All posts by John

Upper White Oak River: 2008-November-20

Comments are under each photo; comments are by Elmer Eddy except where otherwise noted.

We picked up two bags of litter right here on this s/e shoulder of this bridge. These signs let the public know this is a Canoe Trail. One can paddle upstream to huge old cypress trees or downstream to Gibson Bridge and Route 17. The signs also ask, “Please do not Litter”

As soon as we were on the water we smelled a horrible scent! Hunters had dumped three deer carcasses off the bridge! They were floating on the surface of the water polluting this lovely river.

This was our first low beaver dam. We were able to get over and threw it easily.

This is Jim Niedermeyer and Elmer. The litter and trash was heavy right here below the bridge. It is obvious some people are using this bridge as their personal trash disposal area. More pollution!

Joanne Somerday is from New Bern and Elizabeth Brownrigg is from Durham. Joanne is a member of the Twin Rivers Paddle Club. Elizabeth is a writer and will write a story of this paddle trip.

This is over half way to Gibson Bridge. It is the first opportunity to get off the river for lunch.The high bank in the background takes you up to huge field where we enjoyed our lunch in the warm sunshine. Mike Banks added ribbon on a branch over the water to mark this spot.

This is at another small beaver dam which we opened up by removing sticks the beavers used to make the dam. Elizabeth built that kayak herself.

Yes, the water level is higher thanks to the beaver dam and this enabled us to paddle around the obstructing floating log. These floating large logs like this need to be removed as each successive rise in the water takes them downstream to block the stream again.

Must be a beaver dam ahead. The water is out of its normal banks.  One can paddle off into the swamps sometimes.

This very low beaver dam is just high enough to catch the floating leaves and debris.

This was one of the higher beaver dams.

A little more work opening that sluice and we would have had a thrilling fast drop. Real white water paddling in Eastern North Carolina!

Sherman is from Goldsboro. He can light a fire in the pouring rain. He has every conceivable safety and survivor equipment with him. Notice the power lines. This large beaver dam is just downstream of these power lines which cross the White Oak River Roads on each side.

Scott is from Morehead City. He moved here recently from California so he could explore our sunken ships off our coast.

Jim Morris is from Morehead City. Jim also built this canoe and another tandem for he and his wife Connie.

The single canoes and kayaks got through this sluice easily. It would have been a faster and more thrilling chute if we had taken the time to open it deeper at the top for a larger volume of water.

Joanne is one the the early Stewards. She has cleaned up many a stream removing all trash and litter. The White Oak River is one of her favorites too.

Cliff Baker is from New Bern and is a member of The Twin Rivers Paddle Club.

Had we opened the dam more for a large volume flow we would have shot down through opening and had a white water thrill which is rarity in Eastern North Carolina.

Thanks Cliff for being our sweep so we knew no one was left behind.

We do not recommend that anyone paddle this section of the White Oak River until it is cleared of all these obstacles. You can probably put in here and paddled down to Route 17 with out much trouble.  Please let us know if you do and tell us what you find. Elmer

Micah Tussey of NCDOT, Adopt-a-HIghway program is pickg up al the trash for us. Thanks Micah.

Doug’s Comment: Here we are with the trash. This is the only photo with the photographer in it!  The 3 in back, from left to right (because this is America and that’s how we do things), are Jim N., Jim M., and George. Then from left to right starting with the guy holding out his right arm, we have Doug (the photographer), Joanne, Elmer, Elizabeth, Scott, Cliff, and Sherman. We found that TV floating on the river, and those orange bags are mostly full of trash. We left the river much cleaner than we found it.


Video from Great Lake, Dec 27, 2007

Here is a video that I (Doug Toltzman) shot on the Great Lake, on the morning of December 27, 2007. The video opens at the put-in and ends when we stop for lunch. See the earlier blog entry from the 2007-12-27 trip on Great Lake for more details about the trip.

[Video Link]

You’ll need Quicktime (version 6 or higher) to play this video.


2008-01-01 Pettiford Creek (upper)

Photos and comments by Douglas Toltzman

These first few photos were taken at the put in. The first one is of Elmer Eddy and his grandson Jack Eddy. They are joined by Jim in the next frame. We were joined by Jen and her husband (the next 2 photos), and the last photo from the put-in features Elmer and the great Brian Wheat.

Embarking on our journey, we had a light tail wind that helped us along. We were all overdressed, as the temperature rose rapidly in the morning and the sun was shining on us all day. Our trip up Pettiford creek was really very pleasant. I’ll get to the return trip further down.

Jack Eddy (above)

It was really difficult to get all of these boaters in one photo. I’d have everyone in this photo (above), if Brian Wheat hadn’t been in such a hurry to paddle out of my frame (lower left of photo).
The next 8 frames were taken at our lunch stop, atop of an old, earthen dam that was breached long ago. In spite of the low water temperature, some of our party decided to take a quick swim here. I was going to swim across myself, but I opted to stay dry this time. As a rule, I never pass up an opportunity to go swimming.

Elmer Eddy (above) — our fearless leader

A view from the top of the earthen dam (above)

Having finished lunch, we paddled the last leg of our trip, up to the beaver dam. Given that the wind had been gaining strength and would be against us most of the way back, we opted to turn around here (about 3.5 miles up from where we started). The following pictures are of the beaver dam (mostly obscured by the rising tide and probably some wind tide), and some final shots of our fearless group, turning their boats around to head back down the creek, against the incoming tide and a strong, gusty wind.

Brian Wheat (above photo, front left)

Here is the GPS plot of our trip (total of 7.1 miles). The put-in (just off of HW 58) is on the left end of the yellow line. The first blue flag is the actual location of the HW 58 bridge. The next blue flag marks a split in the creek where we went left (river right*). Where you see the triangle of blue flags, the one on the upper left is a clearing to which we hiked. The line leading up to it follows the top of the old dam. The blue flag (of the 3 flags) on the top right is where we stopped for lunch. The bottom blue flag (of the 3 flags) marks the point where a road enters on river right*. Where the yellow line ends at the upper right is where we turned around at the beaver dam.

*right side, facing downstream