to get to the water and have a place to drop
our boats in the water.
Franky Howard, Jones County Manager, provided such an access at Chinquapin Chapel Road on his trip with us coming down from
Comfort. We need more like it Franky. Please have the maps of County owned land e-mailed to us.
We met at 9:00 at the Quaker Neck Country Club and left our shuttle vehicle there. We drove to the Wildlife Ramp on Landfill Rd.
in Trenton and launched our boats there at 10:00.
Jason a Wildlife Ranger was there. He had loaded our several bags of trash and the TV and other miscellaneous stuff onto his
pick up truck. We left these here last week. He appreciated this very much. He said he was heading for Haywood Landing.
We told him about the abandoned large boat that was left there just before the ramp.
As we launched our boats hundreds or more blackbirds filled the air.
The trash was light in the river and we made good progress. The water level was about 8′ 4″. The flow was good and made for
good fast paddling.
We came upon this which we thought was construction trash. We now believe it is “land plaster” used to improve the soil.
Construction Trash? N35 03.048 W77 19.481 Perhaps this could be access point for us.
Here is our first major “strainer”. It is a major one as it blocks the entire river completely.
This is actually along the shore of the subdivision at the end of Paul Road. Someone removed the other one at the
dock and park and did an excellent job. We ate our lunch there.
This is the same river obstruction. Notice how it not only prevents all navigation but it has strained or caught everything floating down the river.
That is why we call them “strainers”. This one is loaded with trash. We will have to come back another day to get it.
The trash is thick in there. We are sorry we had to leave it blocking all navigation and destroying the beauty of this lovely river.
We got out of our of our canoe and dragged it over the tree trunk at the left shore.
That beautiful blue sky is full of blackbirds. They just don’t show up in the picture.
Finally, a few to the right.
And now some more. They were awesome! Altogether they made a tremendous noise. Then, all of a sudden all would stop
the noise at once. It was eerie!
After a very productive and enjoyable paddle we arrived at our take-out on schedule.
The participants today were Scott Brown from Morehead City and Elmer Eddy from Trenton.
Boat Ramp N35 03.102 W77 19.345 This is the location of a private boat ramp. May we use it?
Blow Down N35 03.218 W77 18.494 This is the location of the massive blown down tree blocking the whole river.
Jones County: Can you please have this obstruction removed? We hope so!
2009-12-16 Trent River Middle Road to Wildlife Ramp 1.1 mile below Trenton Rte 41 Bridge Jones County, NC
We made it all the way to the Wildlife Ramp. This is 12.6 miles! We did not get all the trash. Probably 80% of it. We made our 3:00 PM take-out time.
WE NEED MORE ACCESS POINTS ALONG THIS RIVER SO WE CAN DO A BETTER JOB AND SO THE PADDLING PUBLIC CAN ENJOY THIS LOVELY RIVER!
All this was possible because the water level in the river was at 8.5 feet. The current averaged 1.6 miles per hour. This enabled us to get through or around all blown down trees. We cut through one tall pine near its top that blocked the entire river. We had a great trip.
As the water level recedes to normal many obstructions to paddling will appear. This entire river in its upper reaches needs to be cleared of these fallen tress. We hope Jones County will find a way to get this done.
THIS IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE TOO.
Another thing that needs attention are two leaks in the water main that runs under the Rte 41 bridge, The vibrations of heavy trucks going over the bridge has probably caused this and will undoubtedly make it worse with time. These were reprorted to Jones County
We picked up a bag of trash at the bridge while waiting for the others to arrive, NCDOT must have picked that one up as it was gone. Many more bags and pails and a TV were left at the Wildlife Ramp.We have asked Jones County to pick these up for us.
80 to 90% of this trash is thrown off the bridges. We have asked NCDOT to install their signs, “!,000 $ fine etc” at these bridges. So far they have not done so. We have asked Jones County follow up and see if they would can get this done. This should reduce the volume to trash polluting our beautiful river.
We saw three deer one time and a single another time. Many ducks took off ahead of us as we rounded bends in the river.
This map shows all the twists and turns which add greatly to our enjoyment of this river.
Here is the group as we started out. Joanne Somerday from River Bend took the picture.
Scott Brown of Morehead City is on the lelft , Elmer Eddy of Trenton nexr and then Jim
Morris of Morehead City and Jim Neidermeyer of Hubert.
Notice the wide grassy shoulder on the road here. This makes for excellent safe parking.
There is also a nice grassy slope down to the water here which makes a
very good access for launcing our boats.
We are off and on our way downstream.
Scott Brown in his sit on top kayak.
Jim Morris in his home made canoe.
Jim Nierdermeyer, up front, after a piece of trash in a strainer
This is Jim again getting a five gallon discarded bucket off the shore.
Jim had to stand up to reach this peice of litter he is after.
A broadside shot by Joanne.
She got us head on this time.
Coming in for our lunch stop at 12:00.
At lunch. Where is Joanne? After lunch no more pictures. The trash lessens as you get away from bridges.
This is our planned take out. It is in the back yard of the first house down the street from Rte 41 on the west
side of the river. The gentelman who lives here very kindly gave us permission to use it.
Jim Morris , Joanne, and Scott ended their trip here. Jim Niedermeyer and Elmer continued on to the Wildlife Ramp
1.1 miles down the river with Doug Toltzman and Rob. Picture and those that follow taken by Rob.
This is Jim trying to get a TV set into our canoe. We had to go the land to get in in the boat.
We are off draging the TV to land.
We paddled 12.6 miles on the Trent River to get seven bags of trash and a TV.
This is what Larry Ausley and Stan Stutts of the Carolina Canoe Club picked up
on 300 yards along the Haw River west of Raleigh.
Here is what they said:
Stan Stutts and I gave 300 yards of the Haw River a special X-mas gift today by relieving it of part of its human-contributed burden. Which half of the equation are each of you?
We’re trying hard to live up to your role-model Elmer!
Why do we Americans treat our rivers and highways with such disdain?
Are we going to let this horrible pratice go on forever? Our leaders need to take firm action to get it stopped.
Doug Toltzman and Rob met us by coming up from the Wildlife Ramp below Trenton.
They came in a canoe powered by an electric motor. Doug operated the motor and
Rob set up front with a video camera mounted on a tripod.
This is the beginning of an attempt to make a video of the paddles of The Stewards of the
White Oak River Basin, (operating as Waterway Stewards outside of the White Oak River Basin).
Rob and Doug want to interview all Stewards they can to record why they do what they do.
We hope we can then make copies of this video to be sent to all canoe and kayak clubs throughout
America with the help of The American Canoe Associaton. This video will encourage like minded
paddlers to start a small group within their club to do what the White Oak Stewards have done that
earned us the coveted Green Paddle Award for 2009.
In the year 2000, the entire National Park Service was the recipient of this award. We are in good Company!
Thanks Larry and Stan for your Christmas present to the Haw River. May it be duplicated thousands of times across America!
Merry Christmas to all, Elmer
2009-12-10 Trent River Rt 58 to Middle Road Jones County NC
Our put-in was on the N/E shoulder of the bridge. It is private property and gated. The owners kindly unlocked the cable for us.
One can make an access across the highway and park on the shoulder of the road. Rte 58 is at the bottom of this map and
Middle Road runs off it north to the bridge. The take-out is on the N/W shoulder with good wide space for parking and a grassed
slope all the way to the water which NCDOT keeps mowed. Thank you NCDOT. This is a very good natural access. Wish we had
similar ones at all bridges.
The paddling distance is 5.5 miles. We put in at 10:00 and reached the take-out at 1:00 with a stop for lunch. We also picked up
all trash and litter along the way. The speed of the current was l.6 miles per hour.
The water level was very high at 10.6. This made for fast paddling and no obstructions. Hanging tree branches were close to the water
but there was plenty of room to maneuver around them. If there are blown down trees in this section they are under water at this level
and gave us no trouble at all. Thus the fast quick ride we enjoyed.
This picture shows the high water level. Last week we took out here above the upstream side of the bridge supports and dragged our boats
under the bridge too where the picture was taken.
At this writing the water is even higher. This is a excellent time to paddle this river if you have never done so.
The participants were Pat Metts from Stella. Pat made her first trip with us today. She grew up along the Trent River near here
but had never been on this section before. She road up front with me in our 17.4 foot Discovery by Old Town. She is now a full fledged
We wish more Jones County folks would join us. After all this is your river!
Other participants were Harry Patterson from Jacksonville, Jim Morris from Morehead City, Scott Brown from Morehead City and Elmer Eddy
from near Trenton in Jones County.
Next weeks paddle trip is on our web site. Come and join us. Our continuing rains are keeping the water level up. We should have a very fast
enjoyable trip. Thanks. Elmer
This was a real adventure. The water level was about 6.5 feet per the USGS gauge being listed as near Trenton.It is right here at this bridge:
This gauge read 12 feet at the peak of the recent heavy rains. It was down to 9 feet when we put-in at Pleasant Hill Road.
It had dropped to 8 feet when we put in at Comfort. In the drought earlier this year this large river was only a trickle at the iron bridge one mile above Comfort.
Paul Ferguson, in his book, Paddling Eastern North Carolina, estimates the minimum paddling level to be 4.5 feet.
With this great variance in water levels downed trees create obstructions. When the water is high we don’t know they eve exist and paddle right over them. One time we paddled right over the iron bridge. We never even saw it!
This map of this section shows all the twists and turns. The paddling distance is 5.8 miles per Paul.
Due to blown down trees creating obstructions, it took us from 10:00 to 3:00 to paddle this short distance. Of course, we were picking up trash too.
But we all agreed it was worth it and we plan to paddle the next section down stream next week.
This map shows our new public all natural access point on the Trent River.
The access at the bridge is very steep and difficult. We have a natural gentle sloping
access here. The land is owned by Jones County. They will keep the grass mowed for
safe off road parking and the gate will remain open 24/7.
Thank you Jones County!
When you use this great new access please pick up all litter and trash and leave the area clean for those who follow.
This is Elmer standing by the Canoe Trail sign provided by the American Canoe Associaton and LL Bean. This is at the entrance. You can drive to the waters edge and drop in your canoe or kayak.There is plenty of room for parking.
We unloaded our boats and drove to Rte 58 to leave our vehicles at the take-out.
We installed another Canoe Trail sign here while we were waiting for all to return.
This is Kenny Metts in the motor boat. Kenny operates the new Trent River Camp Ground about a mile and 1/2 upstream.That is the Chinquapin Chapel Road bridge in the background.
A close up of the bridge.
This is the automatic water level and transmitting gauge at the bridge which gives us this most important information so we can plan out trips on this wonderful river.
Kenny waiting for us.
A small strainer collecting trash but not obstructing paddling.
A very large strainer and blown down tree. This one was easy to get through but it should be removed.
Our lunch stop at 12:00. Harry Patterson from Jacksonville on the left,
Julia Miner from Arapahoe, Jim Morris from Morehead City in the back. Elmer Eddy from Trenton, Scott Brown from Morehead City and Kenny Metts from The Trent River Campground (on the internet) off Rte 41 between Chinquapin Chapel Road intersection and Comfort.
Kenny and Harry getting back into the water after lunch.
Kenny Metts with his chain saw to cut a way for us to paddle through this massive blown blocking the whole river.
Unfortunately, an air leak developed in his gas feed line so it was sucking air instead of gas. Yes, Ed Gruca had duck tape but it would not stick.
Kenny hopes Jones County can pay him to remove these obstructing blown down trees.
We had to portage around this one.
Here is another one. We humped over this one
I made it with the help of the others. Ed Gruca, my up front paddling partner,
got out to lighten the oad and walked around.
We encountered several more blowdowns before we reached Rte58. We got there just before 3:00 as planned.
Everyone agreed it was a great day on the water. All want to do the next section down to Miiddle Road next week.
All Stewards, and you are a Steward if you have paddled once with us and picked up trash, are asked to e-mail us and tell us why you came with us, how you enjoyed it and your most unusual, exciting or memorable experience. Did you have a
sense of satisfaction etc. What are the reasons why you paddle with us?
Doug Toltzman is preparing a video to send to the American Canoe Associaton who chose us as the recipient of their Green Paddle Award this year. Just read the list of award winners in previous years. It is quite an honor indeed to bef on a list like the entire National Park Service and all the other great people and groups!
We hope this video can be used by The ACA to send to all clubs everywhere to develop groups like ours within their membership to clean their local waters.
You and what you have done with us are the reason collectively why we received this most prestigious award.
Doug will probably need to interview you on our trips or elsewhere but don’t wait for this. Please send the above info now so Doug will know what he has to work with.
You have my e-mail address. Doug’s is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send your story to both of us.